Acre became a center for manuscript and artistic production in the last years of Latin domination of the Kingdom, as early as 1225 and until the late thirteenth century. The scriptorium was most acitve as a center for artistic output from 1250 until the fall of the Kingdom in 1291. Among the French works copied into manuscripts in Acre are four extensively illustrated copies of the Histoire Universelle, seven illustrated copies of William of Tyre's History of Outremer, and a manuscript containing the Faits des Romains. The presence of a center for such luxurious book production in Acre attests to the importance of books for the Latin leaders of the time.
Acre was also an important locale for administration, particularly after Christians re-took the city from Muslim hands in 1191. After this time, the royal court relocated from Jerusalem to Acre, along with several other ecclesiastical groups seeking refuge from territories that remained in Muslim hands. From the end of the twelfth until the end of the thirteenth century, Acre was the political and ecclesiastical center of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Click on the following links to view French language texts from the Scriptorium at Acre:
Eracles: Acre Continuation
French Biblical Texts from Acre
French Translation of Cicero's Rhetorica
Faits des Romains
De Rei Militari
Image du Monde
Buchtal, Hugo. Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Oxford: Clarenden Press, 1957.
Folda, Jaraslow.Crusader Manuscript Illumination at Saint-Jean d'Acre. Princeton:University Press, 1976.
Weiss, Daniel H. The Pictoral language of the Aresenal old Testament: Gothic and Byzantine contributions and the meaning of crusader art (Paris, Bibliotheque de lAresenal, MS 5211) PhD. Thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 1993.
Culture in Acre:
Jacoby, David. "Society, Culture, and the Arts in Crusader Acre," in France and the Holy Land. Frankish Culture at the End of the Crusades. Edited by Daniel Weiss and Lisa Mahoney, 97-137. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.
Manuscripts from the Scriptorium at Acre
MSS:Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS Fr. 20125
Contents: Histoire ancienne jusqu'à césar
Edition of this ms: n/a
The Heard Word: A Moralized History. The Genesis Section of the Histoire ancienne in a Text from Saint-Jean d'Acre. Edited by. Mary Coker Joslin. Lafayette, University of Mississipi Press (1986).
Rebecca W. Corrie. "Angevin Ambitions: The Conradin Bible Atelier and a Neopolitan Localization for Chantilly's Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César," in France and the Holy Land, 230-252.
See also Arlima
back to top
MSS:Dijon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 562
Contents: Histoire universelle
Anne Derbes and Marc Sandona. "Amazons and Crusaders: the Histoire Universelle in Flanders and the Holy Land," in France and the Holy Land,(op. cit), 187-229.
back to top
MSS:Paris, Bibliothèque D'Arsenal, ms. 5211
Contents: Excerpts from a French translation of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha. May have been comissioned by St Louis in his stay in the Latin Kingdom between the years of 1250 and 1254.
Click here for image, description, and summary of current scholarship.
Back to top