Collectively, three separate yet distinct texts form the Gestes des Chiprois, a compilation manuscript written in Old French sometime in the thirteenth century. The texts which make up the Gestes des Chiprois are:
Although the question of authorship remains in dispute, the structure of the manuscript itself suggests that the author/compiler began the work of creating a continuous history of Cyprus beginning with the arrival of Crusaders in the East, and extending until the author's own time, using the histories available to him accomplish the task. Presumably, the original manuscript of the Gestes was destroyed when the Ottoman Turks captured Cyprus in 1571.The work only happened to survive because a certain John le Miége - a prisoner in the castle of Kyrenia in 1343 – passed his time in imprisonment by copying some form of the Gestes into a manuscript for himself. It is le Miége’s copy that traveled to the west during the fourteenth century, where its whereabouts remained mysterious until it was rediscovered by a pair of Italian amateur historians, who found it while exploring the library of Verzuolo castle in Piedmont, Northern Italy.
|Royal Library of Turin, MS Varia 433
|Raynaud, Gaston, ed. Les Gestes des Chiprois. Vol. 5. Genève: Société de l’Orient Latin, 1887.
Alda Bart Rossebastiano, "Sul disperso ms. di Cérines delle «Gestes des Chiprois» ora «Varia 433» della Biblioteca Reale di Torino," Studi Francesi 23 (1979), 76-79.
Laura Minervini, “Les Gestes Des Chiprois et La Tradition Historiographique de l’Orient Latin,” Le Moyen Age 110 (2004): 315–325.