In the early 1230s, at about the same time that the Eracles translation of William of Tyre was in preparation, another text began to circulate which is associated in its manuscripts with two equally enigmatic figures, ‘Ernoul’, a squire in the service of Balian of Ibelin and ‘Bernard’, the treasurer of Saint Peter of Corbie. The work is a narrative history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem from its foundation and ending in c. 1230 (the surviving manuscripts conclude in 1227, 1229 and 1231). Rather than a straightforward history written either by Ernoul or Bernard, Ernoul-Bernard is a compilation of historical materials, possibly sponsored by the treasurer of Corbie, which apparently drew upon an earlier work by the squire of Ibelin for the period from 1184-1187 and then included original material from other sources to tell the story of the Third Crusade and the retrenchment of the Latin Kingdom. Ernoul-Bernard also contains several digressions on the sacred geography of the Holy Land, including a long description of the city of Jerusalem.
The Ernoul-Bernard narrative from 1184-1231 served as the first continuation of Eracles, the Old French translation of the chronicle of William of Tyre. Since this was the version upon which later continuators built their work, forty-six manuscripts of Eracles contain some form of the Ernoul-Bernard text.
Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, MS 677 (Vellum,
Berne, Burgerbibliothek, MS 340 (Vellum, s. xiii)
Lyon, Bibliothèque de la Ville MS 828 (Vellum, s. xiii)
Peter W. Edbury, and John Gordon Rowe. William of Tyre: Historian of the Latin East (Cambridge, 1991), 17-22.
M. R. Morgan. The Chronicle of Ernoul and the Continuations of William of Tyre (Oxford, 1973).