This is the first English translation of Robert the Monk's Historia Iherosolimitana, a Latin prose chronicle describing the First Crusade. In addition to providing new and unique information on the Crusade (Robert claims to have been an eyewitness of the Council of Clermont in 1095), its particular interest lies in the great popularity it enjoyed in the Middle Ages.
The text has close links with the vernacular literary tradition and is written in a racy style which would not disgrace a modern tabloid journalist. Its reflection of contemporary legends and anecdotes gives us insights into perceptions of the Crusade at that time and opens up interesting perspectives onto the relationship of history and fiction in the twelfth century. The introduction discusses what we know about Robert, his importance as a historical source and his place in the literary tradition of the First Crusade.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: The textual history of the Historia Iherosolimitana; Robert and the Gesta Francorum; Robert's relationship with other sources and value as a historical source; Robert as author: the theologian, the historiographer and the storyteller; Principles of translation. Translation of Robert the Monk's Historia Iherosolimitana: Sermo Apologeticus; Prologue; Book I: The Council of Clermont and the Crusade of Peter the Hermit: November 1095–October 1096; Book II: The journey to Constantinople and negotiations there: October 1096–April 1097; Book III: Nicaea, Dorylaeum and the arrival at Antioch: May 1097–October 1097; Book IV: The siege of Antioch: October 1097–February 1098; Book V: Events leading to the fall of Antioch: February 1098–June 1098; Book VI: The Christians besieged in Antioch: June 1098; Book VII: Victory at Antioch: June 1098–October 1098; Book VIII: From Antioch to Jerusalem: November 1098–June 1099; Book IX: The fall of Jerusalem and the battle of Ascalon: June 1099–August 1099. Appendix; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Dr Carol Sweetenham is an associate fellow in the Department of French Studies, University of Warwick, UK. Her previous book, written with Linda Patterson, was The Canso d'Antioca: An Occitan Epic Chronicle of the First Crusade (Ashgate 2003), and together with Susan Edgington she is working on a translation of the Chanson d'Antioche for the Ashgate Crusade Texts in Translation series.
Reviews: '... [Carol Sweetenham's] research is clearly meticulous and, despite being aimed at a scholarly readership, her text is easily accessible and pleasant to read... a valuable tool for crusade scholars and a very welcome addition to crusade historiography.' The Medieval Review
‘Sweetenham has made Robert's Historia accessible to a wider readership. Hers is a lively translation with a useful commentary.’ Crusades
'... this volume in Ashgate's Crusade Texts in Translation series performs an indispensable function for anyone who wants to understand European crusaders' motivations and self-promotion. ... Sweetenham has provided a highly usable volume suitable for teaching and research.' MESA
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Full contents list
Introduction: The textual history of the Historia Iherosolimitana
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