Literature of the Crusades

January 2018
10 black and white illustrations
224 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
BISAC LIT011000, HIS037010

Literature of the Crusades

Edited by Simon Thomas Parsons, Linda M. Paterson

An interdisciplinary approach to sources for our knowledge of the crusades.
The interrelation of so-called "literary" and "historical" sources of the crusades, and the fluidity of these categorisations, are the central concerns of the essays collected here. They demonstrate what the study of literary texts can do for our historical understanding of the crusading movement, challenging earlier historiographical assumptions about well-known poems and songs, and introducing hitherto understudied manuscript sources which elucidate a rich contemporary compositional culture regarding the matter of crusade.
The volume discusses a wide array of European textual responses to the medieval crusading movement, from the Plantagenet and Catalan courts to the Italy of Charles of Anjou, Cyprus, and the Holy Land. Meanwhile, the topics considered include the connexions between poetry and history in the Latin First Crusade texts; the historical, codicological and literary background to Richard the Lionheart's famous song of captivity; crusade references in the troubadour Cerverí of Girona; literary culture surrounding Charles of Anjou's expeditions; the use of the Mélusine legend to strengthen the Lusignans' claim to Cyprus; and the influence of aristocratic selection criteria in manuscript traditions of Old French crusade songs. These diverse approaches are unified in their examination of crusading texts as cultural artefacts ripe for comparison across linguistic and thematic divides.

Simon Thomas Parsons teaches Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London and King's College London; Linda Paterson is Professor Emerita at Warwick University.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Ruth Harvey and Simon Parsons
'Claruit Ibi Multum Dux Lotharingiae': The Development of the Epic Tradition of Godfrey of Bouillon and the Bisected Muslim - Simon John
Reflecting and Refracting Reality: The Use of Poetic Sources in Latin Accounts of the First Crusade - Carol Sweetenham
Emotions and the 'Other': Emotional Characterisations of Muslim Protagonists in Narratives of the Crusades (1095-1192) - Stephen J. Spencer
A Unique Song of the First Crusade? New Observations on the Hatton 77 Manuscript of the Siège d'Antioche - Simon Parsons
Crusade Songs and the Old French Literary Canon - Luca Barbieri
Wielding the Cross: Crusade References in Cerverí de Girona and Thirteenth-Century Catalan Historiography - Miriam Cabre
'voil ma chançun a la gent fere oïr': An Anglo-Norman Crusade Appeal (London, BL Harley 1717, fol. 251v) - Anna Radaelli
Richard the Lionheart: The Background to 'Ja nus homs pris' - Charmaine Lee
Charles of Anjou: Crusaders and Poets - Jean Dunbabin
Remembering the Crusaders in Cyprus: the Lusignans, the Hospitallers and the 1191 Conquest of Cyprus in Jean d'Arras's Mélusine - Helen J Nicholson