Robert the Monk's history of the First Crusade (1095-99), which was probably completed c. 1110, was in the nature of a medieval "bestseller", proving by far the most popular narrative of the crusade's events; the number of surviving manuscript copies far exceeds those of the many other accounts of the crusades written in the early decades of the twelfth century, when literary retellings of the crusaders' exploits were much in vogue. This volume presents the first critical edition to be published since the 1860s, grounded in a close study of the more than 80 manuscripts of the text that survive in libraries and archives across Europe. In their detailed introduction the editors explore the vexed problem of the author's identity, as well as the date of the text, its manuscript transmission, and the reasons for its success, for example among monasteries belonging to the Cistercian order in southern Germany. Damien Kempf is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Liverpool; Marcus Bull is Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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