Frederick Barbarossa's Crusade has been related by four contemporaries, all of whom took part in the expedition. Of Ansbert nothing is known except that he appears to have been a priest, and certainly accompanied the emperor's army on its march all the way from the borders of Hungary to the banks of the Cydnus. Ansbert's "Historia de Expeditione Frederici Imperatoris" was discovered in the year 1824 by Joseph Dietrich, in later life the director of the Catholic School at Leipzig.

In the course of the preceding century it had been stolen or lost from the library to which it belonged and had fallen into the hands of certain Jews, who sold it to a surgeon at Postelberg in Bohemia. This surgeon had already begun to destroy the MS., when Dietrich heard of its existence and communicated his discovery to Joseph Dobrowsky. Dobrowsky recognised the MS. from his friend's description, secured it from destruction, and published it at Prague in 1827. The MS. in question appears to date from the late twelfth or early thirteenth century.


Wolff (R. L.), "The Crusades of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI", in Setton, A History of the Crusades, volume, II, University of Wisconsin Press, 1969, pp. 86-122.

Freed (J.), Frederick Barbarossa: The Prince and the Myth, Yale University Press, 2016.