Chronicle of Ernoul

The monumental Historia de rebus transmarinis in which William of Tyre traces the history of the Latin Kingdom of the East from the days of the first Crusade, breaks of abruptly at the end of 1183, three years and a half before the battle of Hittin. William's great work, the historical masterpiece of medieval literature, was written in Latin; but the theme was of such surpassing interest that before forty years had passed away it was continued by a certain Ernoul, who, in his early life, had been squire to the great Palestine Lord, Balian of Ibelin. Under the direction of this Ernoul, who had shared in the romantic adventures of his liege before the battle of Nazareth (May, 1 187), the story of the Kingdom was carried on from the point where William ceases to about the year 1228.

This continuation is written in French and, thus, is the first attempt at telling the story of one of the great kingdoms of Latin Christendom in its own tongue without the aid of rhyme. Of Ernoul nothing more is known ; but his histoiy, though full of a most romantic charm, such as attaches to no other historical work of the time, is strictly speaking the work of a contemporary, and, in its French sympathies, is a priceless reflection of the anti-English sentiment that seems to have actuated most of the warriors of the third ciusade.


Morgan(M. R.), The Chronicle of Ernoul and the Continuations of William of Tyre, Oxford University Press, 1973.

Pringle (D.), Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, 1187–1291, New York, 2012.