Between parson and poet: a re-examination of the Latin 'Continuation' of William of Tyre

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Although historians of the crusades and the Latin East are familiar with the Old French translation and continuations of William of Tyre’s Historia, very little has ever been written about the narrative of the Third Crusade generally known as ‘the Latin Continuation of William of Tyre’. This article re-examines the probable date and sources of the Continuatio. Challenging long-standing assumptions about when the Continuatio was written and where the continuator drew his information from, it argues that the evidence points to an original date of composition in the early thirteenth century, not c.1194, as is commonly believed, and that the continuator used Roger of Howden’s Chronica, not his Gesta, as a principal written source. Furthermore, analysis of numerous parallels between the Continuatio and the vernacular Estoire de la guerre sainte attributed to the poet Ambroise reveals a possible relationship between the two texts that has hitherto gone largely unnoticed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56–82
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Crusades
  • William of Tyre
  • Third Crusade
  • Medieval historiography
  • Roger of Howden
  • Ambroise
  • Richard the Lionheart


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