Ricardus explicit: An elusive marginal note on the earliest manuscript of the Libellus de expugnatione Terrae Sanctae per Saladinum

Keagan Brewer, James H. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 1875, Joseph Stevenson published his Rolls Series edition of the Libellus de
expugnatione Terrae Sanctae per Saladinum, an anonymous eyewitness account
of S. alāh. al-Dīn’s conquest of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187.The base manuscript for this edition was London, British Library, Cotton MS. Cleopatra B. I, fols 2r–23r, the earliest extant copy of the text, which was produced at the Cistercian abbey at Coggeshall in the early thirteenth century.As James Willoughby has shown, one of the most striking features of the Cleopatra manuscript of the Libellus is the unmistakeable change of hand between folios 18r and 18v , immediately after the chapter describing how Salāh. al-Dīn’s triumphant forces removed the golden cross from the pinnacle of the Dome of the Rock and dragged it through the streets of Jerusalem.This marks the precise point at which the text ceases to be a narrative in the author’s own distinctive voice and instead becomes a chain of excerpts from the Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi, a work that is often attributed to Richard de Templo, prior of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, from 1222 to 1248 or 1250.Recent scholarship on the Libellus has concluded that this continuation was compiled at Coggeshall either by or under the supervision of Ralph, abbot from 1207 to 1218, whose Chronicon Anglicanum features material from the Libellus in its entry for the year 1187.5
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-380
Number of pages7
JournalMedium Ævum
Volume89
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Ricardus Explicit
  • Marginal Note
  • Manuscript

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