Skip to content

The Rothelin Continuation of Eracles

Named after the owner of the principal manuscript in the eighteenth century, Abbé Rothelin, this continuation survives in twelve manuscripts, all of which originate in northern France, possibly in or near Soissons. The Rothelin begins in the year 1229 with a description of the city of Jerusalem that appears to draw heavily on La Citez de Jherusalem, a early thirteenth-century text describing the condition of the city when Saladin captured it in 1187. After a series of chapters dealing with such disparate topics as the Prophecy of the Son of Agap, the family history of Saladin, the Assassins, and the treacheries of the Emperor Frederick II of Germany, the Rothelin then jumps ahead to the expedition of Count Theobald of Champagne in 1239. It follows the Count's campaign from the departure from Marseille until the defeat near Gaza in 1240, then moves ahead to 1249 and the crusade of King Louis IX of France. Although the text eventually returns to the events of Louis' crusade, the narrative often strays off to recount short stories that take heroic figures like Alexander the Great as their subject, before ending in 1261 with the expulsion of Christian pilgrims from Jerusalem.

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 9083.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 22495.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 22496-7.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 24209.
Città del Vaticano, BAV, Reg. Lat. 737.
Turin, BN, L. I. 5 xve

Shirley, Janet, (editor). Crusader Syria in the Thirteenth Century. The Rothelin Continuation of the History of William of Tyre with part of the Eracles or Acre text. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1999.

Secondary Literature
Morgan, M.R. "The Rothelin Continuation of William of Tyre.” In Outremer: Studies presented to Joshua Prawer. Edited by B. Z. Kedar (Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Inst: Jerusalem, 1982), 244-257.