Memoirs of the Crusades by Villehardouin, De Joinville (1911)


Memoirs of the Crusades by Villehardouin, De Joinville (1911)


Title: Memoirs of the Crusades

Author: Villehardouin, De Joinville, Frank Marzials (trans)

Publisher: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1911.

Condition: Hardcover, cloth. Pocket size. Fair. Noticeable wear to covers, sparse annotations in pencil throughout, slight soiling to top edge of first few pages, text unaffected. Binding tight, pages clean. A good reading copy.

SKU: memoirs-crusades Categories: , ,

Two contemporaneous accounts of the Fourth and Seventh Crusades.

About Villehardouin (from Wikipedia):

Geoffroi de Villehardouin (c. 1150–c. 1213-1218) was a knight and historian who participated in and chronicled the Fourth Crusade. He is considered one of the most important historians of the time period, best known for writing the eyewitness account De la Conquête de Constantinople (On the Conquest of Constantinople), about the battle for Constantinople between the Christians of the West and the Christians of the East on 13 April 1204. The Conquest is the earliest French historical prose narrative that has survived to modern times. Ηis full title was: “Geoffroi of Villehardouin, Marshal of Champagne and of Romania”.

After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 1204 he served as a military leader, and led the retreat from the Battle of Adrianople in 1205 after Baldwin I was captured by the forces of the Second Bulgarian Empire. In recognition of his services, Boniface of Montferrat gave to Geoffroi the city of Messinopolis in Thrace. After the Crusade, he was named Marshal of the Latin Empire.

In 1207 Geoffroi began to write his chronicle of the Crusade, On the Conquest of Constantinople. It was in French rather than Latin, making it one of the earliest works of French prose. Villehardouin’s account is generally read alongside that of Robert of Clari, a French knight of low station, Niketas Choniates, a high-ranking Byzantine official and historian who gives an eyewitness account, and Gunther of Pairis, a Cistercian monk who tells the story from the perspective of Abbot Martin who accompanied the Crusaders.

About Joinville (from Wikipedia):

Jean de Joinville (c. May 1, 1224 – 24 December 1317) was one of the great chroniclers of medieval France. He is most famous for writing the Life of Saint Louis, a biography of Louis IX of France that chronicled the Seventh Crusade.

In 1241, he accompanied Theobald to the court of the king of France, Louis IX (the future Saint Louis). In 1244, when Louis organized the Seventh Crusade, Joinville decided to join with the Christian knights just as his father had done 35 years earlier against the Albigensians. At the time of the crusade, Joinville placed himself in the service of the king and became his counsellor and confidant. In 1250, when the king and his troops were captured by the Mameluks in the Battle of Al Mansurah, Joinville, among the captives, participated in the negotiations and the collection of the ransom. Joinville probably brought himself even closer to the king in the difficult times that followed the failure of the crusade (including the death of his brother Robert, Count of Artois). It was Joinville who advised the king to stay in the Holy Land instead of returning immediately to France as the other lords had wanted; the king followed Joinville’s advice. During the following four years spent in the Holy Land Joinville was the constant advisor to the king, who knew that he could count on Joinville’s frankness and absolute devotion.

In 1270, Louis IX, although very weakened physically, undertook a new crusade with his three sons. Any enthusiasm Joinville had for the previous crusade had been knocked out of him, and he refused to follow Louis, recognizing the uselessness of the enterprise and convinced that the duty of the king was not to leave the kingdom that needed him. In fact, the expedition was a disaster and the king died outside Tunis on August 25, 1270.

From 1271, the papacy carried out a long inquest on the subject of Louis IX, which ended with his canonization, announced in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII. As Joinville had been a close friend of the king, his counselor and his confidant, his testimony was invaluable to the inquest, where he appeared as a witness in 1282.

At the request of Jeanne of Navarre, the queen, he began work on the Histoire de Saint Louis, which he completed in 1309. Joinville died on 24 December 1317, over 93 years old, nearly fifty years after the death of Louis.