ABSTRACT

Walter the Chancellor's vivid first-hand account of the wars between the Muslims and the principality of Antioch in the early 12th century describes a less well-known period in the history of the Crusades, and provides a useful counterpart to the usual focus on Jerusalem. It is here presented for the first time in English, along with a selection of comparative sources and an important introduction assessing the work's place in the historiography of the Crusader states, and analysing the military campaigns it details. As a highly-placed Antiochene official, Walter was able to write the most authoritative account of the principality's fortunes and internal workings, and his book also sheds light on the relationship between Latin settlement in the Levant and contemporary Western perceptions of Islam and Eastern Christianity.

Contents: Introduction; Walter’s subject matter; Walter as a historian; Our knowledge of Walter; Historiographical background; Walter’s purpose in writing The Antiochene Wars; Roger of Salerno; Baldwin of Le Bourcq; Bernard of Valence, patriarch of Antioch; The historical value of Walter’s account; Walter and the early history of the principality of Antioch; Walter as a military source; The depiction of Islam and eastern Christendom; Walter’s attitude to religion and piety; Summary; Walter the Chancellor’s The Antiochene Wars: Book One; Book Two; Other Texts: Fulcher of Chartres; Albert of Aachen; Matthew of Edessa; Orderic Vitalis; William of Tyre; Charter (a); Charter (b); Bibliography.