List of sources for the Crusades

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The following is a list of primary sources for the Crusades.

First Crusade (1096-1099)

Western sources

Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
Various correspondences between 1088 and 1100 1088–1100 Letters by e.g. Stephen II, Count of Blois, Anselm of Ribemont, Patriarch of Jerusalem ed. H. Hagenmeyer, Epistulae et chartae ad historiam primi belli sacri spectantes: Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren 1088–1100. Innsbruck, 1902; tr. The First Crusade. The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, ed. A. C. Krey. Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1958.
anonymous author associated with Bohemond Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum c. 1100x1106 Latin chronicle of the First Crusade (1095-1099), a source used by many medieval historians, including Guibert of Nogent, Fulcher of Chartres, and Baldric of Bourgueil. Likely based on a lost text or texts, also used by Tudebode. ed. and tr. Rosalind Hill, Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum. Oxford, 1967.
Peter Tudebode, priest from Poitou Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere History of the First Crusade, including an eye-witness account of the Siege of Antioch tr. John H. Hill and Laurita L. Hill, Petrus Tudebodus, Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society 101. Philadelphia, 1974.
Ralph of Caen Gesta Tancredi ed. Bernard S. Bachrach and David S. Bachrach, The Gesta Tancredi of Ralph of Caen: A History of the Normans on the First Crusade. Ashgate Publishing, 2005.
Raymond of Aguilers Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem 1099 x1100 The history is in part an eyewitness account, as Raymond, chaplain of Raymond IV of Toulouse, followed the Provençal army of crusaders to Jerusalem; yet it was based to some extent on the Gesta Francorum tr. John Hugh Hill and Laurita L. Hill. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1968.
Guibert of Nogent Dei gesta per Francos 1107 x 1108 Narrative of the First Crusade, based in part the Gesta Francorum tr. Robert Levine, The Deeds of God through the Franks: A Translation of Guibert de Nogent's 'Gesta Dei per Francos'. 1997.
Robert the Monk c. 1116 A history of the First Crusade, which purports to be a stylistically superior version of the Gesta Francorum. It includes an account of the Council of Clermont
Albert of Aix Historia Ierosolimitana 1125 x 1150, Rhineland Latin work in 12 books on the First Crusade, from the Council of Clermont, and later events up to 1121. ed. and tr. Susan B. Edgington, Albert of Aachen: Historia Ierosolimitana, History of the Journey to Jerusalem. Oxford: Oxford Medieval Texts, 2007.
Fulcher of Chartres a chronicle/history 1127 or later A history of the First Crusade and the events following (1095-1127), which is somewhat partisan to Godfrey of Bouillon and the house of Boulogne. Sources include the Gesta Francorum. ed. Harold S. Fink and tr. Francis Rita Ryan, Fulcher of Chartres, A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, 1095-1127. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessy Press, 1969.
Baldric of Dol Historiae Hierosolymitanae
Ekkehard of Aura (d. 1126) Ekkehard was an eyewitness of the Crusade of 1101. tr. W. Pflüger, Die Chronik des Ekkehard von Aura. Leipzig, 1893.
William of Tyre (d. 1186) Historia 1170 x 1184 History in 23 books, covering a period from the 7th century to early 1184, but above all a history of the Crusades. For events prior to 1127, sources include Fulcher of Chartres, Albert of Aix, Raymond of Aguilers, Baldric of Dol and the Gesta Francorum. ed. R.B.C. Huygens, Willemi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi Chronicon. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Medievalis 38. Turnholt: Brepols, 1986; tr. E.A. Babcock and A.C. Krey, William of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea. Columbia University Press, 1943.
Ernoul, squire of Balian of Ibelin Chronicle late 12th century chronicle dealing with the fall of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
Zimmern Chronicle 16th-century chronicle which includes some legendary material.


Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
Marcabru fl. 1130-1150 troubadour

Crusade cycle, Old French cycle of chansons de geste concerning the First Crusade and its aftermath:

Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
anonymous Chanson d'Antioche c 1180 a chanson de geste on the First Crusade, notably the Siege of Antioch (1097-8) and Jerusalem (1099). The earliest version survives in an edition by Graindor de Douai.
anonymous Chanson de Jérusalem late 12th century a chanson de geste on the First Crusade, notably the Siege of Jerusalem (1099). It was edited by Graindor de Douai.

Byzantine sources

Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
Anna Comnena The Alexiad c. 1148 Byzantine biographical text on the reign of Anna's father Emperor Alexius I (r. 1081-1118)
Matthew of Edessa Zhamanakagrutyun c. 1113 x 1140 Matthew was an Armenian historian who wrote a chronicle in a dialect of Western Armenian. It covers the years 952-1136 and was continued by one Gregory the Priest up to 1162.
John (Ioannes) Zonaras The Extracts from History c. post 1118 World Chronicle from the Creation up to 1118, with a short, but important description of the First Crusade

Arab sources

Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
Ali ibn Tahir al-Sulami (d. 1106) Kitab al-Jihad ("The Book of Jihad") 1105 Scholar from Damascus who was the first to preach jihad against the crusaders in the aftermath of the First Crusade.
Ibn al-Qalanisi (d. 1160) Dhail/Mudhayyal Ta'rikh Dimashq or the (Continuation of the) Chronicle of Damascus mid-12th century Chronicle by Arab politician and historian in Damascus, which covers the period between 1056 to 1160, continuing the chronicle of Hilal al-Sabi' (d. 1056). An influential work in Arab historiography, it was cited by Ibn al-Athir, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi and Abu Shama (among others). tr. in The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades, Extracted and Translated from the Chronicle of Ibn al-Qalanisi. H.A.R. Gibb, 1932 (reprinted by Dover Publications, 2002)
Ibn al-Athir (d. 1233) The Complete History or al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh c. 1231

Hebrew sources

Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
Solomon bar Simson Chronicle
Eliezer bar Nathan Chronicle
Mainz Anonymous

Second Crusade (1145/7-1149)

Author Work Date and provenance Description Editions and translations
Odo of Deuil De profectione Ludovici VII in Orientem Odo participated in the Second Crusade as the chaplain of Louis VII of France