History of Heraclius (The Eracles or Estoire d’Eracles) Open this page in a new tab

Helen Nicholson in Murray (2006: v. 2, p. 405) provides the following about History of Heraclius (aka The Eracles or Estoire d'Eracles):
The History of Heraclius is a Vulgar French translation and continuation of the history of William of Tyre by anonymous authors. The title 'History of Heraclius' refers to the start of William of Tyre’s history - when Byzantine emperor Heraclius (ruled 610–641) recaptured Jerusalem from the Persians and brought the 'True Cross' back to Jerusalem. The continuation recounts the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187 CE and the ensuing history of Outremer with some manuscripts going as far as 1277 CE. 49 manuscripts and its continuation survive but there is no critical edition. Two versions of the translation have been published - the so-called Colbert-Fontainebleau Eracles (in the series Recueil des Historiens des Croisades) and one by Paulin Paris. The anonymous translator (possibly working in the West between 1205 and 1234) and the composers of later versions made important adjustments and additions to William’s text, and there are significant differences between the various manuscripts. The continuations that follow the translation were assembled between 1220 and 1277 and added on to the translation. Forty-four of the manuscripts of the continuation for 1185–1229 record a version of events similar to that preserved in the Chronique d’Ernoul. The other five manuscripts, including the Colbert-Fontainebleau manuscripts, preserve different versions of events. All these continuations seem to reflect the political views of part of the Frankish nobility of Outremer. For the period 1229–1261, a variant version of Eracles exists in twelve manuscripts, known as the Rothelin Continuation, which was apparently composed in the West and reflects a Western viewpoint.