Chronicle of Ernoul

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Chronique d’Ernoul

(c. late 12th century)

A chronicle describing the fall of Jerusalem. Little is known about Ernoul except that he was a squire to Balian of Ibelin in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Old French.

A cel tans, n’avoit nul soudain en Egypte, ains i avoit .i. siergant c’on apieloit Mulane. […] Celle Mulane, quant il oy que li Crestiien estoient entré en sa tiere, et qu'il avoient assegié Damiete, si manda au roi de Nubie qu'il le venist secourre; et il i vint. Et si manda, en le tiere de Damas, Sarrasins, qu'il venissent à lui en saudées; et il i vinrent. Et quant li rois de Jherusalem oï dire que si grans gens venoient sour lui, si n'osa demorer; ains se leva del siège, si s'en revint en le tiere de Jherusalem. Et quant li rois s’en fu partis dou siège, li Mulane paia moût bien ses sodoiiers et moût largement donna as Sarrasins ki l'avoient secouru. Et lor donna encore plus assés qu'il ne lor avoit en convent, tant qu'il s'en loerent. Et li Mulane les en mercia moût, et lor donna congiet d'aler ariere en lor tieres; et il si fisent.

(At that time, there was no Sultan in Egypt, rather there was a servant who was called Mulane.<ref>A term derived from Arabic mawlanā, litt. “our Lord/Master”, a title widely used in the Middle Ages to designate Muslim rulers and leaders. </ref> [...] This Mulane, when he heard that the Christians had entered his land and had besieged Damietta, asked the king of Nubia to come and help him; and he came. And he asked, in the land of Damascus, some Saracens to come to him as mercenaries; and they came. When the king of Jerusalem [Amaury] was informed that so many people were coming against him, he did not dare to remain but raised the siege and came back to the land of Jerusalem. Once the king had left the siege, the Mulane paid his mercenaries very well and gave a lot [of money] to the Saracens who had come to help him. He gave them even more than [the sum] agreed upon, so much that they congratulated themselves on this [payment]. The Mulane thanked them a lot for this and gave them permission to go back to their lands, which they did.)


Selected Editions

Chronique d'Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier, ed. M. L. de Las Matrie (Paris, 1871)