Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
III: The Epic Cycle of the Crusades, pp. 98-115 PDF (6.7 MB)
112 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES he becomes master of all Egypt through the assassination of his overlord the Amulaine. At first, he makes little headway against young king Baldwin, who is ably assisted by three powerful lords, Baldwin of Falkenberg, count of Ramla, his brother Balian, count of Tripoli, and Reginald of Châtillon, castellan of Kerak. Unfortunately the young king is stricken with leprosy and cannot prevent Reginald from violating a truce both sides had promised to respect. Saladin besieges Kerak. King Baldwin manages to raise the siege and renew the truce. Soon afterward he dies without having named a successor.'3 In the closing lines of part two of Cycle I reference is made to another poem in which the taking of Acre will be recounted, as well as the founding of the military orders. Part three does contain an account of the siege and capture of Acre, but nothing is said of the first appearance of either the Knights Templar or the Knights Hospitaller. As may be gathered from the summary given above, part three of Cycle I presents a very fanciful, yet not entirely unhistorical, recital of what took place in the Holy Land between the battle of Ascalon and the death of Baldwin IV. Godfrey of Bouillon's marriage to the fictitious Florie and the conversion of her supposed brother Corbaran are, of course, examples of unbridled fantasy. The drastic pruning down of the family tree of the kings of Jerusalem is worth noting: Godfrey's two immediate successors, his brother Baldwin I and his cousin Baldwin II, are telescoped into just one Baldwin; Baldwin II's son-in-law Fulk of Anjou and the latter's two sons, Baldwin III and Amairic, are replaced by the still more composite Amairic of Auxerre. Despite his disappearance from the roster of kings, Baldwin of Le Bourg is reborn as Baldwin of Sebourc, who will become the second husband of Ida, the supposed widow of Amairic of Auxerre. Baldwin II's eldest daughter, Melisend, and his youngest, Yvette, are now named Ida and Beatrice. Although it is historically true that Yvette was as a small child for a time a hostage in the hands of the Saracens, it is unlikely that she was sexually molested by them during her captivity, but it is indeed a fact that she later became a nun, abbess of Bethany. One may safely assume that patriarch Heraclius, who in the 1180's had for mistress the notorious Pasque de Riveti (Madame la Patriarchesse) and was rumored to have instigated the poisoning of William of Tyre, was the prototype of the nonhistorical patriarch Heraclius stated to have 13. For a detailed summary and analysis of part three of Cycle I see Emile Roy, "Les Poèmes francais relatifs a la premiere croisade: le poème de 1356 et ses sources," Romania, LV (1929), 411—468.
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