William of Tyre
: "This article is about the Archbishop/historian from the 1100s. For the Cyprus-based historian who wrote in the 1300s, see
Templar of Tyre."Infobox Person
name = William of Tyre
caption =William of Tyre writing his history, from a 13th century Old French translation,
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, MS 2631, f.1r
birth_date = 1130
birth_place = Jerusalem
death_date = death date|1185|09|29
death_place = Tyre
known_for = Medieval Chronicler
occupation = Bishop
William of Tyre (c. 1130 – 1185) was
archbishop of Tyreand a chroniclerof the Crusades and the Middle Ages.
William of Tyre was born in
Jerusalemaround 1130, one of the second generation of children born to the children of the original European Crusaders in the new Kingdom of Jerusalem. His parents were probably French or Italian in origin, possibly Normansfrom Sicily. He had a brother named Ralph who was probably a merchant in the kingdom, and the family was certainly non-noble. As a child he was educated in Jerusalem, especially in Latinbut also perhaps in Greek and Arabic, and it is possible that one of his fellow pupils was the future king Baldwin III. He entered the church at an early age, and around 1146 went to Europe to continue his studies. He studied liberal artsand theologyin Parisand Orleansfor about ten years, with professors who had been students of Thierry of Chartresand Gilbert de la Porrée; he also spent time studying under Robert of Melunand Adam de Parvo Ponte, among others. He also studied the classicswith Hilary of Orleans, and mathematics("especially Euclid") with William of Soissons. For six years, he studied theology with Peter Lombardand Maurice de Sully. Afterwards, he studied civil law and canon lawin Bologna, with the " Four Doctors", Hugolinus de Porta Ravennate, Bulgarus, Martinus Gosia, and Jacob de Boraigne.
Religious and political life in Jerusalem
After his return to the
Holy Landin 1165 he became canon of the cathedral at Acre, and in 1167 was appointed archdeaconof the cathedral of Tyre by King Amalric I. In 1168 he was sent on a diplomatic mission for Amalric to the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus, to finalize the treaty made between the two rulers for a joint campaign against Egypt. In 1169 he visited Rometo answer accusations made against him by Frederick de la Roche, the archbishop of Tyre; the charge is unknown but was perhaps related to William's rather large income as archdeacon, which he presumably gained through his friendship with the king.
On his return from Rome in 1170 he became the tutor of Amalric's son and heir, Baldwin IV. It was William who discovered that Baldwin suffered from
leprosy, although the diagnosis only became certain as the boy neared puberty. Around this time William began writing his history of the kingdom, under the patronage of Amalric. Unfortunately Amalric died prematurely in 1174, and Baldwin IV succeeded as king. Raymond III of Tripoli, regent for the young king, named William chancellor of Jerusalem, as well as archdeacon of Nazareth. On June 6, 1175, William became archbishop of Tyre, gaining control over the most important matters of both Church and State. In 1177 he performed the funeral services for William of Montferrat, Baldwin IV's brother-in-law, when the Patriarch of Jerusalem was too sick to attend.
In 1179, William was one of the delegates from Outremer who attended the
Third Council of the Lateran; among the others was Heraclius, archbishop of Caesarea, Joscius, bishop of Acre and William's future successor in Tyre, the bishops of Sebastea, Bethlehemand Tripoli, and the abbot of Mount Sion. However, they were not of sufficient weight to persuade the Pope of the need for a new crusade. William was recruited by Pope Alexander IIIto engage in diplomatic matters with Emperor Manuel, and then returned home in 1180. He clearly considered himself the obvious choice for the patriarchate when the ailing patriarch finally died, but in his absence the royal court had become bitterly divided into two factions.
By Easter 1180, the King and his mother
Agnes of Courtenayfoiled an attempt by Raymond III of Tripoli and Bohemond III of Antiochto marry the King's widowed sister Sibylla to Baldwin of Ibelin, a noble of their party. Sibylla was instead married off to a Poitevin newcomer, Guy of Lusignan, whose older brother Amalric of Lusignan was already an established figure at court. This seems to have hardened the factional lines within the court.
When the Patriarch died on October 6, 1180, the contest for his successor was between William and Heraclius of Caesarea. They were fairly evenly matched in background and education, although William had played a larger political role as the King's tutor and chancellor. It seems that, following the precedent of the 1157 patriarchal election, the King delegated the decision to his mother Agnes, now wife of
Reginald of Sidon. She chose Heraclius, since William was closer to Raymond of Tripoli, then in disfavour. As Bernard Hamilton has noted, there is no reason to credit the rumours that Heraclius was Agnes's lover as more than a reflection of the grudges held by the defeated party.
William remained archbishop of Tyre and chancellor of the kingdom, and the King and Raymond were reconciled. Heraclius possibly excommunicated William in 1184, but this may have been an invention of the 13th century writer who first claimed it. In any case his importance had ceased by the accession of Baldwin V in 1185, by which time he was probably in failing health. The date of William's death was later recorded as September 29, but the year is unknown; there was a new chancellor in May of 1185 and a new archbishop of Tyre by October of 1186, so 1185 seems to be the most reasonable date.
William himself reports that he wrote an account of the Lateran Council which he attended, as well as a "Historia" or "Gesta orientalium principum" dealing with the history of the Holy Land from time of
Muhammaduntil 1184. However, neither of these works have survived.
His great work is a chronicle of twenty-three unfinished books. The work begins with the conquest of
Syriaby Umar, but most of it deals with the advent of the First Crusadeand the subsequent political history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Although he used older works, including chronicles of the First Crusadesuch as Fulcher of Chartresand other, unnamed sources, the work is also valuable as a primary source itself. It was widely translated and circulated throughout Europe after William's death. James of Vitryand Matthew Parishad copies of it and used it in their own chronicles. A translation into Old French was particularly well-circulated and had many anonymous additions made to it in the 13th century, including the so-called chronicle of Ernoul; one Renaissanceauthor translated the Old French version back into Latin, unaware that a Latin original already existed. A Middle Englishtranslation of the Old French version was made by William Caxtonin the 15th century.
It is unknown what title William himself gave it, but the most usual title given to it in recent history is "Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum". This was translated as "History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea" in the standard English edition by E. A. Babcock and A. C. Krey, published in 1943. The Latin original was published in various places including the "
Patrologia Latina" and the " Recueil des historiens des croisades", but the now standard Latin critical edition was published as "Willelmi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi Chronicon" in the " Corpus Christianorum" in 1986, edited by R. B. C. Huygens.
*William of Tyre, "A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea", trans. E.A. Babcock and A.C. Krey.
Columbia University Press, 1943
*"Willemi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi Chronicon", ed. R. B. C. Huygens. Turnholt, 1986.
*R. B. C. Huygens, "Guillaume de Tyr étudiant," "Latomus" 21 (1962): 811-829.
*Bernard Hamilton, "The Leper King and his Heirs",
Cambridge University Press, 2000.
*Peter W. Edbury and John G. Rowe, "William of Tyre: Historian of the Latin East".
Cambridge University Press, 1988.
* [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/tyre-cde.html Excerpts from the "Historia"]
* [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/tyre-damascus.html Fiasco at Damascus 1148]
* [http://colet.lib.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/navigate?/projects/artflb/databases/efts/PLD/IMAGE1/.5452 Latin version] from the
* [http://thelatinlibrary.com/williamtyre.html Latin version] from
The Latin Library
* [http://www.crusades-encyclopedia.com/latinsourcewilliamoftyre.html Latin version] from Crusades-Encyclopedia.com
* [http://www.intratext.com/X/LAT0901.HTM Latin version with concordance] from Intertext.com
* [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/GuillaumeTyr1.html Old French translation and continuation] from
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
William of Tyre — • Archbishop of Tyre and historian (1130 1190) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 … Catholic encyclopedia
William of Tyre — ▪ French Syrian historian born c. 1130, Syria died September 29, 1186, Rome [Italy] Franco Syrian politician, churchman, and historian whose experiences in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem inspired him to write a history of medieval Palestine … Universalium
William of Tyre — Greatest of the Crusader historians, and among the greatest historians of the Middle Ages. He was Amalric I s ambassador to Manuel I (qq.v.) in 1168, and subsequently archbishop of Tyre, and chancellor of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. His… … Historical dictionary of Byzantium
Tyre — may refer to: * The outer part of a wheel, see tireLocations *Tyre, Lebanon, the Phoenician city *Tyre, New York, a town in the United States *Tyre, Michigan, a hamlet in the United StatesHistorical events * Siege of Tyre, battle in 332 BC *… … Wikipedia
William — may refer to:*William (name), a masculine given nameRoyaltyBritish*William I of England (1027 1087), a.k.a. William the Conqueror, William the Bastard *William II of England (1056 1100), a.k.a. William Rufus *William I of Scotland (c. 1142 1214) … Wikipedia
William of Montferrat, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon — William of Montferrat (early 1140s 1177), also called William Longsword (modern Italian Guglielmo Lungaspada, originally Occitan Guilhem Longa Espia), was the Count of Jaffa and Ascalon, the eldest son of William V, Marquess of Montferrat and… … Wikipedia
William IV, Count of Nevers — William IV, Count of Nevers, (c. 1130 Acre, 24 October, 1168) Count of Nevers, Auxerre and Tonnerre (1161 1168). Family William was a son of William III, Count of Nevers and Ida of Sponheim. He was an older brother of his successor Guy, Count of… … Wikipedia
Tyre — • Melchite archdiocese and Maronite diocese Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Tyre Tyre † … Catholic encyclopedia
William V, Marquess of Montferrat — William V of Montferrat (occ./piem. Guilhem , it. Guglielmo ) (c. 1115 ndash; 1191), also known as William the Old to distinguish him from his eldest son, William Longsword, was marquess of Montferrat from c. 1136 to his death in 1191. William… … Wikipedia
William Tranter — (1816 1890) was a British gunmaker and gun designer.His youth and early careerBorn in Oldbury near Birmingham, William Tranter was the eldest son of a blacksmith. Birmingham was for many years the centre of arms manufacture in England and in 1830 … Wikipedia