La Chanson d’Antioche

Bibliographic Information


Medieval Title: 

Chanson d’Antioche



Unknown; likely a product of compilation and reworking.

There is one textual reference to Richard the Pilgrim which links him to the production of a list of Saracen names in some pre-existing text. There is, in some manuscripts, a reference to Graindor de Douai, but Edgington and Sweetenham note of this that “we can say with certainty only that there was at least one previous version of the first part of the text and Graindor either commissioned someone to restore the proper beginning to the text or rewrote it himself”  (6). For a full discussion of what is known about the complex textual production history, see Edgington and Sweetenham’s translation, pp. 3-49.



Composed in first half of the thirteenth century; draws on and incorporates material from Albert of Aachen’s account of the first crusade (Historia Ierosolimitana), Robert the Monk’s account of the same (Historia Iherosolimitana), and some prior account, likely in the vernacular and maybe in prose, of the crusading deeds of the St-Pol family from Picardy.


Textual Information

Brief Summary:

The text is a creative account of the First Crusade written after the Crusade, in the form of vernacular poetry, specifically the epic chanson de geste genre. The Chanson d’Antioche  aimed to tell  stories of the heroes of the First Crusade and draw attention to the feats of ancestors of the French nobility.


Relics Appearing in Text:

Holy Lance


Manuscripts, Editions, and Translations


Some Key Manuscripts: 

Survives in 9 manuscripts, 2 fragments, and a prose summary (see Sweetenham and Edgington pp. 36-9 for a full list)

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français MS 12558 (base manuscript of Duparc-Quioc edition), s. xiii. mid-century

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français MS 786 (base manuscript of Nelson edition), s. xiii. 2nd half

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français MS 795

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français MS 1621

London, British Library, Additional MS 36615



List of Key Editions of the Medieval Text: 

La Chanson d’Antioche. Ed. Suzanne Duparc-Quioc.  2 vols. Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1976-78. Vol. 1 Édition; Vol. 2 Étude.

La Chanson d’Antioche. Ed. Jan A. Nelson. Vol. 4 of The Old French Crusade Cycle. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 2003.

La Chanson d’Antioche. Ed. Paulin Paris. Paris: Techener, 1848. (Sweetenham cautions against this edition as “highly selective and unreliable”; Available online at 


List of Translations of the Medieval Text: 

La Chanson d’Antioche : An Old French Account of the First Crusade. Trans. Susan Edgington and Carol Sweetenham.  Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011.




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