Letter from Ansell, Cantor of the Holy Sepulchre to Gerbert, Bishop of Paris, and Stephen, Archdeacon of Paris 1120

Bibliographic Information


Medieval Title:



Ansell, Cantor of the Holy Sepulchre


1120, Latin



Textual Information


Brief Summary:

In this letter, Ansell writes to Paris from Jerusalem seeking to form an alliance between his and Gerbert’s congregations. As part of this desire, Ansell has sent Gerbert a cross which he states has been made from the wood of the True Cross. He details the making of the True Cross, breaking down the sections of the cross and the wood from which each was made. He explains that the cross being sent to Gerbert was made from two different pieces of the True Cross: the piece which supported Christ’s body and the piece which supported the cross. Additionally, Ansell explains what he knows of the process of removing pieces of the True Cross, stating that the Cross was cut into small pieces so that it could not be burnt by the Saracens.


Relics Appearing in Text:



Manuscripts, Editions, and Translations




List of Editions of the Medieval Text: 

Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Latina. Vol 162. Edited by J. P. Minge, 729-32. Paris, 1889.

Available online: https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs18unkngoog/page/n4/mode/2up

List of Translations of the Medieval Text: 

Letter 12. Ansell, Cantor of the Holy Sepulchre, to Gerbert, Bishop of Parish, and Stephen, Archdeacon of Paris (1120). Jerusalem.” In Letters from the East: Crusaders, Pilgrims and Settlers in the 12th-13th Centuries. Translated by Malcolm Barber and Keith Bate, 39-42. Burlington: Ashgate, 2010.



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