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Albert of Aix

Albert of Aix (fl. c. AD 1100), historian of the first crusade, was born during the later part of the 10th century, and afterwards became canon and custos of the church of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Nothing else is known of his life except that he was the author of a Historia Hierosolymitanae expeditionis, or Chronicon Hierosolymilanum de betto sacro, a work in twelve books, written between 1125 and 1150. This history begins at the time of the council of Clermont, deals with the fortunes of the first crusade and the earlier history of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, and ends somewhat abruptly in 1121.

It was well known during the middle ages, and was largely used by William, archbishop of Tyre, for the first six books of his Belli sacri historia. In modern times its historical value has been seriously impugned, but the verdict of the best scholarship seems to be that in general it forms a true record of the events of the first crusade, although containing some legendary matter. Albert never visited the Holy Land, but he appears to have had a considerable amount of intercourse with returned crusaders, and to have had access to valuable correspondence. The first edition of the history was published at Helmstadt in 1584, and a good edition is in the Recueil des historiens des croisades, tome iv. (Paris, 1841-1887).

See F Krebs, Zur Kritik Alberts von Aachen (Munster, 1881); B Kugler, Albert von Aachen (Stuttgart, 1885); M Pigeonneau, Le Cycle de la croisade et de la famille de Bouillon (Paris, 1877); H von Sybel, Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges (Leipzig, 1881); F Vercruysse, Essai critique sur la chronique d'Albert d'Aix (Liege, 1889).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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