|About the Book|
An English translation based primarily on an Armenian translation of a Latin translation of an Old French text, with excerpts from a corrected Old English text (Hayton, F. A lytell cronycle: Richard Pynsons translation (c 1520) of La fleur desMoreAn English translation based primarily on an Armenian translation of a Latin translation of an Old French text, with excerpts from a corrected Old English text (Hayton, F. A lytell cronycle: Richard Pynsons translation (c 1520) of La fleur des histoires de la terre dOrient (c 1307). Ed. Glenn Burger. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988. Print.)From the Translators Preface:The Flower of Histories of the East first appeared in 1307 in the city of Poitiers. Dictated in French by the Cilician Armenian statesman and general, Hetum, and then translated into Latin the same year by his secretary, Nicholas Falcon, the work is contained in four books. Book I is a geographical survey of fourteen countries of the Far East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, and parts of the Near East. Book II is a brief account of Muslim military history, including the rise of the Saljuqs and Khwarazmians. Book III, the longest, describes the early history of the Mongols, information on the Great Khans, the Il-Khans of Iran, and Mongol warfare in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus to ca. 1304. Book IV contains Hetums suggestions to Pope Clement V (1305-14) on initiating a crusade to retake Jerusalem and parts of Cilician Armenia, Lebanon and Syria from Muslim powers, using the combined forces of the Europeans, Cilician Armenians and Mongols. Some scholars have suggested that Book IV was not part of the original French composition, but was added to the Latin translation and then translated into French and appended to the French text. Without Book IV, Hetums work is an interesting account of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mongol history and geography, to be categorized with accounts of 13th century European visitors to the East. With Book IV, Hetums History enters the ranks of Crusader literature, but with the difference that its author, rather than being a pious and limited cleric, was instead a successful and influential general and tactician who had participated with his troops in numerous Mongol campaigns against the Mamluks.The entire translated text is in the public domain and freely available online at the translators website, History Workshop.