On 16 September 2022, Professor R.B.C Huygens, until 1997 professor of Medieval Latin at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands), passed away at the age of 90. What Professor Huygens has achieved as a text editor is generally acknowledged to be the nec plus ultra, to quote the motto printed on his obituary. With his passing a magister of the ars edendi has undoubtedly been taken from us.
The Chronicle of the Crusader States, written by William, Archbishop of Tyre ( d. 1186), has always been considered as one of the most outstanding historical and literary Latin works of the Middle Ages. Eight centuries after the death of the author, the publishers of the Continuatio Mediaevalis have the pleasure of announcing the appearance of the first critical edition of his monumental, most important and only surviving work, thanks to the combined efforts of Professor H. E. Mayer and Dr G. Rösch (Kiel), and Professor R .B. C. Huygens (Leiden). This new edition replaces the one published in Vol. I of the Recueil des Historiens des Croisades (1844) which, in spite of the great services it has rendered, hardly constituted an improvement upon the text printed by Bongars in his Gesta dei per Francos (1611). It contains numerous sentences or parts of sentences left out in all but one of the MSS., and the already famous autobiographical Chapter XIX, 12, equally important for our knowledge of William's own early life and of (especially French) higher education in the XIIth century; it provides a critical apparatus, identification of literary and historical sources and textual parallels, and in its margins gives references to the pages of the Recueil and dates of events mentioned in the text. There is an extensive Index of proper names, a Subject Index, a list of functions and titles and one of Documents inserted in the text or referred to in the notes: no efforts have been spared to provide the reader, bath historian and philologist, with. a solid base on which to continue his studies. The Introduction comprises a long section on William's often rather striking Latinity, serving both as a collection of materials in usum editorum and as an explanation why certain readings have or have not been adopted in the text. An extensive English summary of this Introduction has been published separately in Sacris Erudiri 27 (1984), p. 461-473, under the title: "Editing William of Tyre".