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Definition: Joinville, Jean, Sire de Joinville (c. 1224–c. 1317) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French historian, born in Champagne. He accompanied Louis IX on the crusade of 1248–54, which he described in his History of St Louis.


Memoirs of the Lord of Joinville

Summary Article: JEAN SIRE DE JOINVILLE (1224-1317)
from Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature

Jean Sire de Joinville (John of Joinville) is one of the most famous and successful writers of chronicles of the Crusades. His Life of St. Louis is representative of the zenith of French historical production, according to Indrikis Sterns. Joinville was born in 1224 to a French noble family. Both Jean's father and uncle had participated in earlier crusades. Jean served as King Louis IX's seneschal and accompanied Louis on two separate crusades, in 1248 and later in 1270. Louis had been captured during his first crusade and died during the second.

Joinville recounts the events surrounding the crusades and especially their impact on Louis and the nobles around him. He includes much information on the habits and clothing of the foreigners they meet. His text sometimes reads like memoirs and other times like a saint's life or the eulogy for a good friend. Joinville's interest in telling the deeds of Louis for the moral edification of his audience is probably his primary goal, but his work was warmly received both for the portrait of a saint it provided and for its descriptions of faraway mysterious lands, their peoples, and their customs.

  • Perret, Michele. “Histoire, nomination, reference.” LINX 32(1995), 173-88.
  • Shaw, M. R.B. Chronicles of the Crusades: Joinville and Villehardouin. Baltimore: Penguin, 1963.
  • Slattery, Maureen. Myth, Man, and Sovereign Saint: King Louis IX in Jean de Joinville's Sources. New York: Lang, 1985.
  • Smalley, Beryl. Historians in the Middle Ages. New York: Scribner's, 1974.
  • Sterns, Indrikis. The Greater Medieval Historians: An Interpretation and a Bibliography. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1980.
  • Robert T. Lambdin

    Copyright © 2000 by Robert Thomas Lambdin and Laura Cooner Lambdin

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