The Lucca Letter – edition by Stephen Spencer
The Lucca Letter of the First Crusade: A Digital Edition and Commentary
Edition by Stephen Spencer
About the edition: The ‘Lucca letter’ was a correspondence circulated by the clergy and people of Lucca in connection to the First Crusade (1095-99). The letter claims to report the experiences of a certain Bruno, who had participated in one of the most trying phases of the enterprise: the siege of Antioch. Bruno appears to have witnessed the city’s capture on 3 June 1098, the discovery of the relic of the Holy Lance, and the confrontation known as the battle of Antioch, although the letter’s authenticity has long been in doubt.
Aim of the digital edition: This edition offers a new transcription of the letter, noting divergences from the previous editions by Paul Riant and Heinrich Hagenmeyer, as well as a discussion of the manuscript and codicology. A commentary has also been provided, focusing on one of the most interesting and underexplored facets of the missive: named individuals.