initiator: Oliver of Paderborn
recipient: Archbishop and clergy of Cologne
additional institution: Hospital of Saint Mary of the Germans
text: Sept. 14. In the siege of Damietta. Oliver of Paderborn [Oliverus peccator, dictus Coloniensis scolasticus] records for the archbishop and clergy of Cologne, what he has heard and seen. He recounts the actions of the Fifth Crusade before his arrival: the stationing of the patriarch and the True Cross outside Acre [in castra Domini] on the other side of Recordana; the first campaign by way of the plain of Faba to the fons Tubanie, and from there to Betsaida, then across the Jordan, around the east side of the Sea of Galilee, and back to Acre by way of Capharnaum; the second campaign to Mons Thabor and the failure to attack it; and the third expedition to Sarepta on the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He describes the departure of the kings of Hungary and Cyprus, the second of whom died in Tripoli; the trepidation of many crusaders who gathered in Acre to wait for the next passage home; the expedition of the king of Jerusalem, the duke of Austria, the Monasteriensis episcopus and the Traiectensis episcopus to Caesarea; and the construction between Haifa and Caesarea, on the site of the Castrum filii Dei called Districtum, by the Knights Templar, together with some peregrini and Hospitallers of St Mary of the Germans, of Castrum Peregrinorum, although a Muslim assault had to be driven off. He records the castle in detail and the expenses needed to build it. He reports that the Knights Templar intend to move their headquarters there, away from the sinful distractions of Acre. He goes on to describe the invasion of Egypt, the establishment of the Christian camp opposite Damietta, the attacks on the tower built in the middle of the Nile and their lack of success until Oliver’s Germans and Frisians constructed an ingenious floating siege engine. He records their eventual success, the final assault being led by a young knight from Liège.
Sept. 14. In the siege of Damietta. Oliver of Paderborn [Oliverus peccator, dictus Coloniensis scolasticus] records for the archbishop and clergy of Cologne, what he has heard and seen. He recounts the actions of the Fifth Crusade before his arrival: the stationing of the patriarch and the True... more
sources: Oliver of Paderborn, ‘Briefe’, pp. 288-95, no. 3