MS CUL Ff.1.25 is a composite manuscript made up of five different parts of different dates compiled in the sixteenth century. It was donated to the University Library by Archbishop Matthew Parker who gave 25 manuscripts from his collection in 1574. The parts were separated and bound individually in 1862. MS Ff.1.25.4 is a thirteenth-century manuscript containing two Latin prose crusade chronicles and Latin verses by Geoffrey of Vinsauf. The Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi is an account of the third crusade (1187-92) focusing on the glorious deeds of Richard I. It opens with the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin, details the journeys of European crusaders to the East and the long siege of Acre. It ends with Richard's sad departure, having failed to retake Jerusalem, but defends his heroic reputation. The Latin verses by Geoffrey of Vinsauf comprise extracts from the Poetria nova, a treatise written in verse designed to teach composition, and verses in praise of Henry II which may have served as a sample composition employing the techniques discussed in the treatise. The final work in the volume, the Historia Damiatina, is a vivid narrative of the fifth crusade (1217-1222) written by one of its principal participants, Oliver of Paderborn. Oliver not only recruited many of the crusaders through his preaching, he participated in the design and building of an innovative floating siege engine which facilitated the capture of the Egyptian port of Damietta.
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