King Baldwin I to Jacobite Archbishop Kyrillos V and the Jacobite Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene, 1138.
Revised Regesta Regni (RRR) no. 178 details the payment to King Baldwin I of Jerusalem from the Jacobite, or Syrian-Orthodox, patriarch Athanasios VII to restore the castles, Khirbat ‘Adasa and Bait ‘Arif, to archbishop Kyrillos V of the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem. The entry in the RRR derives from an entry in Die Urkunden der Lateinischen Kӧnige von Jerusalem, or The Charters of the Latin Kings of Jerusalem, within the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH). This entry in the MGH, in which the MGH lists two colophons in Syriac manuscripts which detail the payment made to King Baldwin I. The first, written on parchment by the monk Michael of Mar’aš of the Saint Mary Magdalene monastery in February 1138 C.E., within a manuscript detailing Syrian-Orthodox liturgy and festivals, is currently held in the Bibliothèque municipale of Lyon in France (Ms. Syr. 1). Michael purports to have been present at trial to Baldwin I, in which he recounts verbatim words spoken at the trial. The second colophon, written on parchment by the monk Romanos of the Saint Mary Magdalene monastery in August of 1138 C.E., within a chronicle of the monastery’s history, is currently held in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris (Ms. Syr. 52). Romanos finds issue with Michael’s account, stating that he left crucial details about the trial out of his report and thus concluded to create his own manuscript. The dating of the payment to Baldwin I is, according to Hans Eberhard Mayer, difficult given that the names listed within the manuscripts do not perfectly match contemporary names and the lack of detail given by the two authors. However, Mayer deduces that the payment most likely took place between 1104-1118 C.E., given names and dates present within other manuscripts and that Baldwin died in 1118. Yet Andrew Palmer argues that the date of the trial was in January 1138, given that Michael recalls specific phrases used at the trial. The use of Syriac to detail this event is partly due to the religious tradition of the Jacobites, and partly since this monastery was present before the arrival of the Franks and thus they had no reason to write the manuscripts in a language other than Syriac lest they wished to break the scholarly tradition of the monastery. It is important to note that the potential alternative languages could have been old French or Latin, to better appeal to the new cultural interactions present within the region. The content of the sources pertains to, prior to the Crusades, Archbishop Kyrillos V fleeing with his monks from the Saint Mary Magdelene Monastery to Egypt. Upon the arrival of the Franks in the Levant and the establishment of an official polity in Jerusalem, Gaufried seized the two castles which had originally belonged to the monastery which they had paid for prior to the arrival of the Crusaders. At some point, Gaufried was placed in Egyptian captivity to which Kyrillos V went before King Baldwin with patriarch Athanasios VII and presented the deeds of sale to the castles with witnesses to convince Baldwin I that the castles belonged to the Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery. However, in order to restore the castles to Kyrillos V, Baldwin had to be paid large amounts of gold. These two colophons are incredibly useful for historians studying the establishment of the Frankish polities in the Levant within the presence of already established religious and legal institutions. Perhaps the latter is more pressing, as this source details a specific legal exchange and its resolution, albeit the religious elements at play should not be ignored.
 Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Die Urkunden der Lateinischen Kӧnige von Jerusalem (DD. Jerus.), 4 vols., edited by Hans Eberhard Mayer (Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2010), 1:208-210.
 Andrew Palmer, “The History of the Syrian Orthodox in Jerusalem. Part Two: Queen Melisende and the Jacobite Estates,” Oriens Christianus 76 (1992): 77.
 Romanos's manuscript, of the two, is the only one digitized. Presently, the manuscript written by Michael exists only in physical format.
 Palmer, “The History,” 77.
 Palmer, “The History,” 77.
 The relational aspect between Gaufried and King Baldwin I is subject to debate, as the Syriac word within the manuscripts can mean son-in-law or parent. See Mayer, DD. Jerus., 1:209.
 See Andrew Palmer “The History”. Palmer translated large portions of the original Syriac text which is cited by Mayer within DD. Jerus. 75. Palmer also believes that the Godfried is in fact Geoffrey of the Tower of David. The dating of Gaufried’s capture is likely around 1102-1106 according to Mayer.
Written by Cole Taylor, History Ph.D. Student at Fordham University.