Post-classical history

Guillaume de Machaut (d. 1377)

One of the greatest French poets and musicians of the Middle Ages, whose works included La Prise d’Alixandre, an account of the crusade of King Peter I of Cyprus against Egypt (1365).

Born in Champagne around 1300, Machaut served various members of the French nobility and royalty as well as John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia. Machaut evidently met Peter I when the latter was touring Europe in 1364 to raise support for a new crusading venture. After the failure of Peter’s expedition, Machaut wrote a verse history in French dealing with the crusade and its brief capture of Alexandria. It presents Peter as an epic hero in the style of the Arthurian and Alexandrine romances of the day. Machaut relied on secondhand information, although much of this came from eyewitness reports and sources now lost.

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