chapter  5
28 Pages

Pierre d’Aubusson, Relatio obsidionis Rhodie

Although d’Aubusson is cited as the author of the Relatio, the text was probably composed within the chancery at Rhodes. The Relatio employs the same stylistic devices as the Descriptio, such as double negatives and multiple verbs to describe one action. Its military vocabulary, however, uses contemporary words, unlike Caoursin’s classical terminology. There are also differences in format between the two works. The Descriptio is a history, and follows the conventions found in the genre: rhetorical flourishes, heroes (d’Aubusson himself ), villains (Master George), and blocks of dialogue, such as the parley between the Turks and the Knights. The Relatio is a public letter reporting the news from the battlefront, providing a concise account of the fighting and affirming a Christian victory over the Muslims. The Relatio relates events of the siege that d’Aubusson, a soldier, considered most important. It omits distractions such as the parley between the Knights and the Turks, d’Aubusson’s wounding, reports of miraculous intervention, and the arrival of the Sicilian relief ships. D’Aubusson attributes the Order’s victory to the fierce hand-to-hand combat between the Knights and the Turks during the desperate final battle atop the walls of the Jewish quarter.