Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle

Get access Subject: History
Edited by:  Edited by Graeme Dunphy and Cristian Bratu

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle brings together the latest research in chronicle studies from a variety of disciplines and scholarly traditions. Chronicles are the history books written and read in educated circles throughout Europe and the Middle East in the Middle Ages. For the modern reader, they are important as sources for the history they tell, but equally they open windows on the preoccupations and self-perceptions of those who tell it. Interest in chronicles has grown steadily in recent decades, and the foundation of a Medieval Chronicle Society in 1999 is indicative of this. Indeed, in many ways the Encyclopedia has been inspired by the emergence of this Society as a focus of the interdisciplinary chronicle community.

The online version was updated in 2014 and in 2016.

Subscriptions: See Brill.com

Capriolo, Elia

(166 words)

Author(s): Werner, Edeltraud
ca 1450 - ca 1523. Italy. Lawyer, historian and poet from Brescia. Author of the first chronicle of the city, Chronica de rebus Brixianorum ad senatum populumque Brixianum (Chronicle of the events of people of Brescia for the people of Brescia), in Latin, printed ca 1505. The chronicle covers a period from the beginnings of the town till 1498, though some episodes appear to run to 1501. It connects founding myths, aspects of religious and ecclesiastical history, legends of saints and other legends, and local history. Each…
Date: 2016-10-17

Carbonell i de Soler, Pere Miquel

(333 words)

Author(s): Alcoberro Pericay, Agustí
1434 -1517. Catalonia (Iberia). Notary (1458) and royal archivist of Barcelona (1476), bibliophile, writer and humanist historian who wrote in Catalan and Latin. His most important work is Cròniques d'Espanya. He also wrote works on philology and other historical works, the most outstanding of which in Latin is De viris illustribus catalanis (ca 1476), the first compendium of Catalan authors, written in the style of Bartolomeo Facio; and in Catalan, De exequiis sepultura et infirmitate regis Joannis Secundi. Amongst other listings, he collected Roman inscriptions, partic…
Date: 2016-10-17

Carbone, Ludovico

(151 words)

Author(s): Nemerkényi, Előd
1435-82. Italy. Italian humanist, who lived in Ferrara, with connections to Hungary. His Dialogus de laudibus rebusque gestis regis Matthiae (1473-5) is a dialogue between the author and Bishop Sigismund of Pécs on the virtues and the deeds of János Hunyadi and his son, King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. Carbone proposes the imperial coronation of Matthias in Italy ( o qualem tunc ad Caesarem Matthiam orationem habebimus; what an oration we will deliver then in front of Emperor Matthias). Elaborate parallels to key figures in classical historians (Miltiades, T…
Date: 2016-10-17

Caresini, Raffaino

(365 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Raphaynus de Caresinis] 1314-90. Italy. Venetian chancery official and chronicler of Venetian history 1343-88. Born at Cremona in Lombardy in about 1314 and trained in the notarial arts, Caresini first appears as a public notary in Venice in 1334. He soon found work in the Venetian chancery, serving as notary of the Council of Forty in 1343, and rose through the ranks to become the grand chancellor of the Venetian Republic following the death of Benintendi Ravignani in 1365. He was amon…
Date: 2016-10-17

Carlos de Viana

(449 words)

Author(s): Alegria, David
[de Aragón] 1421-61. Navarre (Iberia). Prince of Viana, legitimate heir to the throne of Navarre, son of Blanca I and Juan II of Aragon. Author of the most important Navarrese historical work of the Middle Ages, the Crónica de los reyes de Navarra. The work is accompanied by illustrations [Fig. 10]. The Crónica, written in Navarro-Aragonese, was compiled around 1454 after the first imprisonment of its author. It contains a history of the kingdom from antiquity to the reign of the author's great-grandfather, Carlos II (1349-87). Greatest detail is…
Date: 2016-10-17

Carmen de bello Saxonico

(346 words)

Author(s): North, William
11th century. Germany. An epic poem in Latin about the civil war between King Henry IV and the Saxons (1075–76). The Carmen recounts in a verse epic of 757 hexameters divided into three books the course of a brief but ferocious civil war between the young king Henry IV and the rebellious Saxons from its outbreak in 1073 until the Saxons' defeat and surrender to Henry's forces in October 1075. Although the author remains anonymous, his ability in prosody and knowledge of classical authors like Vergil, Lucan, Horace, …
Date: 2016-10-17

Caroldo, Gian Giacomo

(385 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
ca 1480-1538. Italy. Venetian chancery official and diplomat, who wrote a vernacular history of Venice from its origins to 1382. Born in Venice and trained as a notary, Caroldo entered the Venetian chancery in 1496 and was soon employed on various diplomatic missions, including trips to England, Spain and Constantinople. During the War of the League of Cambrai, he served on missions to Milan, and in 1517 to the king of France. The following year he returned to Venice, securing the pos…
Date: 2016-10-17

Carpentarius, Georg

(706 words)

Author(s): Tomaszewski, Marco
[Carpentarii, Pontanus, Zimmermann]ca 1487-1531. Switzerland. A Reformation chronicler, generally sceptical of the new ideas.Born in Brugg, Carpentarius was first a wandering scholar, then from 1496 in school in Schaffhausen, from 1499 in the school of the cathedral of Strasbourg, and from 1500 in the School of St. Peter in Basel. He then worked as a copyist, became a chorister in St. Peter's in Basel in 1502, and enrolled at the University of Basel in 1503. He studied together with Ulrich Zwingli, and gradu…
Date: 2016-10-17

Carrillo de Huete, Pedro

(292 words)

Author(s): García Moya, Cristina
ca 1380-1455. Castile (Iberia). The son of Hernán Carrillo and husband of Guiomar de Sotomayor, Pero Carrillo was knighted by the infante don Fernando de Antequera in Setenil in 1407. By 1420 he was the principal falconer ( halconero) of Juan II of Castile and Lord of Priego. An eyewitness to the political battles of the first half of the 15th century in Castile, he took part in some of the most important events of Juan's reign between 1420 and 1441. In November 1420 he participated in the flight of Juan from Talavera to Montalbán. In March 1430 he took …
Date: 2016-10-17

Cartagena, Alonso de

(697 words)

Author(s): Conde, Juan-Carlos
[Alfonso] 1384/5-1456. Castile (Iberia). Born Jewish, converted to Christianity (21 July 1390). Diplomat, dean of Santiago de Compostela (1415) and Segovia (1418), and Bishop of Burgos (1435). Author of the Latin Anacephaleosis, and in Castilian of first drafts of Compilación de las batallas campales (Summary of the Pitched Battles) and Valerio de las Estorias de España (Valerius of the Histories of Spain - a text he originally planned to write in Latin), drafts that were used by Cartagena's disciple Diego Rodríguez de Almela as the basis for his final versions of these texts. Anacephal…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cartography and geographical excursus

(2,529 words)

Author(s): Hoogvliet, Margriet
The geographical aspect of medieval chronicles is often particularly strong. This is not surprising, as geography provides the physical theatre within which history is performed. Beyond this, however, some chroniclers saw themselves as presenting encyclopaedic knowledge in which geography had more than a supporting role. Geographical information could be slotted into chronicles in the form of maps or diagrams, or by a geographical excursus (plural: excursūs). Equally, history could be slotted into a geographical work, the chronicle thus becoming a part of something larger.Hist…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cartulary chronicles and legal texts

(2,336 words)

Author(s): Dunphy, Graeme
History and lawOf all the forms of functional literature prevalent in the European Middle Ages, legal texts are among the oldest, the most frequently transmitted, and probably of the greatest consequence to the everyday lives of people of all social stations. Legal texts form a relatively diverse body of literature, ranging from the Latin treatises and codifications of the legal scholar to the vernacular law books enumerating precedents of common law, and from contracts and treaties to the foundation charters of institutions and royal decrees granting freedoms to towns.The relation…
Date: 2016-12-06

Case, Thomas

(259 words)

Author(s): Williams, Bernadette
15th century. Ireland. Clerk. Author of Latin annals from the birth of Christ to 1427 with several lacuna, such as 1221-1308, 1309-15, and more seriously 1316-61. This is the first of a group of four annals, including the Dominican annals of Pembridge, which J.T. Gilbert collectively gathered in the two-volume edition of the Cistercian chartulary of St Mary's, Dublin (see Annals of St. Mary's, Dublin). The sole manuscript is Dublin, Trinity College, ms. 175, fol. 2v-13v.As with all Anglo-Irish Latin annals, the Cistercian influence is strong to ca 1221 but thereafter n…
Date: 2016-10-17


(378 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
6th century. Italy (Rome) and Byzantium (Constantinople). The former prefect and consul and later ecclesiastic Cassiodorus was the author of a number of works on religious philosophy and biblical exegesis, as well as letters and speeches, and two historical works, the Chronica and a lost Gothic history which was known to Jordanes. He is also noted for encouraging Epiphanius scholasticus to translate the Historia tripartita. Cassiodorus' Institutiones contains in chapter seventeen a reflection on the nature of Christian historical writing.His Chronica, written in late 518, i…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cassius Dio

(377 words)

Author(s): Tougher, Shaun
ca 164 - 229 ad. Italy. Cassius Dio wrote a Greek history of Rome in eighty books, spanning the arrival of Aeneas in Italy to his own retirement. He was from Nicaea in Bithynia, and like his father he became a senator. He came to Rome ca 180, and his career was marked by two consulships (ca 204; 229), the praetorship (194), the curatorship of Pergamum and Smyrna (from 218) and governorships of Africa, Dalmatia and Upper Pannonia. He was particularly associated with the Severan dynasty, writing about…
Date: 2016-10-17

Castel, Jean

(272 words)

Author(s): Doudet, Estelle
d. 1476. France. Monk at the Abbey of Cluny. A clerk of the French royal council, he was appointed Abbot of Saint Maur-des-Fossés in 1472. He may have been Christine de Pizan's grandson. In 1461 Louis XI, in dispute with the Abbey of Saint-Denis, which was usually responsible for French royal chronicles, chose the loyal Jean Castel, from a dynasty of civil servants, as the official historian of the kingdom.His Chroniques , written in French prose between 1461-75, survive only in a very incomplete version, possibly only a draft, in three manuscripts: Vatican, BAV, r…
Date: 2016-10-17

Castor of Rhodes

(116 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
mid-first century bc. Greece. Author of an important and well-known Greek universal Olympiad chronicle in six books from Aegialeus, king of Sicyon, in 2123 bc, and Ninus, king of Assyria, down to 61 bc. It was an important source (direct and indirect) for Eusebius' Assyrian, Median, Lydian, Persian, Sicyonian, Argive and Athenian chronologies. The text survives only in fragments in these later works.Burgess, Richard W.Bibliography Text F. Jacoby, FgrH, B: Texte, no. 250; D: Kommentar, 814-26. Literature P. Christesen, Olympic Victor Lists and Ancient Greek History, 2007, 295, 31…
Date: 2016-10-17

Casus Monasterii Petrishusensis

(247 words)

Author(s): Grieb, Christine
[Chronik des Klosters Petershausen, Petershausen Chronicle] mid-12th century. Germany. The anonymous Latin chronicle was written in the Benedictine monastery of St. Gregor in Petershausen, near Konstanz. Its six books cover the time from the monastery's foundation in the late 10th century up to the 12th century. The work focuses on the history of the monastery, with only occasional remarks on the history of the Empire. For these excursions into general history, primarily covering the events during the reign of Henry IV (1056-1105), the ch…
Date: 2016-10-17

Catalan universal chronicles

(263 words)

Author(s): Garrido Valls, David
15th century. Catalonia (Iberia). A group of universal chronicles in Catalan that narrate the history of the world from the Creation. The antecedents of these texts can be found in the translation into Catalan (13th century) of Martin of Opava's Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum (El Escorial, RMSL, P-ij-18) and, in the 14th century, Jaume Domènec's translations of Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum historiale and Guillaume de Nangis's Chronica (Madrid, BNE, ms. 10.235), the latter two on the initiative ofKing Pere III "el ceremoniós". The first universal chronicl…
Date: 2016-10-17

Catalogus episcoporum Ultrajectorum

(132 words)

Author(s): Janse, Antheun
early 14th century. Low Countries. Catalogue and short biographies (varying from ten words to ten sentences) of the bishops of Utrecht from Willibrord (695) until the election and consecration of Jan van Arkel in 1342, based on saint lives, epitaphs, necrologies and episcopal charters. It is important as a source for Johannes de Beke's Chronographia (1346). Around 1390 the text was interpolated and continued by at least two authors, the first of whom added much information from Beke's Chronographia and one of its continuations. The unique manuscript (Utrecht, Bisschoppeli…
Date: 2016-10-17
▲   Back to top   ▲