Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle

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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.

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Gabriel ibn al-Qilāʿī

(325 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
ca 1450-1516. Lebanon. A Maronite, Franciscan monk, and author of poetic and polemical works in Arabic containing material of historical value, most notably Madīḥa ʿalā jabal lubnān (An Encomium of Mount Lebanon). Jibrāʾīl ibn al-Qilāʿī al-Liḥfidī was among the first Maronites to train in Rome, where he joined the Franciscans. A champion of Catholic orthodoxy in Lebanon, he was concerned to demonstrate the perpetual orthodoxy of the Maronites against the claims of competing Christian sects, particularly the Miaphysite "Jacobites". Madīḥa is a long poem of the zajal form, addresse…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gaguin, Robert

(438 words)

Author(s): Levelt, Sjoerd
(Robertus Gaguinus) ca 1433–1501. France. Dean at the faculty of canon law at the Sorbonne, minister general of the order of Trinitarians, diplomat for the French crown, author of a chronicle written for the print medium. Gaguin was at the centre of humanist life in Paris in the final decades of the 15th century, and in contact with humanists all over Europe. Spare pages in the first edition of his chronicle were offered to Erasmus for his very first publication, a letter in praise of Gaguin's work (Ep 45). For a later edition, the same honour was extended to Cornelius Aurelius.The chronicle, Co…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gaimar, Geffrei

(545 words)

Author(s): Moll, Richard
fl. 1136-1137. England. Anglo-Norman verse chronicler. Little is known about Geffrei Gaimar apart from his surviving work. L'Estoire de Engleis was originally part of a larger project which began with Jason and Troy and concluded with the death of William Rufus in 1100. In his epilogue, Gaimar claimed to work from books in English, French and Latin which he borrowed from Robert of Gloucester, Walter Espec and Walter, archdeacon of Oxford (owner of the putative very ancient book that Geoffrey of Monmouth claims was his source). His lost Brut was almost certainly a translation of Geo…
Date: 2016-10-17

Galbert of Bruges

(561 words)

Author(s): Demyttenaere, Bert
early 12th century. Flanders. Galbert was a cleric, possibly a canon of the chapter of Saint Donatian, and a marginal member of the comital administration, perhaps working as a notary in the fiscal administration of the castellany of Bruges. He wrote a Latin account of the murder of Charles, Count of Flanders, who was assassinated in Saint Donatian, the castral church of Bruges on 2 March 1127.Written in 1127-28, Galbert's De multro, traditione, et occisione gloriosi Karoli comitis Flandriarum (on the treacherous murder of Charles, the glorious count of Flanders) treats t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Galceran de Tous

(237 words)

Author(s): Garrido Valls, David
late 13th century. Catalonia (Iberia) . A monk of the Benedictine monastery of Santes Creus (Catalonia) and collaborator of King Pere II of Catalonia and Aragon, for whom he carried out diplomatic negotiations in France, Galceran is probably the author of the Catalan-language Crònica del rei En Pere (Chronicle of King Peter), a title given by Cingolani. The Crònica is interpolated in one of the manuscripts of the chronicle of Bernat Desclot (Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, 241, 173v-195v). The chronicle is incomplete and we only know the titles of the last chapters.…
Date: 2016-10-17

Galician-Volhynian Chronicle

(229 words)

Author(s): Tolochko, Oleksiy
late 13th century. Rus'. Church Slavonic (Ruthenian recension). The chronicle is the third and final part of the Hypatian Chronicle (St. Petersburg, Библиотека Российской Академии наук, 16.4.4). It was conceived and continued through the 13th century as the family saga of one princely clan, the descendants of prince Roman of Volhynia and Galicia. It covers the events from the death of Roman in 1205 to 1289, which is the last date mentioned. Written in imitation of Byzantine chronicles, it manifests a departure from the annalisti…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gallic Chronicle of 452

(261 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
[Chronica Gallica ad an. CCCCLII; Chronicon imperiale; Chronicon Pithoeanum] 5th century. Gaul (France). An anonymous Gallic continuation of Jerome's Chronici canones, written in Valence or Marseille and attributed to Prosper in the manuscripts. It is a pessimistic account of the collapse of Gaul and the entire Roman empire in the face of barbarian invasion and the spread of heresy, and as such it is a valuable and unique window into the events of and provincial mindset during the middle of the 5th century. There are three different groups of manuscripts, all descending from…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gallic Chronicle of 511

(244 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
6th century. Gaul (France). An anonymous continuation of Jerome's Chronici canones, written in 511, probably in Arles, and attributed to Sulpicius Severus in the sole surviving manuscript (Madrid, Biblioteca Complutense, ms. 134, 13th century), which also includes an augmented epitome of Jerome. The surviving text has been heavily abbreviated (perhaps more than once), so it is difficult to say anything specific about the author or his purposes. Hydatius, Orosius, the Gallic Chronicle of 452, and a recension of the Consularia Italica are the most obvious surviving sources fo…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gallus Anonymus

(738 words)

Author(s): von Guttner Sporzyński, Darius
fl. 1112-18. Poland. A French Benedictine, most likely from the Abbey of Saint Gilles in Provence, who wrote a chronicle of Poland, Cronicae et Gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum. As early as the 16th century, its authorship was attributed to an unidentified monk of Frankish origin and dubbed Gallus Anonymus (in Polish, Gall Anonim). It is likely that the monk arrived in Poland via Hungary (the Abbey of Samogyvár) before 1110. This interpretation is generally accepted, but has recently been challenged with the argument that t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Galter of Arrouaise

(187 words)

Author(s): Tock, Benoît
1155-1193. France. Canon of the abbey of Arrouaise in the diocese of Arras at the age of 8, and abbot at 25, Galter (or Gautier) decided to compose a cartulary to store all charters received by the abbey. In his preface he gave his reasons for this, discussing the preservation of charters and uses of a cartulary (see Cartulary chronicles and legal texts). He also gave the history of the monastery, from its foundation as a hermitage around 1090, its transformation into an abbey of regu…
Date: 2016-10-17

Galvão, Duarte

(253 words)

Author(s): Amado, Teresa
ca 1445-1517. Portugal. Diplomat, royal councillor, and author of the Crónica de D. Afonso Henriques. Written in the years 1505-9, this Portuguese vernacular chronicle of Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal (1109?-85), was commissioned by Manuel I.Copying largely from the account of Afonso Henriques's reign in the Crónica de 1419, it enhances the tradition, grounded in monastic early 14th-century narratives, of a heroic, almost supernatural, memory of the king. Despite this, it remained the official history of the period for four centuries. Among …
Date: 2016-10-17

García de Salazar, Lope

(404 words)

Author(s): Gómez Redondo, Fernando
15th century. Castile (Iberia). Author of a chronicle of Biscay and a general chronicle. This Biscayan nobleman (1399-1476), who was involved in continuous litigation throughout his life, was confined by his own family to live in seclusion in a house in San Martín, where he had an extensive library that provided him with the materials to write history.García de Salazar's Crónica de Vizcaya, finished in February 1454, divides the history of Biscay in eight chapters relating the origins of the lords of Biscay and those of the principal lineages of the territ…
Date: 2016-10-17

García de Santa María, Alvar

(380 words)

Author(s): Gómez Redondo, Fernando
ca 1380-1460. Castile (Iberia). Brother of the chancellor don Pablo de Santa María, under whose influence he converted from Judaism. He was elected by the regents don Fernando and doña Catalina to continue with the royal chronicle that was interrupted by the death of don Pedro López de Ayala in 1407. The narration had been interrupted in the year 1395 of the reign of Enrique III, thus the new chronicler had to update the chronicle and begin with the account of Juan II's reign. However, he was never able to finish the task due to the multiple problems that he had to face during his office. Don Alvar …
Date: 2016-10-17


(296 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, Edmund
[ʾAbū Saʿīd ʿAbd al-Ḥayy b. al-Daḥḥāk b. Maḥmūd Gardīzī] early 11th century ad (5th cenury ah). Persia. Author of a concise Persian-language work which is to some extent a general history in the Islamic tradition, beginning with the legendary kings of Persian national history, but whose originality stems from what is a chronicle of the history of the eastern Islamic world (essentially Eastern Persia, Transoxania, Afghanistan and northwestern India) from ad 650 to 1041. His Kitab Zayn al-akhbar (Book of the Ornament of Histories) seems to have been composed ca 1050. The a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Garró, Lluís

(118 words)

Author(s): Garrido Valls, David
15th century. Catalonia (Iberia). Author of an annalistic chronicle in Catalan, written at Perpignan in 1423. The Cronicó begins with the establishment of Roman Emperor Honorius in Ravenna (404) and it concludes with the Catalan victory against the French fleet in the bay of Naples (1284). Among other sources, the chronicle uses manuscripts of the same family (see Chronicones Barcinonenses) and the Crónicó dels fets d'Ultramar. The manuscript is Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl.Kgl. 432.Garrido Valls, DavidBibliography Literature A. Fàbrega Grau, "La Biblioteca Real …
Date: 2016-10-17

Garzoni, Giovanni

(411 words)

Author(s): Werner, Edeltraud
1419-1505. Italy. Humanist and physician, who taught at the University of Bologna. Author of a Bologna town chronicle and a history of wars in Germany, both in Latin.His D e dignitate urbis Bononiae commentarius ad Antonium Bentivolum (Commentary on the magnificence of the city of Bologna dedicated to Antonio Bentivoglio) is designed as an encomium for the history of the city from the beginnings until the reign of Giovanni II Bentivoglio (1443-1508), and especially for the merits of the Bentivoglio family. It is preserved in two m…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gatari, Andrea

(357 words)

Author(s): Tomei, Angela
[da Gataro] b. ca 1370 - d. post 1454. Italy. Author of the Diario del Concilio di Basilea (Diary of the Council of Basel) and of a revised version of the Chronicon Patavinum (Chronicle of Padua). Born in Padua, he was the son of Galeazzo Gatari, member of the guild élite and author of a vernacular chronicle concerning Padua under the rule of the da Carrara family from 1318 to 1407.A member of the Venician delegation to the Council of Basel from September 1433 to October 1435, Andrea Gatari recorded this experience in a brief account, which he defines as a chronicheta, a journal vividly relatin…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gatari, Galeazzo and Bartolomeo

(449 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
14th-15th century. Italy. Galeazzo (1344-1405) and Bartolomeo (1380-1439) were the father and son authors of a history in the vernacular of the rule of the Carrara family over Padua from 1318 to 1405. Born in Padua into a merchant family from Bologna, Galeazzo practiced the trade of apothecary all his life, but by the 1370s he become a loyal servant of the Carrara regime, undertaking several diplomatic missions. He later held the office of treasurer of the Carrara household, which gave him acces…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gautier de Tournai

(135 words)

Author(s): Dury, Christian
ca 1230-40. North West France, Low Countries. Probable author of a vernacular verse chronicle (5550 octosyllabical verses à rimes plates) recounting the history of Gille de Chyn, seigneur of Berlaymont (d. 1137), brother in arms of Baudouin IV, earl of Hainaut (1120/5-71), and telling how he battles wild animals and a giant. Between 1458 and 1467, an anonymous author wrote an adaptation in French prose entitled Chronique du bon chevalier messire Gilles de Chin. The chronicle is conserved in Paris, BnF, fr. 3140 (1571).Dury, ChristianBibliography Text F.A. de Reiffenberg, Monuments p…
Date: 2016-10-17

Gazata, Pietro

(544 words)

Author(s): Damian-Grint, Peter
1335–1414. Italy. Abbot of the abbey of San Prospero (Reggio Emilia). Gazata's mother's family, the Levalossi, had close links with the Benedictine monastery in Reggio, and in 1348 Pietro became a novice at the monastery. He went into exile in 1355, owing to the hostility of the Gonzagas. In 1362 he accompanied Guillaume de Grimoard to Avignon on his election as pope (Urban V), and was appointed abbot of San Prospero by the pope the following year; he returned to Reggio and devoted hi…
Date: 2016-10-17
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