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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Mac Fhirbhisigh, Dubhaltach

(491 words)

Author(s): Ó Muraíle, Nollaig
[Duald Mac Firbis] 17th century. Ireland. A genealogist, translator and scribe, of great importance for the transmission of earlier Irish chronicle material. He was probably born at Lackan (or Lecan), Co. Sligo, ca 1600. He belonged to a celebrated Gaelic hereditary learned family, and may have been educated, in part, in the town of Galway (where he probably acquired his knowledge of English, Latin and some Greek) and at a Gaelic school conducted by the Mac Aodhagáin family at Ballymacegan, Co. Tip…
Date: 2016-10-17

Machairas, Leontios

(885 words)

Author(s): Nicolaou-Konnari, Angel
ca 1360/80 - after 1432. Cyprus. Royal official and secretary of the nobility. Author of Ἐξήγησις τῆς γλυκείας χώρας Κύπρου,ἡ ποία λέγεται Κρόνικα, τουτέστιν Χρονικόν (Recital concerning the Sweet Land of Cyprus, entitled "Kronika", which is to say Chronicle) in the medieval Greek Cypriot dialect and in prose.Machairas came from a Greek family milieu, possibly from Nicosia, with a tradition of serving the royal and seigneurial Frankish administration, participating in both cultures by way of their education and linguistic abilities. His fath…
Date: 2016-10-17

Machiavelli, Niccolò

(636 words)

Author(s): Bruss, Dagmar
1469-1527. Italy. Diplomat, political philosopher, historian. Born in Florence as descendant of a Guelf family, he studied humanities from 1476 onward. In 1498 was elected secretary of the Ministry of Defence ( Seconda Cancelleria) and secretary of the Council ( Dieci di pace e di libertà) of the Florentine Republic. He undertook various diplomatic missions, among them to Louis XII, Cesare Borgia and Pope Julius II. In 1509, Pisa was regained by Florentine militiamen ( Ordinanza) under Machiavelli's command. When the Medici returned in 1512, Machiavelli was deposed and…
Date: 2016-10-17

Macquéreau, Robert

(336 words)

Author(s): Michalek-Siminska, Anna
[Macquériau; Robin de Hôtellerie] early 16th century. France. Catholic townsman from Valenciennes. Author of an Old French Chronique de la Maison de Bourgogne, which presented the history of Europe from the birth of Emperor Charles V in 1500 to 1529, dedicated Philippe de Croy, prince of Soire, marquis d'Arschot. Macquéreau was often the eyewitness of the events which are mentioned in the chronicle. He focusses mainly on the political situation in Europe from the point of view of the Habsburg dynasty. He was especial…
Date: 2016-10-17

Madius de Barbasanis, Michal

(220 words)

Author(s): Czamańska, Ilona
[Miha Madijev] ca 1284-ca 1358. Croatia. A burgher of the Dalmatian city of Split, and author of a chronicle of important historical events from the area of the Adriatic Sea, Italy, Hungary and the Balkans, entitled De gestis romanorum imperatorum. Only the second part of the chronicle is preserved, covering the years 1290-1330. This work contains important information about the history of Split, the war between Trogir and Šibenik and wars conducted by the Croatian ban Mladen. The chronicle also has a supplement entitled Suma Historiarum Tabula a cultheis de gestis Civium Spala…
Date: 2016-10-17

Magdeburger Schöppenchronik

(419 words)

Author(s): Przybilski, Martin
(Chronicle of the Magdeburg Lay Judges) 1360-72. Germany. Probably compiled by the Magdeburg town scribe Heinrich von Lammesspringe (ca 1325 - post 1396). This Low German prose chronicle covers the history of the town of Magdeburg, beginning with its legendary foundation by Julius Caesar and ending in the early 1370s. In annalistic form it presents mainly the events affecting the town as an important part both of the Medieval Reich and of Saxon territory, and also as the capital of the arch…
Date: 2016-10-17

Magnum Chronicon Belgicum

(152 words)

Author(s): Stein, Robert
[Chronicon Belgicum Magnum] post-1498. Low Countries. A long Latin chronicle, mainly on the history of the Low Countries, written by an anonymous regular canon of the Windesheim Priory near Neuss. The Magnum Chronicon is in fact nothing more then an excerpt of the Florarium temporum of Nicolaas Clopper, regular canon in Mariënhage (Eindhoven), to which the author has added some information on Neuss over the years 1466-75. There are no known manuscripts and the text survives only through the early modern prints by Johannes Pistorius (Frank…
Date: 2016-10-17

Magnus of Reichersberg

(390 words)

Author(s): Kössinger, Norbert
d. 1195 (12th April). Austria. Augustinian canon at the monastery of Reichersberg. Author of a Latin Cronica, often referred to as annals, which continues the Annales of Gerhoch of Reichersberg. Gerhoch died in 1169, and this date is usually taken as a terminus a quo for Magnus.Three divergent versions are known by the sigla W1-W3, all of which go back to Magnus. W1 is found in a 17th-century print by Christoph Gewold entitled Chronicon Monasterii Reicherspergensis in Baioaria (Munich, 1611), which is based on a Reichersberg manuscript subsequently lost in a fire. W2 and…
Date: 2016-10-17

Mag Ráidhin, Uighistín

(268 words)

Author(s): Ó Muraíle, Nollaig
[Augustine Mac Graidin] d. 1405. Ireland. Compiler of part of the Annals of [all] Saints' Island on Lough Ree and of other mostly lost historical works in Latin and Middle Irish. Our chief source of information on Mág Raidhin is his obit in a fragmentary collection of annals preserved in Oxford, Bodleian, Rawlinson B 488. We learn from this that he belonged to the community of Augustinian canons based on Oiléan na Naomh (Saints' Island) in Lough Ree, Co. Longford, and the note goes on to declare that he was "an u…
Date: 2016-10-17

Mainz Anonymous

(353 words)

Author(s): Haverkamp, Eva
fl. early 12th century. Germany. Jewish author, writing probably in Mainz, close to 1097, but before 1140. Author of a Hebrew prose chronicle on the persecution of Jews in Germany during the First Crusade (1096).The chronicle of the Mainz Anonymous contains a series of accounts of the persecutions in the shum-communities Speyer, Worms, and Mainz. Writing shortly after the events, the author also relied on letters that were sent between the communities. His accounts describe in great vividness the martyrdom of large numbers of Jews ( Qiddush ha-Shem) as well as their forced baptism…
Date: 2016-10-17

Mainzer Chronik

(117 words)

Author(s): Pfeiffer, Kerstin
16th century. Germany. Anonymous High German prose chronicle of the history of Mainz 1454-84 with a clear focus on the struggle between Archbishops Diether von Isenburg and Adolf von Nassau, and on the conquest of Mainz in 1462. It survives in three copies: Mainz, StB, cod. IV, 94; Darmstadt, SA, C 1 C Nr. 87 (expanded); Munich, BSB, cgm 2875 (copied from Darmstadt).The title Mainzer Chronik has also been given to the Chronik von alten Dingen der Stadt Mainz attributed to Nikolaus Reise.Pfeiffer, KerstinBibliography Text C. Hegel, CDS 18, 1882. Literature K.-M. Sprenger, "Die Mainzer S…
Date: 2016-10-17

Mair, John

(249 words)

Author(s): Kennedy, Edward Donald
[John Major] ca 1467-1550. Scotland. Historian, philosopher, and teacher of theology at the Sorbonne (Paris) and later, among other posts, principal of the University of Glasgow and dean of the faculty of theology at St. Andrews; author of Historia Maioris Britanniae tam Angliae quam Scotiae (History of Greater Britain, England as well as Scotland; or possibly: Mair's History of Britain ...), published in Paris in 1521. It covers the history of the Scots, the Britons, and the English from their beginnings to the reign of Henry VIII. Mair …
Date: 2016-10-17


(360 words)

Author(s): Tannous, Jack
[al-Makīn Jirjis bin al-ʿAmīd Abū al-Yāsir bin Abī al-Mukārim bin Abī al-Ṭayyib] ah 602-72 (ad 1205-73). Egypt. A Christian writing in Arabic and author of the universal history known as the Majmūʿ al-mubārak (Blessed Collection). Al-Makīn was descended from a Syrian merchant from Tikrit who came to Egypt in the time of the Fāṭimid ruler al-Āmir, and his forebears in Egypt included bishops and well-known scribes. Al-Makīn's father, al-ʿAmīd Abū al-Yāsir (d. ad 1238/ah 636), and later al-Makīn himself, served in the diwān al-jaysh in both Egypt and Syria. Al-Makīn was imprisone…
Date: 2016-10-17

Malaspina, Saba

(607 words)

Author(s): Lamboglia, Rosanna
13th century. Italy. Author of a chronicle of the Kingdom of Sicily in ten books. One of the most important souces for the history of southern Italy.Malaspina indicates his Roman origin in the explicit of his Chronica, in which he declares he is de Urbe. Many biographical elements, though, remain unknown, such as the Studium where he achieved the rank of magister, or the quality of his university studies, and even Rome as his place of birth and the Roman Malaspina family as his family environment are no more than probabilities. He moved to the Kingdom of …
Date: 2016-10-17

Malchus of Philadelphia

(375 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
[Malchos] 5th century. Byzantium. All we can definitely say of the life of Malchus is that he originated from Syria (perhaps the Philadelphia located near to modern Amman in Jordan) andlater lived in Constantinople. He is known as author of a History in seven books, bearing the title Βυζαντιακά (Byzantiaka) which began at the end of the reign of Emperor Leo I (457-74) in the year 473 and ran to the death of the Western Emperor Iulius Nepos in 480. The text should be regarded as a History of Emperors, continuing the work of Priscus of Panium.Today the Byzantiaka are lost except for twenty-eig…
Date: 2016-10-17

Malispini, Ricordano

(411 words)

Author(s): Dell'Aprovitola, Valentina
14th century. Italy. The Storia Fiorentina (History of Florence) is attributed to Ricordano Malispini, probably born in Florence from a noble Guelf family, up to the events of 1282. After 1286 it was continued by Ricordano's grandson, Giacotto Malispini. The events narrated in the last 150 chapters correspond, in a more concise form, to those contained in Giovanni Villani's chronicle. This evident link between the two texts is at the origin of an intense debate that has animated numerous studies: alt…
Date: 2016-10-17

Malverne, John

(161 words)

Author(s): Peverley, Sarah L.
d. ca 1414. England. Benedictine prior of Worcester Cathedral Priory (from 1395) and author of a Latin continuation of Higden's Polychronicon covering the years 1348-81. Written shortly after the death of Thomas Hatfield, bishop of Durham, in 1381 (the last event the chronicle records), Malvern's text is an important source for the reigns of Edward III and Richard II. Although numerous copies of the work survive, only one manuscript - Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, ms. 197A (late 14th/early 15th century) - attributes it to Malvern. Whilst there is no reason to doubt t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Malvezzi, Iacopo

(404 words)

Author(s): Lamboglia, Rosanna
ca 1380 - ca 1454. Italy. Physician from Brescia and member of a family of professionals engaged in many fields (physicians, notaries, lawyers, judges). He practised medicine, although he became a councillor of the Brescia Commune in the second semester of 1427, and again in January of 1428. After many attempts, his request to become a physician paid by the Commune was accepted in December 1433, and this ensured him some financial stability which amounted to an annual pension of 72 fiorini, which he drew till his death. Local histories gives various dates for his death, but …
Date: 2016-10-17

Mamerot, Sébastien

(145 words)

Author(s): Teo Kia-Choong, Kevin
fl. late 15th century. France. Medieval French translator of Martin of Opava. Originally from Soissons, he pursued an ecclesiastical career as the chanter at the college of Saint-Etienne de Troyes. In 1466, he translated the fabulous history of Romuléon, dedicated to his patron, the governor of Champagne and Dauphiné, Louis de Laval, of whom he says he is the chaplain and domestic servant. He also composed Compendieuse Description de la Terre de Promision after a voyage to Syria in ad 1488 [Fig. 45].At Louis' behest, Mamerot produced a French translation of the Chronicle of M…
Date: 2016-10-17

Manasses, Konstantinos

(528 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Stefan
ca 1130 - ca 1187. Byzantium. Author of a world chronicle in a sophisticated classical Greek, written (unusually for the Byzantine tradition) in verse. Manasses was a member of the literary circle of the Sebastokratorissa Irene Komnene, the emperor's sister-in-law. His identity with the homonymous bishop of Naupaktos is today rejected. He acted as a minister to Jerusalem (ca 1160) and wrote his Hodioporikon about his adventures there. He also wrote the (now fragmentary) epic romance Aristander and Kallithea.His most important work is his Chronike synopsis, an epic world chronicl…
Date: 2016-10-17
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