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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Naddo da Montecatini

(273 words)

Author(s): Meek, Christine
late 14th century. Italy. Florentine notary. Author of a political chronicle of Florence for 1374-98 with lacuna 1393-96, in Tuscan vernacular. Ser Naddo (Rinaldo) di ser Nepo di ser Gallo da Montecatini belonged to a family of notaries, his father, grandfather, brother and son all following that profession. The family originated from Montecatini in the Valdinievole (Central Italy), but was established in Florence at some date in the mid-14th century. Ser Naddo was a Florentine citizen by 1364 and an active notary from 1356 until his death around 1398, leaving s…
Date: 2016-10-17

Naker, Liborius

(573 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Mary
ca. 1440 - 1502/3. Germany. Author of a diary of Grand Master Johann von Tiefen's crusade against the Turks. Naker Liborius was born in Dommitzsch near Torgau an der Elbe. He matriculated at Leipzig University in 1457 but did not graduate. From 1458, with the exception of two brief spells from 1464-7 and 1475-82, he spent the rest of his life as a secretary in the Teutonic Order, serving under a total of five grand masters. A number of texts by him survive, some written as a private individual, others as a public notary during his periods of employment outsid…
Date: 2016-10-17

Narratio de Itinere Navali ad Terram Sanctam

(177 words)

Author(s): Henriques, António Castro
[Tendentium et Silvam Capientum] ca 1190. Portugal. This Latin chronicle, which lacks a title and has been variously named by its four editors, is an anonymous first-hand account of the sea journey of a party of German crusaders to the Holy Land, and of their crucial participation in the siege of Silves in Southern Portugal by Sancho I of Portugal (July-September 1189). The text has survived in a unique early 13th-century copy (Turin, Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, Manoscritti legati 0193) but was all but ignored until 1840. Its anonymous author, very likely f…
Date: 2016-10-17

Narratio de libertate ecclesiae Fabariensis

(363 words)

Author(s): Serif, Ina
(Account of the privileges of the Church at Pfäfers)1116. Switzerland. An account of events in the Benedictine monastery of Pfäfers (canton of St. Gallen, diocese of Konstanz) for the years 1114-1116. The work focusses on the envoys sent by the monastery’s abbot Gerold to pope Paschalis II in the course of the Investiture Contest. In 1040, Heinrich III had assured the monastery it would not be given away as a fief but in 1095, Heinrich IV donated the monastery to bishop Burkhart of Basel, one of his sup…
Date: 2016-10-17

Narratio de Longobardie obpressione et subiectione

(198 words)

Author(s): Sinisi, Lucia
(Tale of the oppression and subjugation of Lombardy) 12th century. Italy. A Latin annalistic narrative by a Milanese anonymous, written immediately after the destruction of Milan by the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. The author, formerly identified as one Sire Raul or Radulphus Mediolanensis, was most likely a layman, probably a notary. According to Busch, this text is the fundamental nucleus of the communal memory of Milan. It only survives in a 17th-century manuscript, Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Codex AF IX 30.Sinisi, LuciaBibliography Text O. Holder-Egger, Gesta …
Date: 2016-10-17

Narratio de occupatione Gotlandiae per Ordinem Theutonicum

(434 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Mary
(Account of the occupation of Gotland by the Teutonic Order) ca. 1398-1401. Prussia. A historical narrative in German. The editor’s heading in the Koppmann edition is: Parteischrift des Hochmeisters, enthaltend die Verteidigung seines Rechtes auf Gothland. The Narratio is an account of and justification for the conquest of Gotland by the Teutonic Order in 1398. It was probably written for the Grand Master Conrad von Jüngingen and is thought to have been read aloud to an assembly of princes and envoys at an assembly in Lund, Sweden on the 8th of September, 1401. The manuscript collec…
Date: 2016-10-17

Narratio de primordiis ordinis theutonici

(325 words)

Author(s): Vollmann-Profe, Gisela
early 13th century. Northern Germany. Report in Latin and German on the early history of the Teutonic Order. The Narratio, originally composed in Latin and later translated into Middle High German, marks the beginnings of historical writing relating to and produced by the Teutonic Order. It recounts the pious foundation of a hospital in the vicinity of Accon by merchants from Bremen and Lübeck in 1190, the support of clerical and secular magnates and the transformation of the foundation from a provisional hostel i…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nauclerus, Johannes

(237 words)

Author(s): Prietz, Frank Ulrich
[Vergenhans] 1425-1510. Germany. First chancellor of the University of Tübingen, educator and confidant of count Eberhard im Bart of Württemberg (Germany). In the 1490s he wrote Memorabilium omnis aetatis et omnium gentium Chronici, a world chronicle usually printed in two volumes. Based on many sources such as Otto of Freising, Burchard of Ursperg or the Flores temporum, the chronicle reports on events from the Creation until 1500. Besides biblical and secular history, it provides above all latest news from the author's Swabian homeland. The prose t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Navagero, Andrea

(357 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1483-1529. Italy. Venetian poet, humanist, and diplomat, and supposed author in the vernacular of an official history of Venice from its origins to 1498. Born into a patrician family at Venice in 1483, he received a humanist education in his native city from Marcantonio Sabellico and Marcus Musurus (ca 1470-1517), and later worked with the scholarly printer Aldus Manutius (1449/50-1515) as an editor of such Roman authors as Cicero, Quintilian, Virgil, Ovid and Lucretius. In 1516 he wa…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nebrija, Aelius Antonius de

(319 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
1444-1522. Castile (Iberia). Born in Lebrija near Seville under the name Elio Antonio Martínez de Cala y Jarava, Nebrija studied Theology, Rhetoric, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, History and Grammar at Salamanca and Bologna. After several years in Bologna he returned to Spain in 1470 and by 1475 he was already a professor of the University of Salamanca. From 1490 to 1509 he was official royal chronicler, after which he returned as professor of Rhetoric to Salamanca. In his last years he was professor in Alcalá de Henares where he died on the 5th July 1522. He wrote on diverse subjects althoug…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nederhoff, Johannes

(262 words)

Author(s): Classen, Albrecht
pre-1400 - post-1456. Germany. Dominican in Dortmund. Nederhoff originated from an artisan family that had settled in Dortmund in the second half of the 14th century. He studied theology and philosophy in Erfurt, and taught both subjects in the Dominican monastery of Lübeck from 1417 to 1418. In 1429 he was appointed principal of the Bremen monastery school, and in 1434 he was temporarily appointed as Bible lecturer in Kraków. In 1435 he participated in the Provincial Council of the Dominicans in The Hague, and in 1450…
Date: 2016-10-17

Neophytos the Recluse

(391 words)

Author(s): Nicolaou-Konnari, Angel
[Neophytos o enkleistos] 1134 - ca 1220. Cyprus. A saint and author of many religious works containing historical information in the Byzantine Church Koine (with some Greek Cypriot dialectal traits) and of a short historical account of epistolary nature and in prose commonly referred to under the title Περὶ τῶν κατὰ χώραν Kύπρον σκαιῶν / De calamitatibus Cypri (Of the Misfortunes of the Land of Cyprus).Born in the Cypriot village of Lefkara, Neophytos was completely illiterate before he was tonsured a monk in 1152. His desire to embrace the solitary life of a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Neplach of Opatovice

(264 words)

Author(s): Bláhová, Marie
1322-71?. Bohemia. Author of the Latin Summula chronicae tam Romanae quam Bohemicae. Born in Hoříněves to a poor family, Neplach of Opatovice was sent to the Benedictine monastery in Opatovice (Eastern Bohemia) in 1328. In 1334 he took the vows of the Benedictine Order, and in 1340 he studied in Bologna. As abbot of the Opatovice monastery from 1348 he was active at the court of emperor Charles IV. Around 1360-5, by request of some monks of his monastery, he wrote a short universal history with continued Czech history from the Nativity up to 1365, entitled Summula chronicae tam Romanae qua…
Date: 2016-10-17

Neri di Bicci

(283 words)

Author(s): Meek, Christine
1418-92. Italy. Neri di Bicci was the son of Bicci di Lorenzo and grandson of Lorenzo di Bicci, both painters in Florence. Born in 1419, he inherited his father's workshop in 1451 and ran it until his own death in 1491/92. Although an artist of moderate talent working along traditional lines, he was well employed by ecclesiastical and lay patrons, especially those of a modest social level, for everything from altarpieces and devotional works to colouring and gilding reliefs and frames.His Ricordanze (Recollections) cover more than twenty years and provide much information no…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nerli, Antonio

(255 words)

Author(s): Bratu, Cristian
d. ca 1420. Northern Italy. Prelate and author of a short chronicle on the Benedictine monastery of Sant'Andrea in Mantua.Antonio Nerli was born into an aristocratic family from Siena. We first hear of him as archpriest and, from 1393, prior of the cathedral of Sant'Andrea in Mantua. In 1407, Francesco Gonzaga appointed him head of the Benedictine abbey of San Benedetto Polirone, where he started writing the history of the monastery of Sant'Andrea.After a period of imprisonment in Brescia, he left for Rome where he became abbot of San Lorenzo extra muros.He probably died in Rome aroun…
Date: 2016-10-17


(760 words)

Author(s): De Dobbeleer, Michel
15th century. Russia. Self-declared eyewitness of the 1453 siege and fall of Constantinople and author of a Russian-language account titled the Tale on the Conquest of Constantinople [ Повесть о взятии Царьграда ]. Everything we know about him comes from the epilogue to the Tale, in which he reveals his name and says that he was taken captiveas a boy by foraying Ottoman Turks in Southern Russia. At some point during the siege, Nestor-Iskinder managed to escape from the camp of the Ottoman attackers.He claims to have witnessed the rest of …
Date: 2016-10-17

New Croniclys … of the Gestys of the Kynges of England

(194 words)

Author(s): Peverley, Sarah L.
after 1437. England. This 15th-century prose chronicle in English, which Matheson classifies as a peculiar Prose Brut, is translated from a Latin Prose Brut. Surviving in three known manuscripts (Oxford, Bodleian Library, ms. Ashmole 791; Wells-next-the-Sea, Holkham Hall, ms. 669 and New York, Columbia University Library, Plimpton ms. 261) it bears a title derived from manuscript incipits, though lacking in Ashmole. Plimpton 261 identifies the author as Richard Rede, a name found in its source, the Latin Brut in Oxford, Bodleian Library, ms. Rawl. C 398 (15th-century), but this c…
Date: 2016-10-17