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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Saadiah ibn Danan

(481 words)

Author(s): Targarona, Judit
[Saʿadya bar Maimon bar Moses bar Maimon Ibn Danan] ca 1436-1493. Granada (Iberia), then North Africa. Sephardic Jew, teacher and scholar, Hebrew commentator, exegete and halakhist, Hebrew and Arabic grammarian and lexicographer, the "last Hebrew Poet of Sepharad" who wrote also on Hebrew prosody. Saʿadya lived in Granada until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, after which he settled in Oran (Algeria). Saʿadya lived in an Arabic society and wrote many of his works in Arabic. In 1485, he finished his Seder ha-Dorot (The Succession of the Generations) with an Arabic ru…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sabellico, Marcantonio Coccio

(468 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Coccius Marcus Antonius Sabellicus] 1436-1506. Italy. Public historian of Venice. Born at Vicovaro in the Roman Campagna, whence he took the name Sabellicus, a poetic form of Sabinus, Marcantonio Coccio studied classics with Domizio Calderini and Pomponius Laetus in Rome, where he composed a number of Latin poems and elegies. In 1472 he left Rome for Friuli to join the household of the bishop of FeltreAngelo Fasolo, he was vicar of the patriarch of Aquileia, and Latin teacher at the comm…
Date: 2016-10-17

al-Sābi, Hilāl

(222 words)

Author(s): Oesterle, Jenny
[Hilāl ibn al-Muḥassin ibn ʾIbrāhīm al-Sābiʾ] 359-449 ah (969-1059 ad). Mesopotamia. Secretary of the Chancery at Baghdad under the Buwayhid dynasty. Hilāl was a member of a renowned Sabean family of scientists; he converted to Islam in 1012 as reported by Ibn al-Jawzī ( Kitāb al-Muntazam VIII, pp. 176-79). Hilāl is the author of several works like the Tāʾrīkh, of which only fragments (the years 999-1008) have survived; the Book of the Viziers ( Kitāb al-Wuzarāʾ,Gotha, LB, ms. 1756), which has been lost except a small part of the beginning; furthermore the letter book Ghurar al-balāgha an…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sächsische Weltchronik

(1,477 words)

Author(s): Shaw, Frank | Wolf, Jürgen
(Saxonian World Chronicle) 1230 (Rezension B 1240; Rezension C 1260-1275). Germany. World chronicle in Middle Low German, with High German versions. The Sächsische Weltchronik (the title is Weiland's – the manuscripts mostly have kronik/cronica or römische kronik) is a world chronicle from the beginning of the world (Genesis 1,1ff.) to the time of writing, or sometimes to the fifteen signs before doomsday.The authorship and origin of the works are still matters of scholarly controversy. In many manuscripts, the prose text is preceded by a prologue in vers…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sæmundr Sigfússon inn fróði

(245 words)

Author(s): Mundal, Else
(the Wise) 1056-1133. Iceland. Known as the first writer of history in Iceland, though his text is lost, and as the founder of the great dynasty of the Oddaverjar (the family from Oddi). The son of a priest, Sæmundr studied in France; the later Oddaverja annáll specify Paris. He returned to Iceland around 1076 where he settled at the ancestral farm at Oddi, was ordained priest, and probably founded a school on his farm. With his wife, Guðrún Kolbeinsdóttir, he had three sons and one daughter, among them Loptr, who married the Norwegian pri…
Date: 2016-10-17

Saint-Pol, Jean de

(232 words)

Author(s): Jones, Michael
ca 1425/30-1476. France. Enfant de chambre in 1442, chamberlain and courtier of successive dukes of Brittany. Author of a French-language history of the Montfort dukes of Brittany, of which only fragments remain (Paris, BnF, Arsenal 3912, fos. 85-133, early 16th century). Inspired by Guillaume de Saint André's life of John IV of Brittany, and also drawing on the Chronicon Briocense, Saint-Pol, a lifelong ducal servant and pensioner, began an abridged chronicle of the kings and dukes of Brittany around 1470, and then a more ambitious history of the House…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ṣālih ibn Yahyā ibn Buhtur

(262 words)

Author(s): Fuess, Albrecht
[Ṣāliḥ ibn Yaḥyā ibn Sāliḥ ibn Ḥusayn ibn Khiḍr ibn Buḥtur] d. after 839 ah (1435 ad). Lebanon. A member of the family of the Druze Buhturids of the mountainous region of the Gharb south of Beirut. In Mamlūk times, they were charged to defend the coast between Beirut and Sidon against Frankish naval incursions. Little is known of Ṣāliḥ ibn Yaḥyā. His father Sayf al-Dīn Yaḥyā, played an important role in local politics. Ṣāliḥ ibn Yaḥyā was his fifth child and participated as military commander in the Mamlūk n…
Date: 2016-10-17

Salimbene de Adam

(641 words)

Author(s): Daniel, E. Randolph
1221- ca 1289. Italy. Franciscan and later Joachimite. Author of a chronicle of Italy and the Empire. Salimbene was born into the Adam family in Parma on 9th October 1221, and was named Balian of Sidon but his family called him Ognibene. He took the name Salimbene when he entered the Order of Friars Minor on 4th February 1238. He was sent to Pisa between 1243 and 1247 and then to Paris.Salimbene became a Franciscan only twelve years after St. Francis died, and he knew Bernard of Quintavalle, Francis's first companion, and others of the early Franciscans. Salimbene …
Date: 2016-10-17

Salman of St. Goar

(302 words)

Author(s): Haverkamp, Eva
15th century. Germany. Jewish chronicler. Salman of St. Goar was a student and the secretary of Yaqob ben Moses ha-Levi Molin (MaHaRIL, ca 1365-1427), whose teachings he published in his Sefer MaHaRIL. He also wrote a chronicle of the Hussite movement.Salman began writing his chronicle before 1427 and concluded it after several versions in 1454. This work was entitled Gilgul bne Hushim (Course of the events of the Sons of the Rushing), in allusion to Numbers 32, 17, and referring to the Hussites. The chronicle describes the rise of the Hussite movement fr…
Date: 2016-10-17

Salvianus of Marseille

(241 words)

Author(s): Cain, Andrew J.
ca 400 - post 470 ad. Gaul (France). Salvian, whose occupation is unknown, first married and later embraced an ascetic worldview. In ca 425, with the blessing of his wife Palladia, he entered the monastery at Lérins, and around 439 he became a presbyter of the church at Marseille.Salvian's two principal extant works are a treatise against avarice in four books ( Timotheus ad ecclesiam) and the De gubernatione dei in eight books, a historical work in which he argues that the barbarian invaders were sent by God to punish the Roman society of his day for its moral decadence.The Timotheus was firs…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sampiro of Astorga

(355 words)

Author(s): Wreglesworth, John
early 11th century. Asturias/León (Iberia). Author of an important Asturian/Leonese chronicle of the years 866-999. During the short-lived Navarrese occupation of León, Sampiro, who was probably from the Bierzo region, was appointed Bishop of Astorga (1034). He was later replaced, probably in 1040/41. In a final donation (1042), an elderly Sampiro recalled fleeing from Muslim raiders to Zamora, possibly in 988, and a long association with the royal courts at León (984-1028). A proposed identifica…
Date: 2016-10-17

Samuel Anecʿi

(276 words)

Author(s): Boyadjian, Tamar
12th century. Armenia. Born in or around the city of Ani. Pupil of Yovhannēs Sarkavag (John the Deacon). Author of the Armenian Hawakʿmunkʿ i grocʿ patmagracʿ (Universal Chronicle), which begins with the story of Adam and reaches the events of the year 1178/80. Continuations of the work have extended the text until the year 1665. Samuel's chronicle provides valuable information about the history of Greater Armenia and Cilicia, as well as those of neighboring regions. The events of the 12th century are drawn from Samuel's own eyewitness experiences; he also makes use of an …
Date: 2016-10-17

Sánchez de Arévalo, Rodrigo

(304 words)

Author(s): Folger, Robert
1404-70. Castile (Iberia). Doctor utriusque iuris, diplomat, councillor and secretary in the service of the Castilian Crown and the Holy See. Bishop of Oviedo, Zamora, Palencia and castellan of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (1464-1470). Author of multiple learned treatises on issues of moral philosophy, theology and politics.In his last years, Sánchez de Arévalo composed a Compendiosa historia Hispanica, printed by Ulrich Hahn (Rome 1470). The author's explicit purpose was to write a 'continuation' of Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada's Historia Gothica, which provides the backbone for…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sánchez de Valladolid, Fernán

(700 words)

Author(s): Martínez, Purificación
d. ca 1364. Castile (Iberia). High ranking official under the kings of Castile and León. Author of the Crónica de tres reyes and the Crónica de Alfonso XI. Fernán Sánchez's rise to power as Chancellor of the Secret Seal and Chief Notary of the Kingdom during the reign of Alfonso XI is well documented. Milestones in his career were 1330, when he became one of the first members of the newly created Orden de la Banda, and 1345 when Alfonso gave him Cubillas del Cerrato and surrounding lands as a jurisdictional state. His fortunes changed after Pedro I comes to power in 13…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sandeus, Felinus

(223 words)

Author(s): Damian-Grint, Peter
[Felino Maria Sandei; Sandeo] 1444–1503. Italy. Born in Felina, near Reggio. A teacher of canon law at Ferrara from 1466, he was appointed professor of canon law at Pisa in 1474 and a judge of the Roman Rota in 1486. He was elected bishop of Penne–Atri and coadjutor of Lucca in 1495, and succeeded as bishop of Lucca in 1499; he died in Rome. His magnificent library (the Biblioteca Feliniana) forms part of the episcopal library of Lucca and contains various unpublished works of his. He had a high reputation as a canonist and papal adviser; his Lectura, a commentary on the Decretum Gratiani, was fr…
Date: 2016-10-17

Santa María, Pablo de

(653 words)

Author(s): Conde, Juan-Carlos
[Selomoh ha-Levi; Paulus Burgensis] 14th-15th century. Castile (Iberia). Born Jewish, Rabbi of Burgos (1379), converted to Christianity on 21 July 1390. Brother of Alvar García de Santa María. Bishop of Cartagena and Bishop of Burgos, member of the Regency Council, Chancellor of Castile, tutor of Juan II of Castile. Father of Alonso de Cartagena. Author of Las Siete Edades del Mundo and Suma de las Corónicas de España . Las Siete Edades del Mundo (the seven ages of the world) is a universal chronicle written in verse in 1416-18, organized according to a scheme of aetates (see Six Ages of …
Date: 2016-10-17

Sanudo, Marin, il Giovane

(1,168 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Marino Sanuto] 1466-1536. Italy. The major historian working in Venice in the late 15th and early 16th century. Famous for his monumental lives of the doges to 1494 and his massive diary of contemporary politics from 1496 to 1533, Sanudo was also the author of works on Venice's institutions and their history, Venice's war with Ferrara in the 1480s, and the French invasion of Italy. Born on 22nd May 1466 into one of the most ancient families of the Venetian patriciate, he attended the chancery school of San Marco after the early death of his father. There he st…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sanudo, Marin Torsello, il Vecchio

(809 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1270-1343. Italy. Venetian merchant, diplomat, historian and propagandist for renewing the crusade against the Ottoman Turks in the early 14th century. Born in Venice into a family instrumental in the Venetian settlement of the islands of the Aegean after the Fourth Crusade, Sanudo spent his early career as a merchant in the Levant. He visited Acre before its fall to the Turks and represented his father in dealings with his cousins, the dukes of Naxos. By 1300 he was a member of the household of the canon lawyer a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Sardo, Ranieri

(378 words)

Author(s): Dell'Aprovitola, Valentina
14th century. Italy. According to a tradition going back to his own century, he is the author a town chronicle of Pisa. Born from a family of judges and merchants, Sardo was in the service of the Commune and held various important posts. Because he belonged to the town's central administration, his information/reports are an invaluable and reliable source for the history of Pisa in the second half of the 14th century.The Cronica di Pisa (Chronicle of Pisa) is written in Italian and is constituted by two parts, each completely different as regards the structural charac…
Date: 2016-10-17


(241 words)

Author(s): Droste, Heiko
(Chronicle of the treaty) ca 1396. Germany. The Low German so-called Satechronik describes the conflict between the city of Lüneburg and the Dukes of Lüneburg at the end of the 14th century, contextualizing it in a larger historical perspective. Beginning with the Dukes' enfeoffment in 1235 by Emperor Frederick II, the text presents the contemporary conflict as the result of a series of offences by the Dukes against the city and the Emperors. The conflict started with the Lüneburg war of succession in 1369 (see: Nikolaus Floreke) and was temporarily settled in 1392 by a treaty ( Sate). Only…
Date: 2016-10-17
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