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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Ahimaatz ben Paltiel

(428 words)

Author(s): Shepkaru, Shmuel
1017 - ca 1060. Italy. Jewish liturgical poet and chronicler. Ahimaʿatz completed his Megillat Yuhasin (Scroll of Genealogies), also known as Megillat Ahimaʿatz, in 1054 after leaving Capua for his ancestral city of Oria, where he died.Primarily a hagiography, the chronicle subjectively traces Ahimaʿatz's illustrious genealogy from the ninth century to his own time. Among his ancestral protagonists are the communal leaders Paltiel the vizier (also the subject of one of his poems), Hananel who entered a religious dispute with the b…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ailnoth of Odense

(224 words)

Author(s): Mortensen, Lars B.
[Ælnoth, Ailnothus] early 12th century. Denmark. An English ecclesiastic from Canterbury who at the time of writing had been resident in Odense (Denmark) for 24 years. His Latin Gesta Swenomagni regis et filiorum eius et passio gloriosissimi Canuti regis et martyris is dedicated to King Niels of Denmark (1104-34) and was composed around 1122. The work is essentially a hagiographic piece on Niels' brother, King Knud den Hellige (Saint Canute, 1080-6) who was killed by a rival faction in St. Alban's church in Odense and canonized in 110…
Date: 2016-10-17

Aimon of Fleury

(292 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Aimoinus monachus Floriacensis] late 10th century. France. Born in the Périgord, Aimon entered the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire) ca 980 and became the disciple of the abbot Abbo of Fleury, at whose request he wrote his Historia Francorum ca 998. He also wrote a life of Abbo, and a lost history of the abbey.The Historia Francorum is arranged in four books. After descriptions of Gaul and Germany based on Caesar, Pliny and Orosius, Book I deals with the Trojan origins of the Franks up to the death of Clovis (511), Book II up to t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Akropolites, Georgios

(490 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
1217-82. Byzantium. Born at Constantinople, he was sent by his parents in 1233 to Nicaea to study rhetoric and philosophy. One of his teachers was Nikephoros Blemmydes who introduced him to the circle of Emperor Ioannes III Doukas Vatatzes (1222-54). About 1246 Akropolites was made teacher of the Emperor's son Theodoros and also began his career as Byzantine functionary which continued under the reign of Michael VIII Palaeologos. From ca 1240 as megas logariastes Georgios was responsible for the finances of the Nicaean army, and from 1255 to 1282 he held the office …
Date: 2016-10-17

Akropolites, Konstantinos

(228 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
13th-14th century. Byzantium. The son of the historian Georgius Akropolites. Little is known of his biography. He followed his father, who was tutor to the Emperor Theodoros II Doukas Laskaris (1254-58), in a series of high positions in the civil administration of the Byzantine Empire. From 1282 to 1294 he was finance minister ( logothetes tou genikou) and from 1305 to 1321 "prime minister" ( megas logothetes). Apparently he must have been died after 1324/25.Besides his rhetorical and hagiographical writings Konstantinos began to compile a Roman and Byzantine history …
Date: 2016-10-17

Alberich of Troisfontaines

(325 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Aubrey] fl. 1230-50. France. Latin universal chronicler. Probably born into a noble Liège family, he became a monk in the Cistercian abbey of Trois-Fontaines in Champagne and is author of a chronicle begun in 1232, on which he was still working after 1251-2 as evidenced by his use of a text of Giles of Orval published during those years. The chronicle starts at the Creation and ends abruptly at 1241 with the transfer of the body of James of Vitry to Oignies. It becomes substantial onl…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albert de Castello

(673 words)

Author(s): Nocentini, Silvia
Second half of 15th c.-after 1523. Born in the sestiere of Castello in Venice, Albert took on the Dominican cloak in Brescia around 1470. In 1489, he returned to his native region where he was affiliated with the priory of St. Peter Martyr in Murano, and where he stayed for 4 years. In 1493, he was sent to Brescia again by the Master General of the Dominican order. He spent the next fifteen years there, printing religious books in both Latin and Italian. Albert de Castello's growing reptuation made Maste…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albert of Aachen

(246 words)

Author(s): Edgington, Susan B.
[of Aix-la-Chapelle; Albertus canonicus Aquensis] fl. early 12th century. Germany. Cleric at Aachen (Rhineland) and supposed author of a Latin Historia Ierolsolimitana (History of the Journey to Jerusalem), though this is a late attribution: the earliest manuscripts have neither author's name nor title.The work was written concurrently with or soon after the events of the first crusade (1095-99) and the period of early settlement in Outremer (1099-1119), evidently by a cleric in the Rhineland area using mainly oral sources, that is, the…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albert of Diessen

(467 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christof
[Albert of Tegernsee] ca 1350-1400. Germany. Possibly born in Tegernsee (Bavaria). Augustinian canon of St. Mary in Dießen, probably with scholarly contacts to a number of neighbouring monasteries. Author of a Latin chronicle of the provosts of Dießen. At the beginning of the 20th century, numerous other historical works were ascribed to him by Bauerreiss, and for some time he seemed to be a key figure in the South German literature of the later 14th century. However, Schmeidler was able to demonstrate that most of these works were not by Albert: Chronicon Eberspergense posterius (s.v. …
Date: 2016-10-17

Albert of Stade

(424 words)

Author(s): Günther, Kai-Henrik
fl. 1240s and 50s. Northern Germany. Author of a Latin world chronicle. He probably attended the cathedral school of Bremen and then joined the Benedictine monastery of Harsefeld near Stade becoming first prior, then in 1232 abbot. Because he opposed the lax interpretation of the Regula Benedicti in his monastery and declined to adopt the Cistercian rule, he joined the Franciscans of Stade in 1240. He died between 1256 and 1258/61. Besides his world chronicle Albert of Stade authored theological and literary writings between the years 1240 and 1256. His Raimundus, a metric version of…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albertucci de' Borselli, Girolamo

(299 words)

Author(s): Damian-Grint, Peter
[Hieronimus de Albertutiis; Hieronymus de Bonomia; Hieronimus de Bursellis] 1432–97. Italy. The son of Pietro Albertucci, he joined the Dominican Order in 1457 and was ordained in 1465. He was a popular preacher, known for his sermons throughout Tuscany. He was appointed Inquisitor-General of Bologna in 1494.Albertucci's Latin Cronica gestorum ac factorum memorabilium civitatis Bononiæ (Chronicle of the events and memorable facts of the city of Bologna) is an annalistic chronicle from the foundation of Bologna to 1497. The early part is largely a compilation from the Cronaca Varig…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albertus monachus

(212 words)

Author(s): Gotzen, Daniel
[Albert of Siegburg] d. ca 1454. Germany. Cistercian monk in the archbishopric of Cologne, probably at the monastery of Heisterbach. Sometimes erroneously identified with the notary Albert Stuten of Cologne. His Cronica pontificum et imperatorum is a world history in Latin prose, divided into a history of popes and a history of emperors, beginning in the year 1273 and continued until 1456.The Cronica regards itself as a continuation of the Kölner Weltchronik, but differs from it by a more general approach. Important parts of the text are compiled from other sources…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albert von Aschach

(504 words)

Author(s): Oberlin, Adam
[von Waldkirchen] 1283-1345. Austria. Dedicatee of the Annales canoniae, and author of a continuation of these. Albert von Aschach, also known as Albert von Waldkirchen or Albert, Pfarrer zu Waldkirchen, was an Augustinian canon from the monastery of St. Florian in Upper Austria (diocese of Passau), who recorded his own birthdate as 29 September 1283. He enrolled at the monastery school at St. Florian in 1296, served the provost from 1305, and was ordained as a priest in 1318. While we know the dates…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albino, Giovanni

(279 words)

Author(s): Zuliani, Federico
ca 1445 – 1520? Italy. Cleric, humanist and diplomat at the Aragonese court in Naples. Author of the chronicle De gestis regum Neapolitanorum ab Aragonia (Of the deeds of the Neapolitan kings from Aragon). Albino was the right-hand man of both Ferdinand II and Alfonso II, whom he tutored. Despite his great importance as a diplomat and political advisor at the Aragonese court, few details of his life survive. While the precise year of his birth remains uncertain, 1520 is now generally accepted as the date of his death, …
Date: 2016-10-17

Albrecht of Bonstetten

(548 words)

Author(s): Schmid, Regula
ca 1445-1504. Switzerland. The younger son of an old noble family of regional renown. Entered the Benedictine monastery of Einsiedeln at the latest in 1465, becoming dean in 1470. He left the monastery temporarily to study arts in Freiburg im Breisgau and Basel (1466-8) and law in Pavia (1471-4). Bonstetten wrote numerous German and Latin literary works. His historical writings include the first description of the Burgundian wars ( Germanica prelia Karoli quondam Burgundie ducis et finis eius, 1477), continued by a short history of events following the death of Charles the Bold ( Histori…
Date: 2016-10-17

Albrecht von Bardewik

(194 words)

Author(s): Hashold, Jean-Philippe
fl.1300. Northern Germany. Author of short notes on the history of Lübeck in Low German prose, covering the years 1297-8. At the beginning of the text, Albrecht introduces himself as a member of the city council. He started out as a tailor, but from 1308 until his death in 1310 he was Mayor of Lübeck. He helped to map out urban and maritime law. The chronicle is the first history of Lübeck. One noteworthy episode is the narration of the return of Henry I of Mecklenburg from his 26 yea…
Date: 2016-10-17

Alderexcellenste Cronijcke van Brabant

(285 words)

Author(s): Tigelaar, Jaap
1498. Low Countries. Printed chronicle in Middle Dutch prose, filling over 400 pages in the first edition. It was written in or near Antwerp (Brabant, Belgium) by an anonymous compositoer (compiler), most likely a Brabantine monk, probably a Carthusian or member of the Augustinian Windesheim congregation.It is structured in two parts: the first opens with a geographical description of Brabant, followed by a characterisation of Brabant ('etymology of Brabancia'). Next follow, in 36 chapters, the lives of saints and religious associated with…
Date: 2016-10-17

Aldfrysk Kronykje

(146 words)

Author(s): Smithuis, Justine
[Klein Oudfries Kroniekje] 1464-79. Low Countries. A very short prose chronicle in Frisian, probably written in Frisia west of the Lauwers, preserving an extract from a larger tradition that was popular in the second half of the 15th century, of which the Latin Historia Frisiae and the Frisian and Dutch Gesta Fresonum, Gesta Frisiorum and Olde Freesche Cronike are the other representatives. This version seems to be most closely related to the last mentioned. It is preserved in manuscripts from Groningen (Ommelander archieven, 60) and Leeuwarden (Tresoar, Collectie Von Richthofen 5).S…
Date: 2016-10-17

Alexander monachus

(251 words)

Author(s): Terenzi, Pierluigi
d. post 1217. Italy. Benedictine monk, author of a Latin cartulary chronicle. Alexander lived and worked at the monastery at Carpineto della Nora, in the province of Pescara in Central Italy at the end of the 12th century, and received recognition for his collaborative work with abbot Bohemond (1181-93). The latter entrusted Alexander with some important embassies to the pope, the Norman monarchy, the imperial ambassador and the local count. Most of these missions concerned conflicts about the property and the rights of the monastery.It was in order to undergird these rights th…
Date: 2016-10-17

Alexander of Telese

(281 words)

Author(s): Loud, Graham A.
[Alessandro Telesino] fl. 1127-43. Italy. He was abbot of the monastery of the Holy Saviour, Telese (Southern Italy), and died, or ceased to be abbot, before 1144. Although ostensibly a biography, his Latin Ystoria Rogerii Regis, Sicilie Calabrie atque Apulie (History of King Roger of Sicily, ca 1136), which was dedicated to the king's sister, was in fact a detailed account and justification of Count Roger II of Sicily's conquest of mainland southern Italy in the years 1127-35, and of his creation of the kingdom of Sicily in 1130. Al…
Date: 2016-10-17
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