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Chronographia regum Francorum

(180 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
ca 1405-29. France. This Latin chronicle of French kings was written in two parts. After a prologue taken from the abridged version of the chronicle of Guillaume de Nangis, the first part covers the reigns from the origins of the Franks to St. Louis; the second, from Philippe III the Bold to 1405. It is only from the reign of Charles V that any originality is evident. It has similarities with two vernacular histories, the Chronique normande du XIVe siècle and the Generations, li parole et lignie des contes de Flandre, either through a common source or more probably through use of the…
Date: 2016-10-17

Petrus Bechini

(123 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Pierre Béchin] fl. 1137. France. Canon of St. Martin of Tours (Benedictine) in the reign of Louis VI, he is the author of a universal chronicle from Creation to 1137, the material for which he culled largely from Jerome, Isidore, Orosius, Sulpicius Severus, Gregory of Tours, the Annales qui dicuntur Einhardi, William of Malmesbury and archival documents. The only original material he supplied concerns the collegiate church of St Martin of Tours. His chronicle was used heavily and continued by the compilers of the Annales S. Sergii Andegavensis ( Annals of St. Serge at Angers). Surviving…
Date: 2016-10-17

Guillelmus Andernensis

(184 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[William of Andres] ca 1176 - post 1234. France. Author of a Latin monastic chronicle. Born near Boulogne sur Mer, he entered the Benedictine monastery of Andres (also called Andernes) near Ardres at an early age. In 1208 he was elected abbot, but the mother-house of Charroux contested the election. After papal intervention, a second election in 1211 confirmed him as abbot. He wrote the Chronica Andernensis monasterii, covering the period 1024-1234. For the time before 1194 he is essentially dependant on Andreas of Marchiennes. After 1194 he provides numerous d…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hélinand of Froidmont

(185 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
ca 1160- post 1229. France. Hélinand was a trouvère before becoming a monk at Froidmont (Cistercian) ca 1182. He is last heard of participating in the foundation of the University of Toulouse in 1229. Amongst other works he composed between 1211 and 1223 a Latin universal chronicle from the Creation to 1204 in 49 books, only some of which survive. Two manuscripts, including Bonn, UB & LB, S 363, contain Books 1-18 (up to Alexander the Great), while a 16th-century edition has 45-49 (covering 634-1204). Hélinand cites his sources (authors and titles), even giving contradicto…
Date: 2016-10-17

Vincent of Beauvais

(766 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Vincentius Bellovacensis] 13th century. Northern France. Dominican encyclopedist whose Speculum maius, includes a Speculum historiale. Vincent probably entered the Couvent des Dominicains in Paris soon after its foundation in 1218. By 1246 he was sub-prior at the Monastery of Beauvais and lector at the abbey of Royaumont. He later became a friend of King Louis IX, Queen Marguerite of Provence and other members of the royal family who commissioned many works from him. He died at Beauvais in 1264.Around 1235, probably at the request of the prior of the province of France, …
Date: 2016-10-17

Liber historiae Francorum

(201 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
(Book of the history of the Franks) 8th century. France. Written between 726 and 737 in Neustria, probably by a layman near Soissons. For the period up to 584 the author uses the 7th-century abridged version of Gregory of Tours adding a few details from elsewhere. For the years 584-727 it is more original and uses direct witnesses for the reign of Childebert III (697-711). It is the first history of the Franks to abandon the universal chronicle format. From 736 the text is recast by an Austrasian and this version, known as the Gesta regum Francorum, was the source of the Fredegar continuat…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nicolaus of Bray

(232 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Braviacensis] 13th century. France. Author of a Latin epic poem on deeds of Louis VIII. Probably dean of the church at Bray-sur-Seine, he was present when the royal army laid siege to Avignon in 1226. He wrote an 1870 line epic poem Gesta Ludovici VIII in praise of the King of France, Louis VIII le Lion, which he dedicated to William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris from 1228 to 1248. In it he lays stress on the coronation of Louis, his military foray into the Poitou, Aunis and Saintonge in 1224, hi…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicon S. Medardi Suessionensis

(111 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
13th century. France. Latin universal chronicle of St. Médard of Soissons. Extending from the birth of Christ to 1249, this text was possibly compiled by Gobert of Coincy (Gobertus de Coinciaco), Benedictine monk (later prior) at Vic sur Aisne (1223-54). He interrupted his writing when appointed chief prior of St Médard in 1254, but resumed it in 1260, mainly with personal details. He also included several details concerning Gautier de Coincy and the Crusades. The work is extant in a unique manuscript copied at the end of the 13th century, Paris, BnF, lat. 4998.Rech, RégisBibliography Tex…
Date: 2016-10-17

William of Rubruck

(303 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Guillelmus de Rubruquis] ca 1215/20-1293. France, Asia. Franciscan author of a Latin account of attempt to Christianise the Mongols. Born in Rubrouck (Southern Flanders), William joined the Crusade in 1248, probably in the entourage of St. Louis. He stayed in St. Jean d'Acre until 1253 when the report of a Mongol khan's conversion to Christianity inspired him to spread the Gospel among his people. With a letter of recommendation from Louis, he went to the Great Khan Möngke in Karakorum,…
Date: 2016-10-17

Thegan of Trier

(191 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Degan of Treves] 9th century. Germany. Chorepiscopus of Trier, Thegan was a friend of Walafrid Strabo, the latter writing the preface and the chapter titles for the former's account of the deeds of Louis the Pious, normally called Gesta Ludovici Imperatoris, but sometimes known as Vita Ludovici Imperatoris, a title found in two of the eighteen known manuscripts. His work is written in purely annalistic form, starting from the period of St Arnoul of Metz but essentially concerned with the years 814-35. His main sources are Einhard's Vita Karoli and possibly the Annales Regni Francorum (t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronicon S. Michaelis monasterii in pago Virdunensi

(194 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
(Chronicle of St. Michael's monastery in the territory of Verdun) ca 1035-50. France. Benedictine. Written by an anonymous, aged monk during the abbacy of Nantère, this history of the monastery from 722 till 1034 gives scant attention to its legendary origins and miracles. While acknowledging the importance of abbot Smaragdus, the author admits his ignorance of any of his successors, but writes at length on the events of the abbacy of Nantère, who acquired the relics of St. Calixtus. He gives p…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hugh of Flavigny

(194 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[of Verdun; Hugo Flaviniacensis, Virdunensis] ca 1065-post 1111. France. Hugh was a Benedictine monk at Saint-Vanne (Verdun) before being expelled for his support of the pope against the emperor. After a stay at Saint-Bénigne (Dijon) he was appointed abbot of Flavigny in 1096. Political pressure meant that he was expelled in 1099, re-instated in 1100, re-expelled in 1101. He then went to Lorraine, changed allegiance and was appointed abbot of Saint-Vanne by the emperor in 1111. His two-boo…
Date: 2016-10-17

William of Brittany

(504 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Guillaume le Breton, William Brito, Guillelmus Armoricus] ca 1165-post 1226. France. Author of Latin histories in praise of Philip-Augustus. Born in the diocese of St. Pol de Léon, William moved to Mantes at the age of twelve. After attending school in Paris where he met Gilles de Paris, he joined the entourage of Philip-Augustus (Philip II of France) before the end of the century, eventually becoming his chaplain. He accompanied him at the siege of Château-Gaillard (1203), in Flanders (121…
Date: 2016-10-17

John of Mailly

(339 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Iohannes de Malliaco] 13th century. France. Author of a Latin legendary and a universal chronicle. John was probably from Mailly-le-Château in the diocese of Auxerre. As a secular clerk he composed the Abbreviatio in gestis et miraculis sanctorum, an abridged universal legendary organised according to the liturgical calendar of Auxerre. He wrote a second version soon after 1234, and a third in 1243, which was augmented by lives of St. Clement, first bishop of Metz, and St. Dominic, as by that time he had become a Dominican monk at…
Date: 2016-10-17

Nicolaus of Amiens

(189 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Ambianensis] 1147 - post 1207. France. Author of a Latin universal chronicle. Although best known as a theologian of the Porretan school, author of a Liber de articulis fidei presented to the pope Clement III (1187-91) and a Liber de Trinitate, Nicolaus also wrote a Chronicon Universale in eight books. Books I-V deal with the first five ages of the world, Book VI with the period from Christ to Diocletian, Book VII from Constantine to Charlemagne, Book VIII reaches the coronation of Peter II of Aragon by Innocent III in 1204. The last three…
Date: 2016-10-17

Chronica latina Sabaudiae

(134 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
(Latin Chronicle of Savoy) ca 1487. France. History of the House of Savoy from its origins to 1487, by a clerical author. The first part is a résumé of Cabaret d'Orville's Chronique de Savoye covering the period from the legendary founder of the dynasty Bérold to Duke Amédée VII (1391-1451). The period 1451-87, the rule of Amédée VIII, is written in greater detail, following the annalistic pattern, but extending its subject matter to the kingdom of France, Burgundy, Switzerland and Rome. One manuscript appends a genealogy of th…
Date: 2016-10-17

Jean de Venette

(346 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
ca 1307-70. France. Author of a Latin history of the mid-14th-century. A Carmelite from the village of Venette near Compiègne who usually lived in Paris in the Carmelite house of the Place Maubert. He spent two years (1354 and 1368) in Reims. Almost certainly a different person from the CarmeliteJean "Fillons" de Venette, who in 1357 wrote a huge poem of some 40,000 lines in French entitled Les Trois Maries.The chronicle has been incorrectly considered to be a continuation of the chronicle of Guillaume de Nangis because it happened to appear in some of the same m…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bertarius of Verdun

(155 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
ca 857 - post 916. France. A member of bishop Hatto's family and associated with bishop Dado, Bertarius was first a pupil, then canon, afterwards priest of Verdun (by 879). He undertook to compose his Gesta episcoporum Virdunensium, a chronicle of the bishops of Verdun, after a fire had damaged the cathedral and burnt almost all the archives (ca 916). Using a catalogue of bishops that had survived the fire, he added material gleaned from what he had read and from oral tradition, starting from the first bishop, St. Saintin and endin…
Date: 2016-10-17

Flodoard of Reims

(360 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
10th century. France. Born in 894, probably in Epernay, Flodoard studied at Reims in the school recently restored by Archbishop Fulk(882-900). Although a canon of the cathedral supported by archbishops Hervé (900-22) and Séulf (923-5) his career was jeopardised by his backing of a monk, Artaud, in the latter's attempt to be elected to the archbishopric. Artaud sent him on missions to Rome (936-9) and to the Synod of Ingelheim in 948. He was elected bishop of Noyon in 951 but was supplanted in 95…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hugh of Poitiers

(267 words)

Author(s): Rech, Régis
[Hugo Pictavinus] 12th century. France. Author of a Latin history of the Benedictine monastery of Vézelay (Bourgogne, France). Hugh entered the abbey during the time of the abbot Ponce of Montboissier (1138-61), brother of Peter the Venerable. After Ponce's death, Hugh became secretary to the new abbot Guillaume de Mello. Judging by his literary output he must have had an excellent education. He compiled the cartulary of the abbey as a source for its history, the Historia Vizeliacensis monasterii. The cartulary lays the foundations for the abbey's claims to exemptions and…
Date: 2016-10-17
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