Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle

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Subject: History

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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al-Balādhurī

(570 words)

Author(s): al-Naboodah, Hasan
[ʾAḥmad ibn Yaḥyā ibn Jābir ibn Dāwūd al-Balādhurī] 2nd/3rd century ah (9th century ad). Mesopotamia. Author of two Arabic books of dynastic history, Futūh al-Buldān and Ansāb al-Ashrāf. Balādhurī was descended from a wealthy family that had strong connections with ministers and Caliphs in Baghdad. He inherited his surname (patronymic) from his grandfather. Though his exact date of birth is uncertain, it is obvious that Balādhurī lived in Baghdad for a period of time, since he mentions being a student to Hudha ibn Khalīfa…
Date: 2017-04-11

al-Balawī

(217 words)

Author(s): Stancu, Anne
[ʾAbū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad al-Madīnī al-Balawī] 4th century ah (10th century ad). Egypt. The exact dates of birth and death of this historian are unknown. He is the author of a biography of Aḥmad ibn Tūlūn (d. 884 ad), the first tūlūnid ruler of Egypt entitled Sīrat Aḥmad b. Tūlūn.There are several works of al-Balawī named in the Fihrist, but they are lost. His Sīrat Aḥmad ibn Tūlūn, a biography of Aḥmad ibn Tūlūn (d. 884 ad), was found in 1935 by Muḥammad Kurd ʿAli. It is one of the most important sources for the history of Egypt, the Abbāssid Caliphate and the Near East in the 9th century a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bämler, Johann

(179 words)

Author(s): Münch, Birgit
ca 1430-1503. Germany. Augsburg scribe, rubricator, printer and bookseller. Author of a High German Kaiser- und Papstchronik (Chronicle of Emperors and Popes). Published in 1476 on his own printing-press, Bämler's chronicle is a compilation of several older works, especially the Reformatio Sigismundi and large parts from the second and third chapters of the chronicle of Jakob Twinger von Königshofen. The account arranges popes and emperors in pairs, beginning with Julius Caesar and St Peter and proceeding to the end of the 15th century with Frederick III and Sixtus IV. A lar…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbaro, Giosafat

(372 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
1413-94. Italy, Persia, Russia. Venetian diplomat, merchant and travel writer for Persia and Russia. Born in Venice into a noble family, Barbaro was admitted to the Great Council in 1431 and began his travels to Tana on the Sea of Azov as a merchant in 1436 and soon served as consul to the Venetian community there. During the following years he travelled extensively to cities along the Black Sea and to the Transcaucasus, where he observed the customs of the natives. Further travels br…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbaro, Niccolò

(347 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
d. post 1453. Italy, Byzantium. Venetian physician, author of vivid, eyewitness diary in Venetian dialect on the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Born in Venice at the beginning of the 15th century, Barbaro was trained in medicine and arrived in Constantinople as a ship's doctor on one of the Venetian great galleys in 1451. When the siege of Constantinople was mounted in the spring of 1453, Barbaro was surgeon with the Venetian fleet moored in the harbour, and thus well positioned as an observer of events both on land and on …
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbieri, Filippo

(287 words)

Author(s): Pesce, Roberto
[Philippus de Barberiis] ca 1426-87. Sicily. Syracuse-born Dominican friar, theologian, inquisitor, philosopher, historian and orator, he worked in Italy, Hungary and Spain. He died in Palermo. As a historian, he composed two, or possibly three works in Latin prose.Barbieri's Cronica summorum pontificum et imperatorum (Chronicles of the most eminent popes and emperors) is a continuation of Riccobaldo Ferrarese's chronicle, a compilation written to inform. It documents the period from 1316-1469, ending with King Ferdinand II of Aragon and…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbour, John

(484 words)

Author(s): Summerfield, Thea
1330(?)-95. Scotland. Author of The Bruce (ca 1375), an account of the Scottish Wars of Independence. Southern Scots English. Octosyllabic couplets, ca 13,700 lines. Some alliteration. Two surviving manuscripts: Oxford, St. John's College, ms. G.23 (1487) (lacks the first ca 2400 lines) and Edinburgh, NLS, Adv. ms. 19.2.2 (1489; complete). Several early printed editions: by Robert Lekprevik (Edinburgh,1571), Andrew Hart (Edinburgh, 1616 and 1620) and Gideon Lithgow (Edinburgh 1648). The division into…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barbula, Joannes Pompillius

(556 words)

Author(s): Mihaljevic, Nikica
1472-ca. 1525. Croatia. Johannes Pompilius Barbula, a Croatian humanist and polymath, was born in Šibenik. Since Barbula’s talent for poetry was discovered fairly early, he was sent to study poetry in the Roman academy created by Pomponius Laetus. Around 1490-1491, he was acclaimed as poet of the year and proclaimed "poet laureate" by Laetus. After returning to Šibenik around 1491, he entered the Dominican Order and later on was sent to Ferrara and Bologna to study philosophy and theology. He earned his doctorate in theology in Ferrara in 1501.Upon his return to Šibenik, he started…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bardin, Guillaume

(339 words)

Author(s): Damian-Grint, Peter
Flourished. 1443–1474. France. Son of Pierre Bardin, a legal writer and counsellor for ecclesiastical affairs ( conseiller clerc) to the parlement of Toulouse, he followed his father in becoming counsellor for ecclesiastical affairs in 1443; he was probably ordained at about the same time. Around 1453, he was appointed professor of law in the University of Orleans, but may never have taught there; he remained conseiller clerc until 1474.Bardin’s Historia chronologica parlamentorum patriæ Occitanæ (Chronological history of the parliaments of Languedoc) covers the hist…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barḥadbshabba ʿArbaya

(280 words)

Author(s): Tannous, Jack
late 6th century. East Syria. The Syriac History of Barḥadbshabba ʿArbaya carries the title Teshʿītā da-bāhātā qadīshē de-trdef(ū) meṭūl shrārā (The History of the Holy Fathers who were persecuted on account of the Truth). It is the oldest extant work of East Syrian (Nestorian) history. Barḥadbshabba was the head instructor ( bādūqā) at the school of Nisibis and also wrote a book of treasures, controversial works aimed at refuting other religious groups, a work about the followers of Dionysios and a commentary on Mark and the Psalms. Barḥadbshab…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barlings and Hagneby Chronicles

(314 words)

Author(s): Marvin, Julia
Late 13th-early 14th century. England. The often identical Latin chronicles of these LincolnshirePremonstratensian houses begin with the early 1060s and offer a general account of English history, as well as independent local and ecclesiastical detail. Until around 1250, they are based primarily on a close analogue to the Annals of Waverley, while including other material deriving from monastic sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Henry of Huntingdon, and William of Malmesbury. Thereafter, they diverge from their known sources and (less markedly) from…
Date: 2016-10-17

Barnwell Chronicle

(224 words)

Author(s): Marvin, Julia
1250-1300. England. Latin chronicle from the Incarnation to 1232, but with only brief entries up to the year 1201. Now recognized mainly for the quality and detail of its politically and psychologically astute annals of English affairs from 1202 to 1225. This as yet unedited Chronicle takes a baronial yet relatively measured stance towards King John and shows sympathy for the sufferings of persecuted Jews in England and France. The sole manuscript is London, College of Arms, Arundel 10. Although sometime in the 13th century the manuscript came into the possession of the August…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bartholomaeus of Drahonice

(210 words)

Author(s): Bláhová, Marie
[Bartošek, Bartossius] ca 1390-1443. Bohemia. Soldier; author of Latin chronicle of the Hussite revolution. Born in a family of lower noblemen. As adherent of Sigismund of Luxembourg during the Hussite revolution he fought on the Catholic side as a member of the garrison of Prague Castle, then of Karlštejn. In 1426 he contracted an eye disease and left military service. His only work is a chronicle of the war years 1419-43, written after 1426, possibly in Karlštejn. In 85 manuscript fol…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bartholomaeus of Neocastro

(298 words)

Author(s): Tomei, Angela
ca 1240 – post 1293. Italy. Sicilian jurist in the service of the Aragonese dynasty. Born in Messina, he was a member of the leading élite of his home town that supported the revolt against Charles I of Anjou known as the Sicilian Vespers (1282). As an eye witness to most of the events he relates, around 1294-95 Bartholomaeus wrote a Latin chronicle in praise of James II of Aragon, later called Historia Sicula (History of Sicily), which covers the period from the death of Frederick II in 1250 to the year 1293.A first verse version of the chronicle, now lost but still available in the 17th century, …
Date: 2016-10-17

Bartholomäus van der Lake

(248 words)

Author(s): Pierce, Marc
d. 1468. Germany. Clergyman, later town official. Bartholomäus is best-known for his chronicle of his home city of Soest, De Historia van der Soistschen vede (History of the Soest Feud), in Early Modern Low German. Although his family seems to have established itself in Soest by the end of the 13th century, information about his early life is unavailable. He was a clergyman and a notary, before becoming town secretary in Soest in 1440. He was involved in the feud between the duke of Kleve and the archbishop of Moers, and compiled a journal during the years of the feud.The resulting chronicle …
Date: 2016-10-17

Bartolf of Nangis

(244 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
[Bartolfus peregrinus] fl. shortly before 1109. France. Author of the Gesta Franco­rum Iherusalem expugnatium, covering the years 1095-1106. Bartolf is one of the least famous and hence most neglected chroniclers of the first crusade, probably because his Gesta Francorum draws so heavily on Fulcher's Historia Hierosolymitana that it is usually treated as one of its two early adaptations rather than as an intellectually independent work. Still, Bartolf is frequently cited in more extensive accounts of the history of the crusades. He adds ma…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bartolomeo della Pugliola

(318 words)

Author(s): Damian-Grint, Peter
ca 1358–1422/5. Italy. Born probably in Bologna, he joined the Franciscans at the friary of San Francesco in Bologna ca 1374; in 1378 he was sent to finish his studies at theFranciscan Studium generale in Florence before returning to his friary in Bologna, where he was vicar from 1398 until his death.His chronicle Le Antichità di Bologna (Antiquities of Bologna), which runs from before 1104 to ca 1420, relies heavily on the lost chronicle of his contemporary Jacopo Bianchetti, the chronicles of Pietro and Floriano Villola and the Memoriale of Matteo Griffoni (see Griffonibus, Matth…
Date: 2016-10-17

Bartolomeo di ser Gorello

(236 words)

Author(s): Morreale, Laura
1322/6 - ca 1390. Italy. Notary and historian from Arezzo, author of a rhymed town chronicle. Ser Bartolomeo di ser Gorello's Cronica dei fatti d’Arezzo (Chronicle of the events of Arezzo), written in terza rima form, was begun sometime in the last quarter of the 14th century. It chronicles the history of his town from its origins, but with special attention to the author's own period, when Arezzo's inhabitants suffered from alternating periods of freedom and subjugation at the hands of their Florentine neighbours. The work imitates Dante's Divine Comedy in that its introductory cha…
Date: 2016-10-17

Basin, Thomas

(395 words)

Author(s): Daly, Kathleen
1412-90. France/Low Countries. Author of a history of Charles VII and Louis XI. Basin was born in Normandy, attended the universities of Paris, Leuven and Pavia, qualified in canon and civil law, and was bishop of Lisieux (1447-74) under the English occupation and the French recovery of the duchy. He went into exile after he lost the favour of Louis XI, residing in Rome, Trier and Utrecht. As a compensation for the loss of his see, Sixtus IV granted him the notional title archbishop of Caesarea.From 1471 he worked on his Libri hystoriarum rerum gestarum temporibus Karoli septimi et Lu…
Date: 2016-10-17

Basler Annalen

(943 words)

Author(s): Serif, Ina
(Annals of Basel) 15th-16th century. Switzerland. The so-called Basler Annalen are in fact three distinct sets of minor German-language annals, which their editor Bernoulli titled the Grössere, Kleinere, and Spätere Basler Annalen (Larger, Smaller, and Later Annals of Basel). In most of the manuscripts, the annals were added at a later stage, after the first redaction or compilation of the codex, or they survive only as a fragment. This makes it difficult to put them in context. In their fullest form, t he Grössere Basler Annalen cover the years 260-1412, with Latin continuatio…
Date: 2016-10-17
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