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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Cabaret d'Orville

(327 words)

Author(s): Le Saux, Françoise Hazel Marie
[Jean d'Orreville, d'Oronville] 15th century. France. From Orville in Picardy (now Pas-de-Calais). Possibly secretary to Charles I, duke of Bourbon (then Count of Clermont). Author of a chronicle of Savoy and a chronicle of Duke Loys of Bourbon, both in French.The Chronique de Savoye is a prose panegyric of the Counts of Savoy from the early 11th century to the end of the 14th, based on the Chronicon Altacumbae abbatae. The focus is anecdotal, and the account contains a number of inaccuracies and omissions. It is extant in over 30 manuscripts copied between 1450 …
Date: 2016-10-17

Cadamosto, Alvise

(335 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Alvise da Mosto; da Ca' da Mosto] 15th century. Italy. Venetian merchant and travel writer who explored the coast of West Africa and discovered the Cape Verde Islands in 1455-57. Born into a Venetian noble family at its palace, Ca' da Mosto, Alvise da Mosto travelled frequently as a young man on Venetian merchant fleets to North Africa, Alexandria, Crete and Flanders (1445-52). On a voyage to Flanders in 1454, adverse winds forced his ship to make an unplanned stop at Cape St. Vincent, where he soon e…
Date: 2016-10-17

Caesarius of Heisterbach

(125 words)

Author(s): Dunphy, Graeme
1180-1240. Germany. Prior of the Cistercian house at Heisterbach, near Cologne. Often referred to as a chronicler, though generically this is problematic. He was an influential and prolific author, best known for theological works and hagiography. His most influential work, the Dialogus Miraculorum, is a collection of sermon exempla couched in a dialogue beteen an "enquiring novice" and a "responding monk". Caesarius' erroneous reputation as a chronicler derives from its reception as a source text for example by John Rous. In fact his o…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cagnola, Giovan Pietro

(306 words)

Author(s): Lamboglia, Rosanna
[Zohanepetro; Zoan Petro; Gian Pietro] ca 1430-after 1519. Italy. An almost unknown character, on whom biographical information is scant. The short rubric at the beginning of his work, Storia di Milano, notes that he was a castellan of the Rocca of Sartirana-Lomellina (Lombardia).The Storia di Milano (History of Milan) was dedicated to Prince Maria Sforza Visconti (1452-1508), Duke of Milan, in 1519. It is a work in prose in nine books, written in Italian Vulgar, and narrates the events of the history of city of Milan from the times of the…
Date: 2016-10-17

Calco, Tristano

(408 words)

Author(s): Bratu, Cristian
1462-1515/16. Italy. Tristano Calco was born into an aristocratic family which originated from the area around Como and had settled in Milan around the 1350s. In 1478, he became an archivist for the library of the house of Sforza in Pavia.His first work was the Nuptiae Mediolanensium ducum (Weddings of the Dukes of Milan), dedicated to Ludovico Sforza and written in 1489 on the occasion of the wedding between Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella of Aragon (Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, ms. H 55 sup). His second work, the Nuptiae Mediolanensium et Estensium principum (Weddings of the Pr…
Date: 2016-10-17

Caleffini, Ugo

(309 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
15th century. Italy. "Ferrara’s most reliable chronicler" (Samarrai) was born in Rovigo in 1439 and spent most of his life as a minor notary at the Este court. Though he was not part of an inner circle, as his contemporary Bernardino Zambotti was via his uncle, Caleffini's position gave him extensive insight into politics and every-day court life, which he documents faithfully. His diario covers the years 1471-94. It is especially valuable for its almost daily records of prices, appointments and taxes at the outbreak of the war between Ferarra and Venice (1…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cambi, Giovanni

(414 words)

Author(s): Lamboglia, Rosanna
[Giovanni Opportuni] 1458-1535. Italy. Author of a history of Florence. He has often been confused with two other Giovanni Cambi, likewise Florentines, who were members of a well-known merchant family Cambi da Querceto. Our author, who was born in Florence on 21 September 1458, belonged to the ancient Importuni family, the surname of which was later changed by its ancestors to Cambi, following an accusation and condemnation of being Ghibelline. His father, in particular, was a leading f…
Date: 2016-10-17

Camminer Chronik

(248 words)

Author(s): Derwich, Marek
[Kamminer Chronik, Chronica Caminensis] 14th century. Poland. A chronicle of the dukes of West Pomerania covering the years 1170-1326, written ca 1326-40 by an author connected with the cathedral at Kamień Pomorski (Cammin in Pommern). Although the work is in Latin, it is usually known by the German title coined by Jähnke. The text gives brief genealogies of the dukes from Bogislaw I to Wartislaw III, highlighting their gifts to the cathedral. However, it contains many factual errors.This chronicle was used by Augustine of Stargard, and it is likely that it was Augustine…
Date: 2016-10-17

Candida, Giovanni di

(348 words)

Author(s): Pesce, Roberto
1450-post 1504. Italy/France. Born in Avellino, in Southern Italy, he worked and lived in France, serving the royal Court as humanist, ambassador, and historian. He wrote three erudite compendia on French history and royalty.The Historia Francorum abbreviata a Troiana urbe usque ad Carolum VIII (Abbreviated History of the Franks from Troy to Charles VIII) is a summary of French history written at the beginning of the kingdom of King Charles VIII upon the request of the abbot of St. Denis, Jean de Bilhères-Lagraulas (1434/9-99). Manuscript: Paris, BnF, lat. 10909.During the period…
Date: 2016-10-17

Candidus of Isauria

(279 words)

Author(s): Hoffmann, Lars Martin
second half of the 5th century. Byzantium. On record as a notary or clerk in the service of certain noble families of his native Isauria, Candidus was the author of a History (Λόγοι ἱστορίας, Logoi historias), which according to the information supplied by the patriarch Photios I (9th century), originally consisted of three volumes ( l ogoi). From the whole text only a short summary in the so-called Bibliotheke of Photios has come down to us. Photios reports some autobiographical comments from Candidus's work, recording that he was born at Tracheia in Cilicia (A…
Date: 2016-10-17

Canon of Sambia

(330 words)

Author(s): Vollmann-Profe, Gisela
[Canonicus Sambiensis] fl. 1330s. Sambia (East Prussia). The anonymous author of annalistic records known as Epitome gestorum Prussie probably was from Königsberg. The text has been subdivided by the editors into nine (Toeppen) or twelve (Arndt) sections, which in the manuscript follow neither a systematic nor a chronological order. Nor are its short narrative entries limited to events in Prussia; they also present imperial and papal history, and the history of the Samland bishopric. The Epitome stretches from the slaughter of the Innocents up to 1338, with the supplem…
Date: 2016-10-17

Canso d'Antioca

(172 words)

Author(s): Sweetenham, Carol
13th century in its current form. France. A fragment of a longer poem in Occitan, it survives as 714 lines in laisses of rhymed alexandrines with vers orphelin. It has been ascribed to the Gregory Bechada who according to Geoffrey of Vigeois wrote a long vernacular poem on the First Crusade, but the link is tenuous. There is one faulty jongleur-type manuscript from Roda in Aragon: Madrid, Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia, cód. 117. Sections of extant text plus possible other sections survive in Spanish translation in the 13th-century crusade compilation Gran conquista de Ult…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cantatorium Sancti Huberti

(356 words)

Author(s): Dierkens, Alain
[Chronicon Sancti Huberti Andaginensis] ca 1100. Low Countries. Chronicle of the Benedictine abbey of St. Hubert. It was probably written by Lambertus iunior, who was the abbey's cantor and scholaster. The work on the chronicle was started towards the end of the 11th century (1098?), but it breaks off in the middle of a sentence, when treating the year 1106. This is probably caused by the loss of the last folios of the manuscript on which the later tradition depends (Brussels, KBR, II 1515, originally from the abbey of Orval).The chronicle treats the history of the abbey of Andage (…
Date: 2016-10-17

Canterbury Cathedral Chronicle

(75 words)

Author(s): Kennedy, Edward Donald
13th century. England. A short 9-folio chronicle in French from the Incarnation to 1087, ending with the appointment of Guy as abbot of the Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury, preserved in Canterbury, Cathedral Library, add. ms. 17 (late 13th century), undoubtedly intended to teach the Normans some of the early history of the land they now occupied. Unedited.Kennedy, Edward DonaldBibliography Literature N.R. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, 2, 1977, 305-6.
Date: 2016-10-17

Cantilupe, Nicholas

(378 words)

Author(s): Putter, Ad
[Cantelupe, Cantelowe, Cantlow] 15th century. England. A Carmelite prior in Cambridge, Bristol, Gloucester and finally Northampton. His surviving works, all in Latin prose, consist of two mythical histories of the Carmelite order (extant in fragmentary transcripts by the 16th-century antiquarian John Bale) and a fantastical history of the University of Cambridge, Historiola de antiquitate et origine almae et immaculatae Universitatis Cantebrigiae (Little History Concerning the Antiquity and Origin of the kindly and immaculate University of Cambridge).Probably written b…
Date: 2016-10-17

Cantinelli, Pietro

(380 words)

Author(s): Dell'Aprovitola, Valentina
[Petrus Cantinellus] 13th century. Central Italy. Author of a Latin chronicle of events in the Romagna region from 1228 to 1306. He was probably born in 1235, but we know nothing else of his family or social provenance. The contents and biographical references in the Chronicon, the only work attributed to him, indicate that he was well acquainted with the political society of 13th-century Bologna; the text is animated by a restrained philoimperial feeling, probably due to his post of auctoritate imperiali notarius, which he mainly held - as far as we know - in the city of Fae…
Date: 2016-10-17

Caoursin, Guillelmus

(405 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
ca 1430-1501. Flanders and Greece. Author of the Hospitaller chronicle Obsidionis Rhodiae urbis descriptio (Description of the siege of Rhodes). Caoursin was born in Flanders and graduated as a doctor of the liberal arts and a professor of law at the Sorbonne (Paris), but returned to the family home at Rhodes (Greece) sometime before 1462. There, though not a member of the Hospitallers, he became vice-chancellor of the grandmaster Pierre d'Aubusson and hence a chronicler, as this had been the assigned duty of the Order's chancellor since 1446.The Descriptio , which records the spect…
Date: 2016-10-17

Capgrave, John

(425 words)

Author(s): Peverley, Sarah L.
1393-1464. England. Author of numerous works including a Latin Liber de Illustribus Henricis and a Middle English Abbreuiacion of Cronicles. A native of Lynn, Norfolk, Capgrave joined the Augustinian Order (OESA) ca 1410. He studied at London (1417-22) and Cambridge (1422-27) before becoming prior of Lynn and prior provincial of England (1453-57). A prolific writer, he produced approximately forty-one works, including biblical commentaries and saints' lives, but only twelve survive.Completed for Henry VI shortly after his visit to Lynn in 1446, the Liber recounts the deeds of…
Date: 2016-10-17

Capponi, Gino di Neri

(261 words)

Author(s): Lang, Heinrich
1350-1421. Italy. Florentine politician, merchant and writer of Ricordi (Memoirs). Belonging to a distinguished family of merchants he entered the top layer of Florentine politics. Although he held a share in a silk trading company and introduced the craft of the battiloro (a goldsmith for threads into silk cloth) to Florence around 1420, his prominence resulted from his political career after 1391, the period of the optimates' restoration after the Ciompi-tumult. He played a key role in the Florentine conquest of Pisa in 1406.A year before his death he wrote his Ricordi, in volgare. Hi…
Date: 2016-10-17

Capponi, Neri di Gino

(364 words)

Author(s): Lang, Heinrich
1388-1457. Italy. Florentine patrician, merchant and politician. Son of Gino di Neri Capponi. Author of the Commentari (Commentaries). Before he started a unique political career, he was involved in business as a merchant-banker together with his brothers. In the 1420s he held his first important offices: he was sent abroad as military commissioner and diplomat, therefore he had major influence on condottieri and foreign governments. After the return of the Medici in 1434 he became one of the few leading figures of the Medici regime, second only to Cosimo.It was probably in the 145…
Date: 2016-10-17
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