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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Dąbrówka, Jan

(277 words)

Author(s): Soszyński, Jacek
[Jan z Dąbrówki, Joannes Dambrowka] ca 1400/5-72. Poland. Professor of the University of Kraków, diplomat. Author of a Latin commentary on the 13th-century chronicle of Wincenty Kadłubek. Dąbrówka studied in Kraków (BA 1421; MA 1427), where he remained as professor, going through all the stages of university career (doctorate in canon law ca 1440, in theology 1453-58; nine times rector, once vice-chancellor). True to the stream of theological thinking predominant in Kraków, Dąbrówka also wrote scholastic commentarie…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dacher, Gebhard

(456 words)

Author(s): Bihrer, Andreas
ca 1425-71. Southern Germany. Town councillor in Konstanz. Dacher, who is first recorded in 1458, received citizenship of Konstanz in 1461 and represented the fishermen's guild in the council from 1465. He probably died late in 1471. A social climber who frequently expressed pride in the coat of arms which had been granted to him, he established a scriptorium in Konstanz and made slightly emended copies of the chronicle of Jakob Twinger von Königshofen and the Konzilschronik of Ulrich Richental.Dacher's main work is the vernacular Konstanzer Stadtchronik, which runs to March 1470…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dado of Verdun

(159 words)

Author(s): Gerzaguet, Jean-Pierre
9th century. Northern France. Bishop of Verdun 880-923. Wrote his Historia sui temporis in 893, as stated in a fragment of a now lost larger work, following the Viking destruction of his cathedral and its books. His short inventory of acquisitions during his own time and that of his predecessors Hatto (847-70) and Berard (870-9) is an attempt to guarantee the legitimacy of half a century's donations to the church. The fragment, inserted into the Gesta episcoporum Virdunensium of Bertarius of Verdun, which is dedicated to Dado, is cited in R. de Wassebourg's Antiquitez de la Gaule Belgique (…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dae cronika fan Hollandt

(151 words)

Author(s): Anrooij, Wim. van
(The Chronicle of Holland) ca 1464. Low Countries. This anonymous prose chronicle in a mixture of Dutch and Frisian was probably written by a regular canon of the Augustinian monastery of Thabor, near Sneek, in Frisia. Based on the Coronijck van Hollant (after ca 1405), it briefly notes the history of the Counts of Holland, from Dirk I (10th century) to Philip the Good (d. 1467). Dae cronika fan Hollandt survives only in one manuscript: Leeuwarden, Tresoar, Von Richthofen no 5, fol. 182r-184r, ca 1530, in the context of the Jus municipale Frisonum. There is no evidence of its reception…
Date: 2016-10-17

D'Alessio, Nicoletto

(374 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
ca 1320 - 1393. Italy. Notary and historian, author of a narrative of the border war of 1372-73 between Padua and Venice. Born in Koper in Slovenia around 1320, Nicoletto d'Alessio was educated in arts and letters at the University of Padua before entering service in the Venetian chancery. His participation in the uprising of his native city against Venice in 1348 lead to his arrest, imprisonment, and eventual exile. After 1362 he spent his career as a notary and later chancellor of the court of the Carrara dynasty in Padua.For his account of the Venice-Padua war, probably put in fin…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dalimil

(941 words)

Author(s): Bláhová, Marie
[Staročeská kronika tak řečeného Dalimila (The Old Czech Chronicle of the so-called Dalimil)] ca 1310/14. Bohemia. Czech national chronicle, probably from Prague, the first vernacular chronicle in the Czech Lands, written in Old Czech verse by an unknown, cultivated, patriotically-minded writer, close to the Czech nobility. During the 16th and 17th-century the chronicle was erroneously attributed to the fictitious canon of Stará Boleslav, Dalimil of Mezeříčí. Scholarly attempts to discover the real author have been unsuccessful.In nearly 4500 lines arranged in 103 chap…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dalmau de Mur

(296 words)

Author(s): Garrido Valls, David
15th century. Catalonia (Iberia). Bishop of Zaragoza and Catalan-Aragonese chancellor. Probable author of three chronicles on the lives of Ferran I, Joan I and Martí I. At any rate, the three works, which are transmitted together in two codices, had a single author who must have been linked to the royal chancellery. They were written ca 1418-24 in Catalan.The Crònica de Joan I [or Crònica del regnat de Joan I] is a history of the reign of the  Catalan-Aragonese King Joan/John I (1387-1396), son of Pere III "the Ceremonious".The Crònica de Martí I [or Crònica del regnat de Martí I] covers his …
Date: 2016-10-17

Dandolo, Andrea

(666 words)

Author(s): Dell'Aprovitola, Valentina
1306-54. Italy. Doge of Venice, compiler of one of the most important histories of the town. Born of a noble Venetian family, Andrea Dandolo was a man of vast legal and historical erudition, a patron of the arts, and an advocate of the new culture in State administration that today we call "prehumanistic". His cursus honorum in Venetian public life was precocious, leading him to the dignity of doge in 1343, a rank he held until his death 11 years later. His administration was closely linked to his cultural education, and was essentially based on the…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dandolo, Enrico

(362 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
14th century. Italy. He was born in Venice early in the century, into the powerful Dandolo family, perhaps a kinsman of the doge Andrea Dandolo, but otherwise little is known of his life. His major work is Cronica veneta dall'origine della città al 1373 (Chronicle of Venice from its origin to 1373).The earlier part of the Chronica borrows heavily from other historians, whereas the latter parts consciously depart from the medieval annalist tradition. The section 1350-73 is original and detailed, valuable for its attention to economic factors, but col…
Date: 2016-10-17

Daniel's dream

(1,509 words)

Author(s): Dunphy, Graeme
The need to structure history clearly in order to find larger patterns in the mass of detail has given rise to many historiographical schemata. After the principle of the sex aetates mundi (see Six Ages of the World), the most popular pattern for structuring Biblical and classical history in medieval chronicles is the construction of a series of empires modelled on the Somnium Danielis, Daniel's dream in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Sometimes this is referred to in the plural, Somnia Danielis, for the prophet had four dreams, and at least one other - t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Danske Rimkrønike

(288 words)

Author(s): Mortensen, Lars B.
(Danish Rhyme Chronicle) 15th century (second half). Denmark. In more than 5000 rhymed verses the story of Denmark is told as royal biographies, or rather "autobiographies", as the subjects present themselves and their own deeds in the first person. No less than 115 Danish kings from Dan to Christian I (1448-81) step forward to tell of their successes, shortcomings and even their own death. The monologues are of varying length, running from just a few lines to several pages. The brethren in Sorø (o…
Date: 2016-10-17

Danziger Chronik vom Bunde

(248 words)

Author(s): Pierce, Marc
15th century. Prussia. Chronicle of the city of Danzig (Gdańsk), covering the years 1439-66. This chronicle deals with the formation of the Prussian confederation under the leadership of Danzig and the subsequent conflict with the Teutonic Order. The text is written from the point of view of the city, and is therefore not neutral, and probably not always entirely reliable. Reconstructing the exact text is difficult, as the (presumed) manuscripts from the 15th century have all been lost, and we are therefore reliant on evidence from the incorporation of the chronicl…
Date: 2016-10-17

Danziger Ordenschronik

(159 words)

Author(s): Pierce, Marc
15th century. Prussia. Lost but reconstructable chronicle in High German. The Preußische Chronik of Stenzel Bornbach (1530-97) states that some of its source material stems from a work written by one Heinrich Kaper, and a Danziger Ordenchronik (chronicle of the Teutonic Order's activities in Gdańsk) was therefore attributed to Kaper. This chronicle supposedly covered the time period from 1190-1439, and focused on the history of Prussia under the Teutonic Knights. It is said to have been a well-known compilation in the 16th century, and would have been the oldest existing Pru…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dardel, Jean

(275 words)

Author(s): Bratu, Cristian
d. 1384. France, Egypt etc. Friar Minor of the French Franciscan order, adviser and confessor to King Leo V of Armenia, and chronicler of Armenia. Dardel was born in Estampes at an unknown date and became a Franciscan towards the mid-14th century. In 1375, he joined other pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem and Mount Sinai. In Cairo, he met Leo, who had been captured by the Emir of Aleppo, and soon became his friend, advisor, confessor, secretary and ambassador. Leo sent him to various European courts to intercede for his liberty and was…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dati, Agostino

(675 words)

Author(s): Paolini, Devid
[Augustinus Datus, Dathus]1420-April 8, 1478. Italy. Agostino Dati was born into a bourgeois family from Siena in 1420. The exact date of his birth is not recorded but we know that he was baptized on February 18. In Siena, Dati studied under the guidance of Francesco Filelfo and soon became noted for his knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and the Holy Scriptures. He was first invited to Urbino by the local duke, Oddo Antonio da Montefeltro, to teach there and then to Rome by Pope Nicholas V to serve as magister pontificiarum epistolarum. However, Dati decided to return to his birthplac…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dati, Gregorio

(376 words)

Author(s): Lang, Heinrich
[Goro] 1362-1435. Italy. Florentine patrician, merchant, historian. Author of two historical works, Libro segreto and Istoria di Firenze, both in Tuscan Italian. Following his father's métier, Dati became a setaiolo grosso (entrepreneur in the silk business). His economic wellbeing mostly derived from his four wives' dowries. His political career led him to hold various important offices and after 1430 he appeared in the informal meetings of councillors where his ideas evidently spread.The Libro segreto (secret Book), written between 1384 and 1428, is compiled from n…
Date: 2016-10-17

David ben Samuel of Estelle

(330 words)

Author(s): Haverkamp, Eva
[David Kochabi] d. ca 1340. France. Jewish scholar from Estelle (Étoile-sur-Rhône, Dauphiné); author of an overview of rabbinical scholarship as an introduction to his Qiryat Sefer (Borough of the Book), written in Provence. The Qiryat Sefer consists of three parts on God, the preservation of body and soul, and rules for social relationships. In its introduction, David includes a short history of rabbinical scholarship ( Seder ha-Qabbalah, order of tradition).Beginning with the Geonim, major scholars of the academies in Sura and Pumbedita from the 7th to the end of the 11th century, …
Date: 2016-10-17

De expugnatione Lyxbonensi

(371 words)

Author(s): Branco, Maria João
[Crónica da Conquista de Lisboa] mid-12th century. Portugal. Written by a certain R[aoul], a priest of the Second Crusade who landed in Lisbon in 1147, this Latin text is regarded as one of the most important accounts of a medieval siege, with details on military warfare and psychological insights into the Islamic, Christian and Crusader worlds.Having participated actively, either in the military actions during the four month siege of Lisbon, or in the diplomatic dealings between Muslims and Christians, before, during and after the siege, Raoul give…
Date: 2016-10-17

De expugnatione Scalabis

(172 words)

Author(s): Henriques, António Castro
(On the conquest of Santarém) 1147. Portugal. A two-page account of the capture of Santarém in 1147, told in the first person by King Afonso I (d. 1185). Although it only survives in a late 12th-century manuscript from the scriptorium of Alcobaça entitled Quomodo Sit Capta Sanctaren ciuitas a rege Alfonso comitis Henrico filio (Lisbon, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Fundo Alcobacense 415), the original text was written in Coimbra shortly after the event, very likely in the cathedral. Its unusual format, with the description of the event in the v…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dei, Benedetto

(548 words)

Author(s): Böninger, Lorenz
1418-92. Florence, Italy. Prolific humanist writer and author of vernacular town and national chronicles. Dei is possibly best known for his assiduous activity as a writer of news letters to the princely courts of Milan, Mantua (Mantova) and Ferrara in the 1480s, which made him a free-lance journalist avant la lettre, but his four historical works, all written in the Florentine dialect of Italian, are equally important. After having travelled extensively on Florentine merchant galleys in the Mediterranean and to Northern Europe, he returned to …
Date: 2016-10-17
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