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, …
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 d…
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 t…
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


(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)

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,
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 15…
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 …
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 li…
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,
Date: 2016-10-17

David ben Samuel of Estelle

(330 words)

Author(s): Haverkamp, Eva
[David Kochabi] d. ca 1340.…
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.…
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 voice of the king preceded by a short, quasi-liturgical hymn that…
Date: 2016-10-17

Dei, Benedetto

(548 words)

Author(s): Böninger, Lorenz
Date: 2016-10-17
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