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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Fabri, Felix

(443 words)

Author(s): Israel, Uwe
ca 1440-1502. Switzerland, then Germany. Born in Zürich as Felix Schmid. Observant Dominican priest-friar, lector of the priory and preacher first in Basel, later in Pforzheim, and finally in Ulm, where he died. Author of the Latin Descriptio Theutoniae, Sueviae et civitatis Ulmensis, de eius origine et regimine et de eius civibus.Fabri is well-known for his detailed description of his pilgrimages ( Evagatorium in Terrae Sanctae , Arabiae et Egypti peregrinationem). In fact, his history of Swabia and Ulm was originally intended to be the last chapter of his travel…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fabyan, Robert

(393 words)

Author(s): Neumaier, Marco
d. 1513. England. Draper, alderman, and sheriff of London, and author of The New Chronicles of England and France, written in Middle English. Fabyan's intention is announced in the prologue, where he calls the work a Concordaunce of Storyes. It connects English and French history, which had been closely intertwined since the Norman Conquest in 1066. In the seven parts of his chronicle Fabyan methodically follows the history of kings and their reigns. The first four are dedicated to British and English rulers beginning with Brutus. F…
Date: 2016-10-17

Facio, Bartolomeo

(284 words)

Author(s): Delle Donne, Fulvio
ca 1400 - 1457. Italy. Born in La Spezia, Facio studied in Verona with Guarino and was a notary and chancellor in Lucca and Genoa. In 1445 he moved to Naples, where he established close relations with Antonio Beccadelli (Panormita). At the end of a sharp polemic with Lorenzo Valla (Facio reproached his overly realistic historical method and the lack of decorum and brevitas) Facio became official historian of Alfonso the Magnanimous. In 1434 he wrote the historic tale De origine inter Gallos ac Britannos belli historia (History of the origin of the war between the French and the E…
Date: 2016-10-17

Færeyinga Saga

(224 words)

Author(s): Mundal, Else
(The saga of the Faroe Islanders) ca 1200. Iceland. The anonymous author was in all likelihood an Icelander. This Old Norse saga is not preserved as a continuous text, but is known from excerpts incorporated into Snorri Sturluson's Óláfr inn helgi, the anonymous Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (The great saga about Óláfr Tryggvason, ca 1300) and the Flateyjarbók (GKS 1005 fol., Reykjavík, 1380s). The text found in editions of Færeyinga saga is assembled from the different sagas which have used it as a source. Færeyinga saga cannot be reconstructed without lacunas, and the text h…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fagrskinna

(217 words)

Author(s): Bagge, Sverre
[The fair parchment] 13th century. Norway. Anonymous saga, written in Old Norse, covering the period from Hálfdan svarti, father of the first ruler of the whole of Norway, to 1177. It was probably written around 1220 in Norway, most likely in the Trøndelag area. It is uncertain whether the author was Norwegian or Icelandic. The main focus of the work is on the Norwegian kings and their deeds. A number of skaldic stanzas are quoted or alluded to, and the author must have known a number of earlier sagas, including Ágrip af Noregs Konunga Sogum , Morkinskinna and possibly the lost works by Ar…
Date: 2016-10-17

al-Fākihī

(157 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[ʾAbū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn al-ʿAbbās al-Fākihī] 3rd century ah (9th century ad). Mecca. No secure dates for his life are transmitted except his own statements in his Taʾrīkh Makka (History of Mecca), preserved in Leiden, UB, Or. 463. Only the second half of his work survives in this unique manuscript. It was partly edited by Wüstenfeld. Following his own dates al-Fākihī may have completed his work between 272 ah / 885-86 ad and 275 ah / 889 ad, and it is much more extensive than the History of Mecca by al-Azraqī. Although al-Fākihī's work is similar to the work of al-Azra…
Date: 2016-10-17

Falco of Benevento

(338 words)

Author(s): Becker, Julia
ca 1070 - probably 1144. Italy. Notary and judge in Benevento. Author of the Latin Chronicon Beneventanum (Chronicle of Benevent). The chronicler, of Beneventan origin, was active from 1092 as notarius et scriba Sacri Beneventani Palatii (notary and scribe of the Sacred Beneventan Palace) and from 1133 as judge in his homeland, as 16 extant documents written and signed by him testify. Clues to Falco's political activities are to be found also in his Chronicon, in which the history of the city of Benevento takes first place. Due to its acephalic preservation, his work …
Date: 2016-10-17

Family chronicles

(1,757 words)

Author(s): Dunphy, Graeme
CharacteristicsFamily chronicles are one of the smaller but livelier categories of chronicles in the late Middle Ages. Typically an urban phenomenon, they become common in the fourteenth and fifteenth century especially in the two areas where the process of urban emancipation was most advanced: Northern Italy and the German-speaking lands. Family chronicles are a particularly interesting source for historians of the late medieval and early modern town, as they abound in details of everyday life.…
Date: 2016-12-06

Family chronicles of the Czech Lands

(486 words)

Author(s): Bláhová, Marie
15th and 16th centuries. Bohemia. Family records of the lower nobility in Latin, Czech and German.The first family chronicle in the Czech Lands appeared in 1404, when an unknown intellectual in Middle Bohemia began to record the events of his family's life - births, deaths and marriages - together with some short historical records about the events in his region, in Latin on a blank sheet of the manuscript of the letters by Peter of Blois and other texts. Other members of this Catholic family, which moved to V…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fantosme, Jordan

(278 words)

Author(s): Ailes, Marianne
fl. 1174. England. Fantosme may have been a clerk at Winchester when he wrote his 2065-line Anglo-Norman verse account of contemporary events (1173-74). He claims to have witnessed some but not all of the events narrated. There are some errors of fact in his account of the campaign against the rebels in East Anglia but he gives considerable and authoritative detail about Henry II's wars against the Scots and in the North of England. Presenting the tensions between Henry II and his eld…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fasciculus temporum, Veldener version

(764 words)

Author(s): Fabriek, Leo | Verboon,Annemieke
1480. Low Countries. Middle Dutch translation of Werner Rolevinck's Fasciculus temporum, complemented with a series of prose chronicles on the kings of France and England and the princes of several principalities of the Low Countries, namely Brabant, Utrecht, Flanders, Holland, Guelders and Cleves, using the same complicated layout as the original . The smaller chronicles, which enlarge the text by 70%, have their focus explicitly on the (legendary) origins of the provinces.The editio princeps was produced in Utrecht in 1480 by Jan (or Johan) Veldener, who had alread…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fasti Berolinenses

(147 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
4th or 5th century. Byzantium or Egypt. Fragmentary Greek consularia (see Consularia and fasti) for the years 251-70, 306, 312-7, 326-38, with ten historical entries and four illustrations, written on a single damaged piece of papyrus in Berlin (Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Papyrus 13296). This is an odd document, since it is a Greek translation of two distinct Latin traditions: on the one hand consular fasti that are closely related to the precursor of the Fasti Vindobonenses and of Prosper, and on the other, historical entries that for the most part derive from the Gre…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fasti Ostienses

(160 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
ca ad 180. Italy. Discovered over the course of many years of excavation in Ostia, the dated fragments of the Latin Fasti currently extend from 49 bc to ad 175, though the size of the panels indicates that it could have extended from ca 80 bc to ca ad 178. The basis of the inscription is consular fasti (s.v. Consularia and fasti) with suffect consuls, the local magistrates of Ostia, and the local priests of Vulcan. Into this list have been inserted historical entries involving the emperor and the imperial family, derived from official public announcements…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fasti Vindobonenses

(241 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
(Viennese fasti) 5th and 6th century. Italy. Latin consularia and fasti surviving in two recensions, called priores and posteriores by Mommsen from their original order of recension, found in a single 15th-century manuscript (Vienna, ÖNB, cod. 3416), forming a history of Rome from Romulus to 493 ( priores) and Caesar to 539 ( posteriores). The core of the work is fasti from 44 bc (highly corrupt over its first few decades), becoming consularia in 379, where frequent historical entries first appear. The priores add a list of the seven kings to the beginning. The posteriores are highly lac…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fau, Simon

(341 words)

Author(s): Dury, Christian | Vanderputten,Steven
15th century. Low Countries. County of Namur (modern Belgium). Little is known of Simon Fau (born 1414) except that he was probably a cleric, quite possibly a canon of the Premonstrian Order in Floreffe (Namur). He enjoyed close relationships with the abbots of Floreffe in the mid-15th century. Probable author of the vernacular French Chronique rimée de l’abbaye de Floreffe (verse chronicle of the abbey of Floreffe).The chronicle was written between November 1462 and February 1463. In 3570 lines of crossed rhyme (plus a prologue in prose), it covers the period…
Date: 2016-10-17

Favent, Thomas

(375 words)

Author(s): Galloway, Andrew
[Fovent] d. 1404. England. Clerk and civil servant in London. Received a clerical living at Berwick St. Leonard (Wilts.) 1390; collector of the petty subsidy, London, 1391-95; later clerical livings in Wiltshire; his will was sealed at St. Mary Bishopsgate, London. He was the author of short Latin chronicle of the anti-Ricardian parliaments of 1386-88, Historia siue narracio de modo et forma mirabilis parliamenti, which is extant in two manuscripts: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rolls 9 ( Summary Catalogue, Bodley misc. 2963) and the recently discovered manuscript owned by J…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fecini, Tommaso

(218 words)

Author(s): Zuliani, Federico
1441–95. Italy. Officer of the city of Siena and author of one of the so-called Cronache senesi (Sienese chronicles) dealing with the history of the city from the Creation to present day. Few details of his life can be established for certain. Of humble origin, he held several political offices from 1467 to 1492in territories controlled by the Sienese state. Despite these positions, however, he never accumulated great wealth, and following his death his wife and seven children were forced to beg for financial s…
Date: 2016-10-17

Feer, Ludwig

(295 words)

Author(s): Schmid, Regula
before 1462 - 6th September 1503. Switzerland. Son of Lucerne mayor Johannes Feer; town scribe from 1493. The surviving autograph of Feer's chronicle, begun on 15th July 1499, fills eight complete and four partial pages of a 33-folio velum manuscript (Lucerne, Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek, BB ms. 126 fol). Feer claims to write for the utility of all present and future members of Lucerne's council, but the main purpose of the chronicle is obviously to show that the Feer family served Lucerne as faithful officials and…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fernández de Heredia, Juan

(553 words)

Author(s): Ward, Aengus
ca 1310-96. Aragon (Iberia). Master of the Order of St. John and author of the Grant Crónica de Espanya, as well as multiple translations in Aragonese.Fernández de Heredia served in the court of the Aragonese King Pere IV el Ceremoniós and was active in many diplomatic dealings, particularly those surrounding the union of Valencia and Aragon and the defence of Mallorca. Sent by Pere to Avignon, he quickly became heavily involved in Papal matters and played a significant role in papal negotiations in the context of the H…
Date: 2016-10-17

Fernández de Mendoza, Diego

(161 words)

Author(s): Agnew, Michael
fl. 1474-1501. Castile (Iberia). Author of the Castilian-language Novenario estorial (1501?). Practically nothing is known of Fernández de Mendoza beyond his authorship of a genealogy of Spanish nobility and this chronicle of Spain, from Creation to the Catholic Monarchs' reign. The title refers to its division into nine books, evoking Jesus's nine months in Mary's womb. One 16th-century copy survives (Madrid, Biblioteca del Palacio Real, ms. II 213 and 214), but the last four books covering the period 1307-1501 are missing. Based primarily on Diego de Valera's Crónica de España a…
Date: 2016-10-17
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