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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Kadłubek, Wincenty

(645 words)

Author(s): Grzesik, Ryszard
[Vincent] 1150s - 8th March 1223. Poland. Bishop of Kraków 1208-18. Author of a Chronica Polonorum. He probably descended from a noble family, and studied in France (Paris), maybe (also?) in Italy (Bologna). From 1189 he is named as a witness in documents. Before his election as bishop (first chapter-election in Poland in 1207) he was a provost in Sandomierz. He resigned the bishopric in 1218 and spent his last years in a Cistercian monastery in Jędrzejów.Kadłubek's chronicle describes in 4 books the history of Poland from the origins until 1202. The first book presents…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kaiserchronik

(651 words)

Author(s): Shaw, Frank
(Chronicle of the Emperors) after 1146. Southern Germany. The Middle High German Kaiserchronik is the first chronicle of Roman history in any vernacular, as well as the first large-scale chronicle, at least in the west, in verse. Judging by the many manuscripts (11 complete, 25 or 26 fragmentary), ranging from the 12th to the late 15th century, it was extremely popular.It narrates, in 17,283 lines of verse, the lives of 55 emperors from Julius Caesar (in reality not an emperor) to Conrad III. Most manuscripts break off abruptly with Bernard of Clairvaux'…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kaisergeschichte

(220 words)

Author(s): Burgess, Richard W.
[Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte; KG or EKG] 4th century. Italy/Gaul (France)? A lost set of Latin epitome biographies of the Roman emperors from Augustus. In its earliest version it probably stopped around the death of Constantine (337) or slightly earlier, but it was continued (by other authors?) to at least 378. It was added to an earlier epitome history of Rome that concluded with the end of the Republic to create a major epitome history of Rome from its origins, and was the main source for Eutropius, Festus, and Aurelius Victor, and an important source for Jerome, the Historia Augusta , and…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kaminiates, Ioannes

(421 words)

Author(s): Stavrakos, Christos
10th (or possibly 15th) century. Greece. The narrative of Ioannes Kaminiates Εἰς τὴν Ἅλωσιν τῆς Θεσσαλονίκης (On the sack of Thessalonica) is the only historical account of the conquest of Thessalonica by the Arabs in 904. The author claims to have been an eyewitness of this event, and that he and his family were captured by the Arabs and taken to Crete and afterwards to Tarsus in Cilicia. He does not limit himself to the description of the fall of Thessalonica however, but rather, he presents and …
Date: 2016-10-17

Kammermeister, Hartung

(206 words)

Author(s): Watson, Christine
[Cammermeister] ca 1375–1467. Germany. A burgher of Erfurt (Thüringen), member of the town council and five times mayor. He wrote a continuation of Johannes Rothe's Thüringische Weltchronik, covering the years 1440 to 1467. The last few entries in the chronicle were added after his death. This chronicle is extant in five manuscripts, of which the one in Jena (Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliotek, ms. Bud. f. 145, fol. 98r–327v) may be Kammermeister's autograph or a copy made under his auspices. The events related in the chronicle range from wars and inva…
Date: 2016-10-17

Karl der Große und die schottischen Heiligen

(260 words)

Author(s): Shaw, Frank
(Charlemagne and the Irish Saints) late 14th century. Germany. Middle High German. A 9,912-line verse chronicle narrating the story of the foundation of three Irish Benedictine monastic foundations in Bavaria, the priory of Weihsanktpeter in Regensburg, the monastery of St. Jakob in Regensburg, and the monastery of St. Jakob in Würzburg, linking the first of the three to Charlemagne's and his son's victories near Regensburg over the last independent Bavarian duke Tassilo and the still heathen Avars in the 8th century, regardless of the fact that there is no historical reco…
Date: 2016-10-17

Karlskrönikan

(425 words)

Author(s): Ferm, Olle
1450s. Sweden. A 7000-line verse chronicle in Swedish, written in the chancellery of the Swedish king Karl Knutsson (1448-57), to serve national interests in general and glorify the deeds of Karl Knutsson in particular.Its first part is based on Engelbrektskrönikan (ca 2700 verses), a rhymed chronicle in Swedish, written towards the end of the 1430s, which is only preserved embedded in Karlskrönikan but must originally have existed as a separate text. E ngelbrektskrönikan is named after the revolutionary leader Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson (d. 1436), a man of the lower…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kʿartʿlis Cʿxovreba

(379 words)

Author(s): Andrews, Tara L.
[Georgian Chronicle] 8th–14th century. Georgia. The Kʿartʿlis Cʿxovreba (Georgian Chronicle) is a compilation of several chronicles that cover the history of Kʿartʿli (Georgia) from its origins up to the time of the late medieval kingdom. Georgian literature, like that of its Armenian neighbour, had its beginnings in the 5th century with the invention of an alphabetic script, and was closely tied to the spread of Christianity throughout the region. Early Georgian historical writing came almost exclusively in the form of biographical or hagiog…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kastler Reimchronik

(246 words)

Author(s): Weber, Miriam
14th century. Germany. Two-part chronicle in Middle High German rhyming couplets from the Benedictine abbey of Kastl in the Bavarian Oberpfalz, relating the legendary history of the founding family, the Counts of Kastl-Habsberg-Sulzbach. A list of the people buried in the monastery follows. We read about how the family came to the region and built a castle, which later was to become the monastery. Their history is related up until about 1170. The chronicle was commissioned by Abbot Herman in 132…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kastorp, Hinrich

(140 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
ca 1451-1512. Northern Germany. Born probably after 1451 (marriage of his father), the eldest son of the prominent Lübeck mayor of the same name (d. 1488), Kastorp is presumably the author of a lost chronicle, probably in Low German, on the Prussian Alliance's rebellion against the Teutonic Order (1454-1466); the later Lübeck chronicler Reimar Kock (d. 1569) lists him among his primary sources. The continuator of Detmar von Lübeck's chronical seems to draw on the same text. There is, however, a possibility that Kock is referring to the father rather than the son.Kümper, HiramBibliograph…
Date: 2016-10-17

Katherina von Gebersweiler

(240 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
[Catharina de Gebilswilr] fl. 1320. Alsace. Author of a sisterbook. Katherina entered the Dominican convent of Unterlinden (Colmar, France) while still a child. Nothing else is known of her biography, and it remains uncertain whether she is identical with the prioress of the same name who died in 1330/45. Katherina wrote the convent's Latin sisterbook, Vitae Sororum, which contains 42 biographies in 40 chapters plus eight introductory chapters. Five additional biographies were added by a later scribe, including that of Elisabeth Kempf, who translated…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kattendijke-kroniek

(239 words)

Author(s): Janse, Antheun
ca 1491. Low Countries. Almost unknown until its discovery in the 1990s, the Kattendijke Chronicle is a lengthy chronicle (ca 250,000 words) in Middle Dutch, telling the history of the counties of Holland and Zeeland and the prince-bishopric of Utrecht, from the legendary origins in Troy up to 1478. It begins with the history of Troy and the Trojan settlements in Italy, France and England, and runs till the reign of Duchess Maria of Burgundy (1477-81) and her husband, the later Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg.…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kazmair, Jörg

(275 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
[Katzmair] fl. 1391-1417. Germany. Scion of a Munich patrician family, Kazmair was a member of the inner city council almost continuously from 1396 until his death on 5th March 1417 . From this inside perspective he reported on the disturbances in the town between 1397 and 1403, when after the death of Duke Johann the question of Bavarian succession divided Munich into two parties. Probably written simultaneously to the events it describes, Kazmair's record of the beginning of the conflict provides full lists of the antagonists ( pösen) and concise descriptions of the negotiations…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kedrenos, Georgios

(418 words)

Author(s): Stavrakos, Christos
late 11th - early 12th century. Asia Minor. Byzantine author of the Σύνοψις Ἱστοριῶν (Synopis Historion), a chronological compendium of universal history to the year 1057, in Greek prose. Modern research contests the hypothesis that he was a monk, though it is certain – as we can learn from his family name – that he was descended from the city of Kedros ( Κέδρος or Κεδρέα) in Asia Minor (in Bithynia, about 40 km from the modern Afyon), and he held the office of a Proedros ( πρόεδρος) . Though this particular office could be either political or ecclesiastical, in Georgios's case it …
Date: 2016-10-17

Kekaumenos

(305 words)

Author(s): Stavrakos, Christos
late 11th century. Byzantium. Author of the Στρατηγικὸν (Strategikon), a Greek-language manual of administration which is preserved in a single manuscript in Moscow. It is thought that this work was most likely written between the years of 1075 and 1078. Kekaumenos offers us only sparse autobiographical information, not even mentioning his Christian name. He does record that he took part in one of the campaigns of Michael IV (1034-41), and that he was in Constantinople in 1042. It is possible that he held the military and administrative function of στρατηγὸς Ἑλλάδος (strategos Hellad…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kerkhörde, Johann

(232 words)

Author(s): Pakis, Valentine
d. ca 1465. Germany. Kerkhörde chronicled the years 1405-65 in the city of Dortmund, where he served as a representative of certain guilds (1431, 1433, 1436, 1450) and as a member of the city council (1438-48, 1455, 1458-62). His town chronicle in vernacular prose, best preserved in an early 17th-century manuscript (Berlin, SB, ms. boruss. fol. 574) is well informed by his leadership positions and thus provides insight into the balance of power between guilds and city governance. The bitterness of these relations occasionally shines through, a…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kerkhörde, Reinold

(394 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
fl. 1491-1508. Germany. A priest in Dortmund, grandson of Johann Kerkhörde. Author of two town chronicles, a prose chronicle on the years 1498 to 1508, and a short rhyme chronicle that spans the years 1491-8, both in Low German vernacular. He also wrote a short Latin poem on the siege of Neuss by Charles the Bold in 1474/5. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Kerkhörde mostly chronicles events of local interest for the history of Dortmund and the county Cleve-Mark but did n…
Date: 2016-10-17

Kessler, Johannes

(718 words)

Author(s): Wegener, Lydia
1502/03–74. Switzerland. Town chronicler. Despite his humble background, Kessler enjoyed a remarkable career in the city of St. Gallen. After attending the Latin School, he audited lectures at Basel University without being matriculated. In 1521/22, he travelled to Wittenberg where he became a follower of Philipp Melanchthon. On his way to Wittenberg, an accidental encounter with Martin Luther in the guise of ‘Junker Jörg’ (‘Knight George’) left a deep impression on him. Having returned to St. G…
Date: 2016-10-17