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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Wace

(695 words)

Author(s): Le Saux, Françoise Hazel Marie
ca 1105-ca 1175. France (Normandy). Clerc lisant at Caen, then canon of Bayeux cathedral; personally acquainted with kings Henry I, Henry II and Henry the Young King. Author of three hagiographical poems ( La Vie de sainte Marguerite, La Vie de saint Nicolas, and La Conception Nostre Dame), and two major chronicles, the Roman de Brut and the Roman de Rou, all in Anglo-Norman verse.The Roman de Brut, completed in 1155, is a translation/adaptation of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britannie in 14866 octosyllabic lines, rhyming in couplets. It was based on the Variant version of the His…
Date: 2016-10-17

Wahb ibn Munabbih

(169 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Abū ʿAbd Allāh] 34-109 ah (654/55-728 ad). Yemen. A native of Dhimar in Yemen, but of Persian extraction, he is one of the earliest historians of Islam. A series of works is ascribed to him which can be divided into three different sections: first the biblical narrations and commentaries, second the Pre-Islamic period and third works with Islamic content.His K isas al-anbiyāʾ (Story of the Prophets) comprises the history from the creation until the arrival of the Prophet and is cited in authors like Ibn Qutāyba, al-Tabarī and others. Parts of his work ar…
Date: 2016-10-17

Wahraus, Erhard

(238 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Andreas
1375/80 - 1454/55. Germany. Author of a chronicle of the years 1126-1445 (continued anonymously to 1462). Wahraus was a member of the town council of Augsburg from 1442 (probably earlier) and belonged to the guild of the salt-traders. His chronicle is prefaced by a calculation of the chronology of biblical events and persons, which is missing in the edition. For the period before the 14th century, Wahraus seems to use the Chronik aus Kaiser Sigmunds Zeit (or their common source), but sometimes presents more details. These records are listed very briefly and not always …
Date: 2016-10-17

Waldau, Hieronymus

(235 words)

Author(s): Pierce, Marc
ca 1427-95. Prussia (now Poland). Scribe and clergyman, author of historical notes written in Latin. Waldau served the Teutonic Order as a scribe to the commander of Christburg (Dzierzgoń). In 1454 he became a scribe to the governor of Baysen (Bażyny), and held this position until 1462, when he became a minister in Neuteich (Nowy Staw) near Marienburg (Malbork). In 1466 he accepted a position at the Hauptkirche in Thorn (Toruń); he was later also an official of the dioceses of Ermland…
Date: 2016-10-17

Walden Annals

(105 words)

Author(s): Kennedy, Edward Donald
15th century. England. These Latin annals begin with a brief 6-folio chronicle from the beginning of the world, after which they present an abbreviated account of the foundation of the Benedictine monastery of Walden (Essex), probably based on the early part of the Liber de fundatione cenobii de Waledena, and then tell of local and national events to 1462, the beginning of Edward IV's reign. The text is preserved on fols. 68r-91v of London, BL, Cotton Titus ms. D.xx (15th century). There is no edition.Kennedy, Edward DonaldBibliography Literature D. Greenway & L. Watkiss, The Book of th…
Date: 2016-10-17

Walsingham, Thomas

(716 words)

Author(s): Ruch, Lisa M.
ca 1340-1422. England. Benedictine monk of St. Albans and for a time a prior of Wymondham Abbey in Norfolk. Walsingham saw himself as a successor to historians who had gone before him, primarily Matthew Paris and Ranulf Higden. In St. Albans and Wymondham he was ideally placed both to research history and to observe current events. His writings are wide-ranging and well-documented. His popularity and the fact that no two surviving manuscripts are identical has led to misattribution of works to him; various 20th and 21st-century scholars have worked to clear up the confusion of p…
Date: 2016-10-17

Walter of Coventry

(174 words)

Author(s): Ruch, Lisa M.
fl. 1293. England. Possibly a Benedictine monk of St. Mary's Abbey in York. Said to be the compiler of the Latin chronicle found in Cambridge, Corpus Christi, ms. 175, which bears the heading Memoriale Fratris Walteri de Coventri. The text displays a clear Northern connection. It is derivative of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Henry of Huntingdon, Marianus Scotus, John of Worcester, and Roger of Howden. Part 1 is a brief summary from Brutus to Edward I and is closely linked to the Short Latin Chronicle of Durham Abbey; Part 2 is fuller, from 1002 to 1225. It is similar to the Barnwell Chronicle, but Kay h…
Date: 2016-10-17

Walter of Guisborough

(242 words)

Author(s): Ruch, Lisa M.
[of Hemingford, of Hemingburgh] fl. 1290-1305. England. Augustinian canon of St. Mary of Guisborough. His early 14th-century Latin prose chronicle begins with the Norman Conquest and, depending on the manuscript consulted, ends at 1297, 1300, 1307, 1312 or 1346 (although the latter represents a continuation). The text is mainly a compilation, relying most heavily on William of Newburgh's Historia Rerum Anglicarum. Other possible sources include the Historia Saxonum sive Anglorum post obitum Bedae, itself a compilation of the chronicles of Symeon of Durham, Henry of …
Date: 2016-10-17

Walter of Whittlesey

(255 words)

Author(s): Gebhardt, Torben
d. after 1329. England. Benedictine monk in the abbey of Peterborough. His date of birth cannot be determined with certainty, but he was born in the town of Whittlesey. Walter never held a major office. His Latin Historia Coenobii Burgensis covers the period 1246-1321 and survives in one autograph manuscript, BL, add. 39758. It is chronologically preceded by the accounts of Hugh Candidus from the founding of the abbey (656) to 1175-77 and that of Robert Swaffham for 1177-1245, and it is followed by an anonymous continuation until 133…
Date: 2016-10-17

Walter the Chancellor

(141 words)

Author(s): Edgington, Susan B.
[Galterius cancellarius] fl. 1114-22. Palestine. Chancellor of Antioch. Wrote the Latin Bella Antiochena (Antiochene Wars). Walter is known only through the the text of this work. He apparently had a close relationship with Roger of Salerno, ruler of Antioch (1113-19), and was eyewitness to the two wars against the Selçuk Turks, 1114-15 and 1119-22. His narrative account is the most detailed source for the region of Antioch for the early Latin settlement period. There are seven extant manuscripts; the oldes…
Date: 2016-10-17

Waltham Annals

(178 words)

Author(s): Kennedy, Edward Donald
[Brevis historia regum Anglia a rege Gulielmi I . . . ad annum 1447] 15th century. England. Latin annals for 1066-1447 produced at the Augustinian abbey of Waltham in Essex, with the last annal telling of the death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Preserved in BL, Cotton Titus D.xv, it is not to be confused with the earlier Waltham Chronicle. Much of it is derived from the English Prose Brut and possibly one of the London chronicles and the Croyland Chronicle. Although Kingsford finds some of the material for the reign of Henry VI of value, he describes the chronicle as "a sp…
Date: 2016-10-17

Waltham Chronicle

(217 words)

Author(s): Murdoch, Brian
[De inventione sanctae crucis Walthamensis (Foundation of Waltham Abbey)] late-12th century. England. Latin foundation chronicle of the secular college at Waltham Abbey (Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross) in Essex by an anonymous canon who entered the church there aged five. It was written after the college was replaced by the Augustinian abbey in 1177. It begins in Cnut's reign and ends in 1144. It survives in the 13th-century London, BL, Cotton Julius D.vi and the 14th-century BL, Harley 3776. The mansucript title De inventione sanctae crucis nostrae (on the discovery of our sa…
Date: 2016-10-17

Warenne Chronicle

(619 words)

Author(s): Kennedy, Edward Donald
[Hyde Chronicle; Chronicon monasterii de Hida iuxta Winton ab anno 1035 ad 1121]Mid-12th century. England? A Latin chronicle concerning the history of Normandy and England around the time of the Norman Conquest, probably written in England and surviving in a 13th-century fragment. Bound in the 17th century with charters and other documents from Hyde abbey, it appears on fols. 4r-21v of what is now MS London, BL, MS Cotton Domitian A. xiv. Formerly known as the Hyde Chronicle, its most recent editors renamed it the Warenne Chronicle since it seems to have been written for William of Blois, 4t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Warkworth Chronicle

(330 words)

Author(s): Peverley, Sarah L.
ca 1425-1500. England (North and East Midlands). A continuation of the English Prose Brut once thought to have been written, ca 1484, by John Warkworth. The continuation covers English history, particularly affairs in the North of England, from 1461-74. It survives in two manuscripts (Cambridge, Peterhouse 190 and University of Glasgow, Hunter 83), which also contain copies of the Brut to 1419 and continuations from 1419-61 based on Caxton's Chronicles of England (1480 or 1482) and Polychronicon (1482) (s.v. Higden, Ranulf). The previous attribution to Warkworth, master…
Date: 2016-10-17

Wassenberch, Johann

(232 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christof
1454-1517? Germany. The tin-founder's son sometimes called Johann Tynenmecher (tin-maker), but who referred to himself as ick broeder Johann Wassenberch, was a chaplain in the house of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in Duisburg. His chronicle, begun in 1507 in Low Rhenish German, covers local town history between 1474 and 1517 in annalistic form. In den vurschreven jar ("in the year just mentioned", viz. 1474, the starting point of his account) Johann entered the monastery. In 1517, the last year of the chronicle, an epidemic hit Duisburg, to which h…
Date: 2016-10-17

Wauquelin, Jean

(330 words)

Author(s): Boulton, Maureen
15th century. France. Translator of a series of Latin chronicles and pseudo-historical works. The Picardy-born Wauquelin established an important bookshop in Mons (Bergen, modern Belgium) around 1441. In 1444-5 he produced for Antoine de Croÿ a French prose translation of the Historia regum Britanniae and Prophetiae Merlini of Geoffrey of Monmouth. Also in 1445, for Philip the Good of Burgundy, he recast the epic Girart de Roussillon as a prose chronicle legitimizing the duke’s expansionist ambitions. The next year Philip, through the offic…
Date: 2016-10-17

Waverley Annals

(325 words)

Author(s): Marvin, Julia
[Annales de Waverleia] late 12th - late 13th century. England. The Latin annals of the Cistercian abbey of Waverley, near Farnham, in Surrey, run from the Incarnation to 1291 (in BL, Cotton Vespasian ms. A.xvi). They form part of a group of works descended from a lost Winchester chronicle (s.v. Winchester Annals) including the Hyde Annals (Oxford, Bodleian Library, ms. Bodley 91, to 1277) and the version found in BL, Cotton Vespasian ms. E.iv (to 1285, a text with Waverley material but several annotations pertaining to Reading Abbey (s.v. Reading Annals). With brief entries through the 10t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Weichard von Polheim

(249 words)

Author(s): Kössinger, Norbert
1263-1315. Austria. Possible author of a continuation of the Annales Sancti Rudberti Salisburgenses. Attested at the cathedral of Salzburg as canon (1292) and dean (1307); elected archbishop there in 1312. According to a brief note of the Annales, Weichard continued this work from the death of Ottokar II of Bohemia (1278): qui (Weichhardus) supplevit ea que neglecta fuerant in presenti cronica, a tempore interfectionis regis Boemie Otokkari. This leaves some doubt whether he himself was the author as Pez believed, or only commissioned the continuation. However, there are also 16th-c…
Date: 2016-10-17

Weichbildchronik

(331 words)

Author(s): Pfeil, Brigitte
(Town law chronicle) pre-1250/61. Germany. Anonymous world chronicle in German prose. The prevalent version covers the history of the world from Noah to the reigns of King William of Holland (d. 1256) and the Magdeburgian bishop Ruprecht of Querfurt (1260-66). The Weichbildchronik is usually transmitted in combination with Saxonian legal books. ( Weichbild derives from wic 'town' + bilede 'law'.) At first it seems to have served as an introduction to the Magdeburger Schöffenrecht but it can be found at a very early point of transmission in combination with the Weichbildrecht of Magde…
Date: 2016-10-17

Weihenstephaner Chronik

(337 words)

Author(s): Viehhauser, Gabriel
1430s. Germany. This Bavarian prose chronicle in Early Modern German combines a world-history to 1433 with an extensive fantastic life of Charles the Great. The historical account starts with the beginnings of Rome and initially deals with episodes which can be found partly in the world-chronicle of Jans der Enikel, but also in the Gesta Romanorum and the Legenda aurea of Jacob of Voragine. From the times of Christ the Chronik follows closely the Flores temporum, adopting their division into papal and imperial history, which are alternately presented in sections of a h…
Date: 2016-10-17
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