Annals

Last updated

Annals (Latin : annāles , from annus, "year") [1] [2] are a concise historical record in which events are arranged chronologically, year by year, [1] although the term is also used loosely for any historical record. [2]

Contents

Scope

The nature of the distinction between annals and history is a subject that has received more attention from critics than its intrinsic importance deserves[ according to whom? ], based on divisions established by the ancient Romans. [1] Verrius Flaccus is quoted by Aulus Gellius [3] as stating that the etymology of history (from Greek ιστορειν, historein, equated with Latin inspicere, "to inquire in person") properly restricts it to primary sources such as Thucydides's which have come from the author's own observations, while annals record the events of earlier times arranged according to years. [1] White distinguishes annals from chronicles, which organize their events by topics such as the reigns of kings, [4] and from histories, which aim to present and conclude a narrative implying the moral importance of the events recorded. [5] [6] [4] Generally speaking, annalists record events drily, leaving the entries unexplained and equally weighted. [5]

History

Ancient

The chief sources of information in regard to the annals of ancient Rome are two passages in Cicero [7] [1] and in Servius [8] [9] which have been the subject of much discussion. Cicero states that, from the founding of the Republic down to the pontificate of Publius Mucius Scaevola (c.132 BC), it was usual for the pontifex maximus to record the name of the magistrates and the noteworthy events of each year on a white tablet (an album), which was exhibited in an open place at his house so that the people might read it. [1] Servius states the events were written for each day. [n 1] In the late Republic, these were known as the Annales Maximi . [1] After the pontificate of Publius, annals were compiled by various unofficial writers, of whom Cicero names Cato, Pictor, and Piso. [1] These annals have been generally regarded as the same with the Commentarii Pontificum cited by Livy, but there seems reason to believe that the two were distinct, with the Commentarii being fuller and more circumstantial. [1] Verrius Flaccus's division of genres is borne out in the common division of Tacitus's works into Annals and Histories , [1] although he did not use those titles to refer to his own works.

Medieval

Among the early Christians, it was common to establish the date of Easter by asking local Jews for the date of Passover (Nisan 14 in the Jewish calendar) and either using that date or the nearest Sunday to it. [10] [11] By the end of the 3rd century, this date sometimes occurred before the spring equinox and frequently varied from city to city. [12] Following the 325 Council of Nicaea, Easter tables began to be drawn up according to various methods of computing Easter, often running from the Passion until decades or centuries into the future. Beginning in Ireland, Wales, and England in the 7th century, monks began to briefly note important events of the year as marginalia in these tables. [9] Thereafter the compilation of annals became by and large a monastic activity, with the earliest recorded monastic annals being compiled in Ireland and known as the Chronicle of Ireland . [13] Not all early annalistic texts, however, were monastic, and some in fact were made under royal patronage. For example, what is now called the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , a text concerned mainly with the activities of kings, was written in annalistic form. Other examples of insular annals, written under various kinds of patronage, include the Annals of the Four Masters , the Annals of Ulster , the Annals of Innisfallen , and the Annals of Wales (Annales Cambriae).

Introduced by insular missionaries to the continent, these texts were recopied, augmented, and continued, especially in Austrasia. [9] During the 9th-century Carolingian Renaissance, they became the usual form of contemporary history: major examples include the Royal Frankish Annals , the Annals of Fulda (Annales Fuldenses), the Annals of St Bertin (Annales Bertiniani), and the Annals of Lorsch (Annales Laureschamenses). [9] As the annals developed into fuller and more descriptive entries, they became more indistinguishable from chronicles, although the term was still used for various works, such as the Annals of Waverley. [9]

Modern

In modern literature, the term "annals" is similarly loosely applied to works which more or less strictly adhere to the order of years, [9] both in western contexts (English Annual Registers, French Annuaires de la Revue, German Jahrbücher) and to equivalent styles in other cultures (such as the Chinese Spring and Autumn Annals).

It is also applied to various periodicals, particularly peer-reviewed journals in the sciences, after the model of Lavoisier's Annales de chimie et de physique .

See also

Works
Periodicals

Notes

  1. Latin: per singulos dies. [8]

More Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 EB (1878).
  2. 1 2 OED (1884).
  3. Gellius (177).
  4. 1 2 White (1987), p. 16.
  5. 1 2 White (1987), p. 7.
  6. White (1987), p. 11.
  7. Cicero, De Oratore , ii.12.52.
  8. Servius, ad Aen. i.373.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 EB (1911).
  10. Schwartz (1905), pp. 104 ff.
  11. Gibson (1903), p. 100.
  12. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. , 7.
  13. Flechner (2013), pp. 422 ff.

Related Research Articles

Flaccus was a cognomen of the ancient Roman plebeian family Fulvius, considered one of the most illustrious gentes of the city. Cicero and Pliny the Elder state that the family was originally from Tusculum, and that members still lived there in the 1st century.

Valeria gens Ancient Roman family

The gens Valeria was a patrician family at ancient Rome, prominent from the very beginning of the Republic to the latest period of the Empire. Publius Valerius Poplicola was one of the consuls in 509 BC, the year that saw the overthrow of the Tarquins, and the members of his family were among the most celebrated statesmen and generals at the beginning of the Republic. Over the next ten centuries, few gentes produced as many distinguished men, and at every period the name of Valerius was constantly to be found in the lists of annual magistrates, and held in the highest honour. Several of the emperors claimed descent from the Valerii, whose name they bore as part of their official nomenclature.

The gens Sulpicia was one of the most ancient patrician families at ancient Rome, and produced a succession of distinguished men, from the foundation of the Republic to the imperial period. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was Servius Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus, in 500 BC, only nine years after the expulsion of the Tarquins, and the last of the name who appears on the consular list was Sextus Sulpicius Tertullus in AD 158. Although originally patrician, the family also possessed plebeian members, some of whom may have been descended from freedmen of the gens.

Publius Nigidius Figulus was a scholar of the Late Roman Republic and one of the praetors for 58 BC. He was a friend of Cicero, to whom he gave his support at the time of the Catilinarian conspiracy. Nigidius sided with the Optimates in the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompeius Magnus.

Annalists, were a class of writers on Roman history, the period of whose literary activity lasted from the time of the Second Punic War to that of Sulla. They wrote the history of Rome from the earliest times down to their own days, the events of which were treated in much greater detail. Annalists were different from historians, in that an annalist was more likely to just record events for reference purposes, rather than offering their own opinions of events. There is, however, some overlap between the two categories and sometimes annalist is used to refer to both styles of writing from the Roman era.

A number of Irish annals, of which the earliest was the Chronicle of Ireland, were compiled up to and shortly after the end of the 17th century.

Sempronia gens Ancient Roman family

The gens Sempronia was one of the most ancient and noble houses of ancient Rome. Although the oldest branch of this gens was patrician, with Aulus Sempronius Atratinus obtaining the consulship in 497 BC, the thirteenth year of the Republic, but from the time of the Samnite Wars onward, most if not all of the Sempronii appearing in history were plebeians. Although the Sempronii were illustrious under the Republic, few of them attained any importance or notice in imperial times.

Minucia gens Ancient Roman family

The gens Minucia was an ancient Roman family, which flourished from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times. The gens was apparently of patrician origin, but was better known by its plebeian branches. The first of the Minucii to hold the consulship was Marcus Minucius Augurinus, elected consul in 497 BC.

The gens Pinaria was one of the most ancient patrician families at Rome. According to tradition, the gens originated long before the founding of the city. The Pinarii are mentioned under the kings, and members of this gens attained the highest offices of the Roman state soon after the establishment of the Republic, beginning with Publius Pinarius Mamercinus Rufus, consul in 489 BC.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi was a Roman politician and historian of plebeian origin, consul in 133 BC and censor in 120 BC.

Sacellum

In ancient Roman religion, a sacellum is a small shrine. The word is a diminutive from sacer. The numerous sacella of ancient Rome included both shrines maintained on private properties by families, and public shrines. A sacellum might be square or round.

The gens Caelia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. The nomen Caelius is frequently confounded with Coelius and Caecilius, with some individuals referred to as Caelius in manuscripts, while appearing as Coelius or Coilius on coins. Although the Caelii asserted their great antiquity, none of them attained any of the higher offices of the Roman state until the praetorship of Publius Caelius in 74 BC, and the first of this gens who obtained the consulship was Gaius Caelius Rufus in AD 17. The emperor Balbinus was a descendant of the Caelii.

Pomponia gens Ancient Roman family

The gens Pomponia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Its members appear throughout the history of the Roman Republic, and into imperial times. The first of the gens to achieve prominence was Marcus Pomponius, tribune of the plebs in 449 BC; the first who obtained the consulship was Manius Pomponius Matho in 233 BC.

The gens Septimia was a minor plebeian family at ancient Rome. The gens first appears in history towards the close of the Republic, and they did not achieve much importance until the latter half of the second century, when Lucius Septimius Severus obtained the imperial dignity.

Gnaeus Gellius

Gnaeus Gellius was a Roman historian. Very little is known about his life and work, which has only survived in scattered fragments. He continued the historical tradition set by Fabius Pictor of writing a year-by-year history of Rome from mythological times to his day. However, with about a hundred books, Gellius' Annales were massively more developed than the other Roman annalists, and was only surpassed by Livy's gigantic History of Rome.

The gens Gellia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome, where they settled after the Second Punic War. The first of the Gellii to obtain the consulship was Lucius Gellius Poplicola, in 72 BC, but the most famous member of this gens is probably the grammarian Aulus Gellius, who flourished during the second century AD.

The gens Laelia was a plebeian family at Rome. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Laelius in 190 BC.

The gens Silia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are mentioned as early as the fifth century BC, but first to hold the consulship was Publius Silius Nerva, in the time of Augustus. The Silii remained prominent until the time of the Severan dynasty, in the early third century.

References

Attribution: