Chronicle

Last updated
Chronicon Pictum, the "Illuminated Chronicle" from the royal Hungarian court from 1358 Kepes kronika elso lapja.jpg
Chronicon Pictum , the "Illuminated Chronicle" from the royal Hungarian court from 1358

A chronicle (Latin : chronica, from Greek χρονικάchroniká, from χρόνος, chrónos – "time") is a historical account of events arranged in chronological order, as in a timeline. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the chronicler. A chronicle which traces world history is a universal chronicle. This is in contrast to a narrative or history, in which an author chooses events to interpret and analyze and excludes those the author does not consider important or relevant.

Contents

The information sources for chronicles vary. Some are written from the chronicler's direct knowledge, others from witnesses or participants in events, still others are accounts passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition. [1] Some used written material, such as charters, letters, and earlier chronicles. [1] Still others are tales of unknown origin that have mythical status. [1] Copyists also changed chronicles in creative copying, making corrections or in updating or continuing a chronicle with information not available to the original chronicler. [1] Determining the reliability of particular chronicles is important to historians. [1]

Many newspapers and other periodical literature have adopted "chronicle" as part of their name.

Subgroups

"It is well known that history, in the form of Chronicles, was a favourite portion of the literature of the middle ages. The annals of a country were usually kept according to the years of the sovereign's power, and not those of the Christian æra. The Chronicles compiled in large cities were arranged in like manner, with the years reckoned according to the annual succession of chief magistrates."

John Gough Nichols, critical edition foreword to Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London (1852) [2]

Scholars categorize the genre of chronicle into two subgroups: live chronicles, and dead chronicles. A dead chronicle is one where the author assembles a list of events up to the time of their writing, but does not record further events as they occur. A live chronicle is where one or more authors add to a chronicle in a regular fashion, recording contemporary events shortly after they occur. Because of the immediacy of the information, historians tend to value live chronicles, such as annals, over dead ones.

The term often refers to a book written by a chronicler in the Middle Ages describing historical events in a country, or the lives of a nobleman or a clergyman, although it is also applied to a record of public events. The earliest medieval chronicle to combine both retrospective (dead) and contemporary (live) entries, is the Chronicle of Ireland, which spans the years 431 to 911. [3]

Chronicles are the predecessors of modern "time lines" rather than analytical histories. They represent accounts, in prose or verse, of local or distant events over a considerable period of time, both the lifetime of the individual chronicler and often those of several subsequent continuators. If the chronicles deal with events year by year, they are often called annals. Unlike the modern historian, most chroniclers tended to take their information as they found it, and made little attempt to separate fact from legend. The point of view of most chroniclers is highly localised, to the extent that many anonymous chroniclers can be sited in individual abbeys.

It is impossible to say how many chronicles exist, as the many ambiguities in the definition of the genre make it impossible to draw clear distinctions of what should or should not be included. However, the Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle lists some 2,500 items written between 300 and 1500 AD.

Citation of entries

Entries in chronicles are often cited using the abbreviation s.a., meaning sub anno (under the year), according to the year under which they are listed. For example, "ASC MS A, s.a. 855" means the entry for the year 855 in manuscript A of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The same event may be recorded under a different year in another manuscript of the chronicle, and may be cited for example as "ASC MS D, s.a. 857".

English chronicles

The most important English chronicles are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , started under the patronage of King Alfred in the 9th century and continued until the 12th century, and the Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577–87) by Raphael Holinshed and other writers; the latter documents were important sources of materials for Elizabethan drama. [4] Later 16th century Scottish chronicles, written after the Reformation, shape history according to Catholic or Protestant viewpoints.

Cronista

A cronista is a term for a historical chronicler, a role that held historical significance in the European Middle Ages. Until the European Enlightenment, the occupation was largely equivalent to that of a historian, describing events chronologically that were of note in a given country or region. As such, it was often an official governmental position rather than an independent practice. The appointment of the official chronicler often favored individuals who had distinguished themselves by their efforts to study, investigate and disseminate population-related issues. The position was granted on a local level based on the mutual agreements of a city council in plenary meetings. Often, the occupation was honorary, unpaid, and stationed for life. In modern usage, the term usually refers to a type of journalist who writes chronicles as a form of journalism or non-professional historical documentation. [5]

Cronista in the Middle Ages

Before the development of modern journalism and the systematization of chronicles as a journalistic genre, cronista were tasked with narrating chronological events considered worthy of remembrance that were recorded year by year. Unlike writers who created epic poems regarding living figures, cronista recorded historical events in the lives of individuals in an ostensibly truthful and reality-oriented way. [ citation needed ] Even from the time of early Christian historiography, cronistas were clearly expected to place human history in the context of a linear progression, starting with the creation of man until the second coming of Christ, as prophesied in biblical texts. [6]

Lists of chronicles

Alphabetical list of notable chronicles

Chronicles of Flanders. Manuscript manufactured in Flanders, 2nd half of the 15th century. Manuscript preserved in the University Library of Ghent. Archive-ugent-be-2A0E426C-68E4-11E8-87FC-F6DB0AD9BE4D DS-21 (cropped).jpg
Chronicles of Flanders. Manuscript manufactured in Flanders, 2nd half of the 15th century. Manuscript preserved in the University Library of Ghent.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Árpád</span> Grand Prince of the Hungarians (c. 845–907)

Árpád was the head of the confederation of the Magyar tribes at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries. He might have been either the sacred ruler or kende of the Hungarians, or their military leader or gyula, although most details of his life are debated by historians, because different sources contain contradictory information. Despite this, many Hungarians refer to him as the "founder of our country", and Árpád's preeminent role in the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin has been emphasized by some later chronicles. The dynasty descending from Árpád ruled the Kingdom of Hungary until 1301.

<i>Gesta Hungarorum</i> The first extant Hungarian book about history

Gesta Hungarorum, or The Deeds of the Hungarians, is the earliest book about Hungarian history which has survived for posterity. Its genre is not chronicle, but gesta, meaning "deeds" or "acts", which is a medieval entertaining literature. It was written in Latin by an unidentified author who has traditionally been called Anonymus in scholarly works. According to most historians, the work was completed between around 1200 and 1230. The Gesta exists in a sole manuscript from the second part of the 13th century, which was for centuries held in Vienna. It is part of the collection of Széchényi National Library in Budapest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallus Anonymus</span> 12th-century chronicler of Polish history

Gallus Anonymus, also known by his Polonized variant Gall Anonim, is the name traditionally given to the anonymous author of Gesta principum Polonorum, composed in Latin between 1112 and 1118. Gallus is generally regarded as the first historian to have described the history of Poland. His Chronicles are an obligatory text for university courses in Polish history. Very little is known of the author himself and it is widely believed that he was a foreigner.

Historians in England during the Middle Ages helped to lay the groundwork for modern historical historiography, providing vital accounts of the early history of England, Wales and Normandy, its cultures, and revelations about the historians themselves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gyula (title)</span> 9th–10th-century Hungarian leadership title

Gyula was, according to Muslim and Byzantine sources, the title of one of the leaders, the second in rank, of the Hungarian tribal federation in the 9th–10th centuries. In the earliest Hungarian sources, the title name is only recorded as a personal name.

<i>Chronicon Pictum</i> 14th-century historical illustrated medieval chronicle from the Kingdom of Hungary

The Chronicon Pictum or Illuminated Chronicle is a medieval illustrated chronicle from the Kingdom of Hungary from the 14th century. It represents the great international artistic style of the royal courts in the court of King Louis I of Hungary. The codex is a unique source of art, medieval and cultural history.

<i>Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum</i> 13th-century historical medieval chronicle from the Kingdom of Hungary

The Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum is a medieval chronicle written mainly by Simon of Kéza around 1282–1285. It is one of the sources of early Hungarian history. It is also known as the Gesta Hungarorum (II), the "(II)" indicating its status as an expansion of the original Gesta Hungarorum.

<i>Chronica Hungarorum</i> 15th-century historical illustrated medieval chronicle from the Kingdom of Hungary

Chronica Hungarorum, also known as the Thuróczy Chronicle, is the title of a 15th-century Latin-language Hungarian chronicle written by Johannes de Thurocz by compiling several earlier works in 1488. It served as the primary source for the history of medieval Hungary for centuries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buda Chronicle</span> 1473 Hungarian historical chronicle

The Buda Chronicle is a 15th-century chronicle treating the early and medieval Hungarian history. While its original name is Chronica Hungarorum, the chronicle is better known as the "Buda Chronicle" since the 19th century. Its text is eponymous part of the so-called Buda Chronicle family. The Buda Chronicle was printed in the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary in Buda by András Hess in 1473, becoming the first book printed in Hungary. With printing, the Buda Chronicle was not forgotten for centuries long as its predecessor Hungarian medieval chronicles, which were in manuscript codices, however the content of the Buda Chronicle soon became obsolete due to the more extensive Hungarian history of the Thuróczy Chronicle, which was published in 1488, which also bears the same title "Chronica Hungarorum".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rzepicha</span>

Rzepicha was the wife of the semi-legendary Piast the Wheelwright and the mother of Siemowit. She is mentioned in Gallus Anonymus' Polish Chronicle, where her name is explicitly referred to twice.

<i>Gesta principum Polonorum</i> Medieval chronicle from Poland

The Gesta principum Polonorum is the oldest known medieval chronicle documenting the history of Poland from the legendary times until 1113. Written in Latin by an anonymous author, it was most likely completed between 1112 and 1118, and its extant text is present in three manuscripts with two distinct traditions. Its anonymous author is traditionally called Gallus, a foreigner and outcast from an unknown country, who travelled to the Kingdom of Poland via Hungary. Gesta was commissioned by Poland's then ruler, Boleslaus III Wrymouth; Gallus expected a prize for his work, which he most likely received and of which he lived the rest of his life.

Lechites, also known as the Lechitic tribes, is a name given to certain West Slavic tribes who inhabited modern-day Poland and eastern Germany, and were speakers of the Lechitic languages. Distinct from the Czech–Slovak subgroup, they are the closest ancestors of ethnic Poles and of Pomeranians, Lusatians and Polabians.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ügyek</span>

Ügyek, also known as Ugek or Ugec, was – according to the chronicler Anonymus – the father of Álmos, the first Grand Prince of the Hungarians. However, according to a conflicting source, Simon of Kéza, Előd was the father of Álmos, while the chronicler referred to Ügyek as Álmos' grandfather. He is the earliest known ancestor of the Árpád dynasty. He was said to be a Scythian, i.e. to be from Dentumoger, the homeland of the Magyars, which the chroniclers identify with Scythia, and use to refer both to the land and its inhabitants.

Mieszko Bolesławowic was the only son of Bolesław II the Generous, King of Poland. Mieszko was Prince of Cracow from 1086 until his death in 1089.

Gyula III, also Iula or Gyula the Younger, Geula or Gyla, was an early medieval ruler in Transylvania. Around 1003, he and his family were attacked, dispossessed and captured by King Stephen I of Hungary (1000/1001-1038). The name "Gyula" was also a title, the second highest rank in Hungarian tribal confederation.

Chronica principum Poloniae is a historiographical work written in Silesia, ca, 1382–1386. Its authorship is ascribed to Canon Peter of Byczyna (1328–1389).

<i>Wielkopolska Chronicle</i>

The Wielkopolska Chronicle is an anonymous medieval chronicle describing supposed history of Poland from legendary times up to the year 1273. It was written in Latin at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century.

Chronica Polonorum or Cronica Polonorum may refer to:

Chronicon Polono-Silesiacum or simply Chronicon Polonorum is a medieval Polish chronicle based on Wincenty Kadłubek's Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae and the anonymous poem Carmen Mauri, with additional information on the history of Silesia. The date of its creation is uncertain and estimated at late 13th century, circa 1280 or at the turn of the century. The unknown author might have been a Cistercian monk from the Lubiąż Abbey.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts, Memory and Gender in Medieval Europe: 900–1200 (Toronto; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, 1999), pp. 19–20.
  2. "Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London : Camden Society (Great Britain) : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  3. Roy Flechner, '"The Chronicle of Ireland: Then and Now" Early Medieval Europe v.21:4(2013) 422-54 Article doi:10.1111/emed.12025
  4. 'A Glossary of Literary Terms' – M.H. Abrams
  5. Dadson, Trevor J. (1983). The Genoese in Spain: Gabriel Bocángel Y Unzueta, 1603-1658 : a Biography (in Spanish). Tamesis. ISBN   978-0-7293-0161-9.
  6. Richard W. Burgess, Studies in Eusebian and post-Eusebian Chronography, Stuttgart (1999).
  7. "Kroniek van Vlaanderen, van de aanvang tot 1467". lib.ugent.be. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  8. "Machairas, Leontios". doi:10.1163/9789004184640_emc_sim_01737.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)