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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Henry of Silegrave

(208 words)

Author(s): Sinisi, Lucia
13th century. England. Nothing is known of this author of a short Latin chronicle of England except his name, which appears at the beginning of his chronicle: Henricus de Silegrave scripsit Chronicon Angliae. The chronicle is preserved in one 13th-century manuscript, BL, Cotton Cleopatra, A.xii and narrates events from the arrival de primis Germaniae populis through the reign of Henry III, ending with his death in the year 1272 with additional brief notes to 1274. Since he include…
Date: 2016-10-17

Henry of Žďár

(372 words)

Author(s): Bláhová, Marie | Schlechtweg-Jahn,Ralf
[Henricus Sarensis; Henricus Sculptor] 1242-post 1300. Germany, Czech lands. Son of the builder and stonemason Ekward, who settled in Žďár (German Saar) in the Bohemian and Moravian Highland (now Žďár nad Sázavou, Czechia) in 1257, to work on the construction of the Cistercian monastery. Henry studied at the monastery school, becoming a monk in 1259. He knew also the "Slavonic language" (Czech). His ordination as subdeacon followed in 1263. In…
Date: 2016-10-17


(2,572 words)

Author(s): Ainsworth, Peter
Heraldry is "the science that studies armorial bearings, the coloured emblems pertaining to an individual, a family or a community" (Pastoureau). Heraldry is often important in chronicle studies as a subject which the chroniclers themselves were interested in and reported on; also because of the role of heralds as informants and witnesses, sometimes acting themselves as royal chroniclers; and finally because of the presence of heraldic motifs in chronicle illustration and also to indicate the ownership of manuscripts.As knights participating in tournaments went into the mêlée wi…
Date: 2016-10-17

Heraut Beyeren

(859 words)

Author(s): Verbij-Schillings, Jeanne
(Bavarian Herald) ca 1350-1414. Low Countries. A herald at the Court of Holland from 1403 until his death. Author of the Corniken des tijts and the Hollantsche cronike, each written in two versions, in Middle Dutch prose, with inserts in verse. His personal name, Claes Heynensoon or Heynen soen, is recorded in two deeds dated 1400 and 1411, but scholarship prefers to refer to him by the titles he used himself: in the dedication-manuscript of the Hollantsche cronike II, which has survived in autograph, he calls himself Beyeren …
Date: 2016-10-17

Herdegen, Konrad

(216 words)

Author(s): Schmid, Barbara
1406-post-1479. Germany. Benedictine in St. Egidien, Nuremberg. Son of Herdegen Schreiber (Herdegen Olprecht). Author of the Nürnberger Denkwürdigkeiten.This small 10-page prose chronicle in Latin was started in the 1460s, its last entry reaching the year 1479. Herdegen's account lists a personal selection of events. First, it recalls dates of death of his kinsmen, and of acquaintances in monasteries and in town. Summaries of donations and wills preserve informa…
Date: 2016-10-17

Heriger of Lobbes

(223 words)

Author(s): Dury, Christian
Date: 2016-10-17

Herkommen der Schwyzer und Oberhasler

(325 words)

Author(s): Hugener, Rainer
later 15th century. Switzerland. Anonymous Latin chronicle of the origins of the inhabitants of Schwyz and Oberhasli, often attributed to Heinrich von Gundelfingen, preserved also in a Middle High German version.The Herkommen der Schyzer und Oberhasler attempts to explain the peregrine origins of the inhabitants of the Swiss canton Schwyz and the Bernese Valley Oberhasli as well as to legitimise their imperial freedom. According to this entirely fictitious narrative, people from Sweden and Frisia were forced to leave their countries because of a famine and thus settled in Schwyz and Oberhasli respectively. In the 4th century, they helped the Visigoth king Alarich banish the pagan ruler Eugenius f…
Date: 2016-10-17

Herman de Tournai

(279 words)

Author(s): Dury, Christian
ca 1090-post 1147. Low Countries. Abbot of Tournai (modern Belgium). Wrote a town chronicle in Latin prose. Probably the third son of Ralph of Noyon and Mainsendis, Herman became oblate of St. Martin's monastery in Tournai (Benedictine) in 1094/5, he attended the Council of Reims (1119), served as prior (1126), became abbot of St. Martin's (1127), directed the disinterment of the body of Charles the Good (1127), and resi…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hermann of Lerbeck

(648 words)

Author(s): Büttner, Jan Ulrich
ca 1350-post-1403. Germany. Little is known about Hermann of Lerbeck, apart from the facts that he was a Dominican at St. Paul's monastery in Minden (Westphalia), was probably a commoner rather than a member of the nobility, and became capellanus honestus to Pope Boniface IX in 1391. Judging from his writings he seems to have been informed only of his immediate regional surroundings plus possibly Hamburg and the county of Holstein which at that time was under Schaumburg rule. Hermann wrote three historical works: an episcopal and a du…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hermann of Niederaltaich

(715 words)

Author(s): Plassmann, Alheydis
(Hermannus abbas Altahensis) 1200/01-75. Germany. Abbot of the Cisterciensian monastery of Niederaltaich. Author of a volume of annals, several chronicles on his monastery, a short autobiography, and a genealogy of Otto II of Bavaria, all in Latin. He also collected various administrative sources for his monastery. Hermann, who had probably lived in the monastery since his childhood, became Abbot of Niederaltaich in 1242. He was a frequent visitor to the papal court on the monastery's behalf, and represented an identifiably pro-papacy position.Hermann wrote his annals between 1250 and 1273, shortly b…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hermann of Reichenau

(517 words)

Author(s): Lehner, Sandra
[Herimannus Contractus (the Lame); Herimannus Augiensis (of Reichenau)] 18th July 1013 - 24th September 1054. Southern Germany. Though paralysed from birth, this member of the local nobility was one of the most outstanding scholars of his time. His Chronicon states for 1020: Ego Herimannus litteris traditus sum 17. Kal. Octobris (I, Herimannus, was consigned to the sciences on the 17th calends of October). Having entered the Benedictine monastery of Reichenau, he excelled in theology, m…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hermann of Wartberge

(214 words)

Author(s): Neecke, Michael
14th century. Livonia (Eastern Baltic). A chaplain of the Livonian master of the Teutonic Order. Author of a Latin Chronicon Livoniae, written in prose, probably shortly after 1378. Arranged in yearly parts from about 1180 to 1378, the Chronicon tells of the German colonisation of Livonia and the wars fought by the Teutonic Order against Lithuanians and Russians. The author was a participant in at least some of the events described. On behalf of the Order he took part in negotiations with the Bishop of Riga, which he outlines in the chronicle and extensively describes in his tract
Date: 2016-10-17

Hernando del Pulgar

(396 words)

Author(s): Gómez Redondo, Fernando
[Fernando] ca 1425 - ca 1500. Castile (Iberia). From Pulgar, near Toledo (Spain). Councillor of State at the Castilian court under Queen Isabella. Author of a Cronica de los Reyes Catholicos, which exists in two versions: the "inédita" (Madrid, BNE, ms. 18062) and the "impresa" (Madrid, BNE, ms. 1769). Despite the fact that it ends in 1490 because of the author's illness, it is regarded as the main chronicle of the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella). The Queen herself…
Date: 2016-10-17


(338 words)

Author(s): Mecella, Laura
fl. 240s ad. Italy. Probably born in a Greek city of Asia Minor at the end of the 2nd century, and perhaps a freedman, Herodian was for some years a subordinate official in Rome. His History of the Empire after Marcus (ad 180-238), written in Greek in eight books, is chronologically divided according to the reigns of the emperors following Marcus (from Commodus to Gordian III) and focuses on struggles for power and civil wars, thus giving only slight attention to the relationships between Rome and the provinces, and to social and economic factors.Herodian embodies the vi…
Date: 2016-10-17

Herryson, John

(432 words)

Author(s): Kaufman, Alexander L.
d. 1473. England. Cambridge-educated writer of a Polychronicon continuation known as the Abbreviata cronica 1377-1469. Herryson earned his MA by 1449-50. He was admitted into the MB programme, but he was twice fined in 1456 and 1464 for not showing interest in medicine. Some scholars have argued that Herryson was Chancellor of Cambridge 1465-68, but, as Emden notes, this must be disallowed on grounds of a misreading of the manuscript.Herryson's work is transmitted in Cambridge, Gonville and Caius C…
Date: 2016-10-17

Hesychius of Miletus

(229 words)

Author(s): Nuffelen, Peter. Van
ca 500-550 ad. Byzantium. An inhabitant of Miletus (modern Turkey), Hesychius is the author of three works. His world history in six books started with the reign of the Assyrian king Belos and focussed mainly on Roman history. It ended with the death of the emperor Anastasius I. The starting point may indicate influence of Castor of Rhodes. The section known as the Πάτρια κατὰ Ἡσύχιον (Patria according to Hesychius) is preserved in a single 9th-century manuscript (He…
Date: 2016-10-17

Heydekyn, Johannes

(331 words)

Author(s): Abt, Christina
d. 1514/16. Germany. Canon and prior at the Augustinian abbey of Kirschgarten at Worms. Probable author of a chronicle of Worms . Heydekyn is known to have been at the abbey of the Windesheimer Chorherren at Kirschgarten from 1485, probably even from 1472. He was temporarily prior, possibly until 1516, but this date of his death is disputed. In all likelihood Heydekyn is the author of the Chronica civitatis Wormatiensis (Worms, StA, nr. 1 und 2, fol.), also referred to as Kirschgartner Chronik.…
Date: 2016-10-17

Heymerick, Arnold

(372 words)

Author(s): Kümper, Hiram
[Arnoldus Heymerici de Clivis] pre-1424 - 30th July 1491. Northern Germany. Born the son of a reputable Cleve family, Heymerick attended school in Deventer, Zwolle, and Zutphen, though an indication that he studied in Cologne more likely refers to his step-brother. In 1435-7 he participated in the Council of Basel. During the 1440s and 50s he served the curia in Rome and Basel in several posts. In 1456 he became Dean of St. Victor in Xanten and kept company with intellectual circles of the Cleve court, including Gert van der Schüren.…
Date: 2016-10-17
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