532 ANNALS of the day. Everj' church of any importance pos- sessed a copy, and" once Dionysius Exiguus liad ad- mitted the canon of Cyril, liisliop of Alexandria, for calculating the dates of the Christian era, and Bede hati in.serted these tables in his work entitled "De ratione teraporum", the influence exerted by such tables increased. Origin of Annals. — The use of paschal tables was very early prealent in England, and the custom of making a chronological list of events was introduced into Gaul and Germany by Anglo-Saxon missionaries, who began their labours on the continent during the course of the seventh century. In the margin of these paschal cycles notes were made, opposite the year, of occurrences and historical events of which it was desired to keep a record. This is the origin of annals. The list of popes, as given by the "Chron- ographus of 3.54, furnishes a concrete example of the formation of annals. This list, dating back to 230, was continually being filled out, and little by little it was embellished by an account of the chief events of the pontificate, a list of the works under- taken by the various pontiffs, their merits, details of ecclesiastical organization, and the management of their finances. This was the beginning of the famous "Pontificale Romanum", more commonly known under the title of "Liber Pontificalis". In imitation of this collection, there developed in many cathedrals and abbeys similar records, modelled on the plan of the "Liber Pontificalis". We may cite as an example the " Gesta episcoporum Antissiodoren- sium" of Henry of Auxerre (841), also the greater number of local histories of abbeys or episcopal sees gathered in the eleventh century under such titles as "Gesta episcoporum Cameracensium", "Gesta episcoporum Leodiensium", etc. The annals which we found in embryo in the " Chronographus " and the "Liber Pontificalis" do not appear in a well- defined form until the Carlovingian period. At least no specimens have come down to us dating from Merovingian times, and we can easily see why on the continent annals appear only towards the end of the eighth century. Having originated in England, where the tables of Bede were amplified by marginal annotations more copious as time went on, these rudimentary annals were introduced every^vhere by the Anglo-Saxon missionaries. Copies were soon made of the marginal notes, and they were passed from hand to hand, and from monastery to monas- tery. Where copied separately, these notes formed the general basis of all medieval annals. To these notes as a nucleus were added local data; the dif- ferent versions were compared and arranged in chron- ological order; other annotations were made, of spe- cial local interest; lastly, they were filled out from other sources. Some of the earliest annals clearly betray their foreign source or origin. Thus the "An- nales Mo.sellani", taken from the great annals of the monastery of Lorsch, show at the beginning of the records for 704-707 names undoubtedly Irisli, prov- ing that the little chronicle "De temporibus" of Bede was in use until 708, when original notes of Prankish origin appear for the first time. Of great interest, also, from this point of view are the annals discovered by Pertz in a manviscript of St.-Germain- des-Prfe. They begin with sliort annotations from LindLsfarne, for the years 643-604. Next in order come notes of Canterbury for 673-090. It appears that Alcuin took this manuscript from England to the court of Charlemagne and there, from 782 to 787, inserted yearly the names of the different places where the Emperor celebrated Easter. To this prim- itive basis the monks of Saint-Germain-des-Prfe added local annotations biv.sed in turn on ancient annals of Saint-Donis reacliing to 887. In conclu- sion, names from Lindisfarne are found lieading the annals of Fulda and Corvci. The earliest Carlo- vingian annals are now grouped by historians under three principal heads: (1) The " Annales S. Amandi". and others derived from them; (2) The annals which grew out of the early historical annotations of the monastery of Lorsch; (3) The "Annales ilurbacen- ses". In spite of the impersonal character of these narratives, they show traces of true Carlovingian le- gitimism, as well as the loyalty of their authors to the Austrasian dynasty. They are not continuous narratives, and their rudimentary form, consisting of a simple arrangement of recollections in chrono- logical order, recalls the earliest stage of this class of literature. In Belgium especially these early annals were filled out in various monasteries, until after many alterations they formed the basis of the celebrated Chronicle of Sigebert of Gembloux (1112). The Reichsannalen. — Under Charlemagne an- nals as a class begin to appear in a new form. These narratives are without doubt anonymous, but many of them bear a persona] stamp, which gi'es to the whole a certain official character. There now be- comes apparent in annals a tendency to form a his- tory of the kingdom, written under the inspiration of the court. Whence we have the terni "Reichs- annalen" in order to di.stinguish the latter class from monastic annals. The historian Ranke (Zur Kritik friinkisch-deutscher Reichsannalisten. Berlin, 1854) has demonstrated this official tendency es- pecially in connection with the "Annales Lauris- senses maiores". These annals could not have been written in the solitude of the cloister without exter- nal influence. If, on the one hand, the great internal misfortunes and dissensions of the kingdom are care- fully ignored, so as not to cast discredit on the reign- ing princes, the WTiters of these annals are neer- theless very well informed and, on the other hand, show themselves to be fully in touch with whateer concerns military manoeuvres and international af- fairs. After 796 the "Annales Laurissenses maiores" are Titten in an entirely different style, and in the form which characterizes them from this time until 829 there is a tendency to regard them as coming in part from the pen of Einhard. This is still, however, a controverted question. As the "Reich- sannalen" date only from 741, need was felt of ob- taining information on the history of the preceding period, and with this purpose in view (according to the opinion of Waitz) the "Chronicon Universale" (see "Monumenta Germanic Historica: Scriptores", XIII, 1-19) was drawn up about 761. There we find extracts from the "Little Chronicle" of Bede, diversified by matter borrowed from St. Jerome, Oro- sius, the chronicle of Fredegarius and his successors, the Gesta Francorum, the chronicle of Isidore of Seville, the "Liber Pontificalis", the ", nales Mosellani", and the "Annales Laureshamenses ". From about this same period data the "Annales Laurissenses minores" (806?), the "Annales Maxi- miani" (710-811) and the "Annales of Flavigny" (816). The " Reichsannalen " were in greatest vogue, it is now thought, during the unity of the Carlo- vingian empire under Charlemagne. Though the Carlovingian monarchy was divided by the Treaty of Verdvm (843), we find in the now independent provinces direct continuations of the "Reichsanna- len". In Germany the reigns of Louis the Pious and his sons produced the "Annale^i Fuldenses". There is no doubt that they were written in a monastery, and the character of their contents betrays a local origin, although they pretend to review the history of the whole kingdom. The author must certainly have lx!cn in touch with the court. The narrative is objectie and of great value. For the period from 711 to 829, they draw upon the royal annals, from 714 to 741 on the "Annales Lauri.ssenscs minores", and from 741 to 823 they lake their inspiration from ". naU's Lithienses", which in turn have an un-
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/598
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