ANNALS 535 ANNALS his characters, and in logical presentation of facts. His "Ik'lli Sacri liistoria" is a work remarkable for the times. In Spain the most important Chronicle for the period of the Crusades is the "Chronica Hispaniip" of Kodriguez, Archbishop of Toledo (1243), which is original in the section on the thir- teenth century. The Crusades al.so gave birth to two Other classes of historical literature: a revival of universal chronicles, and the Clironicles and Annals ■written in the vernacular. Univeks.vl Chhonicle.s. — The annals and chroni- ■cles of the feutlal jicriod put into circulation an amount of discoiiiiectctl infonnation, and an attempt was now made to meet the need of a new method of synthesis, which was making itself felt. Universal and general liistorv, which liad disappeared at the advent of feudalism, gained fresh vigour during the Crusades, when the dilTcrcnt territories and popula- tions came once more into contact with each other, and the political horizon widened out. These Latin annals and chronicles bear a close resemblance to one anotlier and rest for the most part on com- mon sources. Patient toil has been required to ilis- tinguish between the originals and copies. They differ only in the point of departure of the various narratives. The majority begin with the Creation of the World, .some with the Christian era. The prototypes of these chronicles were universal annals written in Germany, the most celebrated of which is the "Chronicon" of Herman Contractus, monk of Reichenau (d. 1054). The author begins at the birth of Christ and is remarkable for the number of sources which he has utilized and the care exercised in establishing liis chronologj'. This "Chronicon" was begun after the year 104S and stopped at 1054. The real fatlier of these universal annals of the twelfth and tliirteenth centuries is Marianus Scotus, an Irish monk, who lived in Cologne, and later at Mainz, where he died in 1082 or lO&J. He composed a "Chronicon" covering the period from the creation to 1082. This writer was concernetl chiefly with the chronologj' of events, in which he wislied to correct his predece.ssors. On this point he was highly es- teemeii iluring the Middle Ages, and is praised by Sigebert of Ciembloux for his accuracy. His " Chron- icon" hatl great vogue in England, where many chroniclers of the twelfth century made use of it and wrote continuations. This period also jirotluced the "Chronicon", called in some manuscripts the "Chronographia", of Sigebert of Gembloux (d. 1112), a continuation of the chronicles of Eusebius and St. Jerome from 381 to the author's own time. In this work Sigebert, a well-informed man of inde- pendent spirit, follows the chronology of his prede- cessor Marianus Scotus, entleavouring to bring into proper proportion the various parts of his history. A multitutle of annals of earlier centuries were used in the preparation of this " Chronicon ". Quite as import.ant ius the "Chronicon" of Sigebert is the "Chronicon I'spergcnsc" of Ekkchard of .ura (d. 1129?), one of the most celebrate<l German historians of the Miildle .-Vges. Coming ilown to Robert of Auxerre (d. 1212), we find that he marks the transition between the twelfth and thirteenth cen- turies. His chronicle, reaching from the Creation to 1211. preserves the moderation of the earlier chroni- cles, eliminating the tales and romances of the troubadours and trouvcres, who had created a legendarj' literature that was gradually gaining in influence, .lbcric of Trois-Eontaines (d. about 1252) made a brave attempt to resist the current, by disregariling romantic fictions in his "Chronicle" (1241), but he admits without question the fables of Pseudo-Turpin. In this way these great compila- tions of annals of the thirteenth centurj' lose in value what they gain in volume. At this same time John of Colonna (1298), an Italian Dominican, wrote his "Sea of Histoirie". Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1261), also a Dominican, compiled a great encyclo- pedia of annals, which is known under the title of Speculum Majus". What gives an encydopetlic character to this lengthy work is the fact that the author combines sacred, profane, and literary his- tory into a continuous narrative. Too extensive to come into common use, this work of Vincent of Beauvais nevertheless had great vogue through the me<lium of the chronicle of Martinus Polonus (d. 1279), who arrangeil a compendium. l.NFLl'E.VCE OF THE Me.N'DICANT OliDEItS.^ — With the rise of the mendicant orders, such as the Domin- icans, there arose a new literature answering the dif- ferent needs of these orders. In contnust with the ancient Benedictines, who, being confined within the silence of their cloisters, found no interests outside the nionasterj', the Dominican monks were less con- cernetl with feudal questions and mingled more in the life of the people. The result is that their annals, while containing more material of general historical interest, show fewer charters and documents, and care less for the local affairs of a province or an es- tate. However, at this period we notice the spread- ing intrusion of legend into this field of literature. On the other hand, beginning with Robert of Auxerre, writers indicate their .sources, perhaps under the in- fluence of the scholastic method of disputation. The Crusades also mark the point of diversion be- tween annals and national chronicles WTitten in the vernacular. It w;us for the illiterate people — that is to say, the great ma-ss of the po|)ulace who could not imderstand Latin — that the first chronicles ami armals in the vernacular were inteniled. The earliest of these chronicles were in rliyme. like the balla<ls of the trouveres and troubatlours which they were in- tended to replace. They contained quotations from the Latin chronicles whidi were consulted, or of which a translation was attempted. In Normandy and in England the most important of these chroni- clers is Robert Wace (1155), Canon of Bayeux under Henry II of Englaml. He wrote the "Roman tie Brut , a popular version of the liistory of the Brit- ons, and the "Roman de Rou", based in part on the Chronicles of William of Jumit^ges and Odericus Vitalis. Eor France mention may be made of Villehardouin (d. 1213), who in his "Ckjnqueste de Constantino])le " reiewetl the liistory of the Second Cru.satle; ami Joinvillc, known for his " Histoire tie Saint Louys " completed in 1304. Forthe Netherlantls, we must not omit Jehan Froissart and his " Chroni<)ue de France, d'Angleterre, de Flantlre et pays circon- voisins", one of the most celebrated works of the fourteenth century. Spain producetl the "Cronica general tie Espana", which goes as far as 1252, antl of which the original part begins with the thirteenth century. In Italy we find the history of Florence from the pen of John Villani, a Florentine citizen, antl a rival of Froissart. Englantl has the " Poly- chronicon" of Ranulph Higtlen (1367), translated into English by Jolm of Treviso, with an original continuation reaching to 1387. Lastly, beginning with the fifteenth ceiiturj- we see for trie first time official historiographers, among the first of whom was George Chiustelain (tl. 1475). This marks the beginning of the motleni epoch in which a fresh orientation brought the historiography of the Middle Ages once more into favour. AuTiiou-s OF /js'NALs. — Mctlieval annals strictly .speaking, that is to say collections in which facts are set tlown successively from tlay to tlay, are for the most part anon^Tnous. There can be no question of tliscovering the authors of these collections, for often a brief examination of the original manuscript reveals a succession of many haiitls. Furtheniiore. it is very often impossible, or at least exceedingly tlilfi- cult, to dcteriuiue the original home of these ami.d.s.
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/601
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