Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 30th, 2017, 07:44 AM   #1
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 95
First real medieval historians?

Greece gave us Herodotus and Thucydides; Rome had Tacitus; and then? Gregory of Tours has many interesting anecdotes and many miracles proving that the church was always right, but it's not really history. Bede wrote a history of the church in England. Who else is there? When did real historiography recommence?
Jauchart is offline  
Remove Ads
Old June 30th, 2017, 08:19 AM   #2

Tulius's Avatar
Joined: May 2016
From: Portugal
Posts: 3,655

Originally Posted by Jauchart View Post
Greece gave us Herodotus and Thucydides; Rome had Tacitus; and then? Gregory of Tours has many interesting anecdotes and many miracles proving that the church was always right, but it's not really history. Bede wrote a history of the church in England. Who else is there? When did real historiography recommence?
I think that the historiography can’t be characterized by a sole character and with the fall of Rome it never really died completely, so it never really recommenced, just changed focus, quality and characteristics. We have biographies, autobiographies, hagiographies, gestae and histories for the Early Medieval Period, some anonymous other with some identified authors: History of the Lombards, by Paul the Deacon, Confessions by Saint Agustine, The Story of My Misfortune by Abelard, The Life of Charlemagne by Einhard… and let us not forget the Epics, like the Chanson de Roland, the Beowulf, the Breton cicle…
Tulius is online now  
Old June 30th, 2017, 08:23 AM   #3

Flavius Aetius's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2017
From: South Carolina
Posts: 399

Well there are several historians from the Early medieval period or late antiquity, depending on when you decide to start the middle ages. Jordanes' Gothic History technically counts, and there's always the various 5th century chroniclers. Priscus, Procopius, and Ammianus could also count.

But these men were all Romans. And the literary tradition never died in ancient or medieval Rome, much of it is simply lost.
Flavius Aetius is offline  
Old July 12th, 2017, 12:18 AM   #4

mprivse's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Slovenia
Posts: 14

Konstantin VII Porfirogenet
• Strategikon
• he also wrote about his own life (fantastic source for that time period)
Ana Komnena
• she wrote about her father and his decisions ( the only woman writer that I know of)
• Aleksiada (15 books about Normans vs Fenicians, also writes about the Pope)
Gregor from Tours
• he was a bishop who wrote the history of Franks
• he wrote the church history of the Anglo peoples
Pavel Diakon
• wrote the history of Langobards (very important source for my countries history)
mprivse is offline  
Old July 13th, 2017, 06:11 AM   #5

notgivenaway's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2015
From: UK
Posts: 5,223

I don't know much about other countries, but the ANglo-Saxon chronicle lasted from the time of Alfred the Great to Henry II, and detailed the history of Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Angevin England. There is some admitted bias, since it was written by Anglo-Saxons on the English, but it's mostly true, since there is archaeological evidence to support it. Chronicles of the Scots, Welsh, Irish, and the Norse sagas do correlate with it in the most part.

William of Malmesbury was an Anglo-Norman, who wrote a lot about the Anglo-Saxon kings and the Normans, and is considered by many in the UK to be the first modern historian. Or at least a pioneer in historical analysis and techniques.

There were chronicles of the later Angevin kings, but they generally ceased once printing and books became more available. By the Tudor times, documents detailing events could be written and re-printed, so there was less need for one person or a group of people to record events and safekeep it.
notgivenaway is offline  
Old July 13th, 2017, 06:31 AM   #6

AlpinLuke's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Lago Maggiore, Italy
Posts: 21,523
Blog Entries: 19

From the Germanic side we can mention Paulus Diaconus [Paul Warnefried], who in VIII century wrote the history of the Lombards [Historia Langobardorum] and also a Roman History [Historia Romana].
AlpinLuke is offline  
Old July 13th, 2017, 06:40 AM   #7

Rodger's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2014
From: US
Posts: 3,895

There is the Chronicle of Fredegar from the 7th century: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronicle_of_Fredegar
Rodger is online now  
Old July 13th, 2017, 08:12 AM   #8

Tsar's Avatar
Joined: Apr 2015
From: Serbia
Posts: 1,793
Blog Entries: 3

I don't know if he can be counted as "first real medieval historian", but you gotta love Hermann of Reichenau.
Tsar is offline  
Old July 17th, 2017, 03:10 AM   #9

johnincornwall's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Cornwall
Posts: 6,394

Archbishop Jimenez de Rada (1170-1247) is pretty famous and was pretty prolific (he actually fought at Las Navas de Tolosa). I think he tried to be fairly objective despite his own crusading mentality of the time and limited access to sources (all one-sided). He tended to write about events right from 711 onward.

Errors can be criticised now but I think for his time he was remarkable.

Luis A Garcia Moreno (who revisited all original sources) argues that he first coined the word 'Guadalete' for the famous 711 battle, but mis-translated or misread a text, which should have translated to 'Battle of the Lake'.

But Guadalete it has remained!
johnincornwall is offline  
Old July 17th, 2017, 03:41 AM   #10

Frank81's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2010
From: Canary Islands-Spain
Posts: 4,610

Isidore of Seville in the 6th century
Frank81 is offline  

  Historum > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History

historian, historians, medieval

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Were the historians of Alexander the Great known to medieval Christians? Guevarist Mayan Medieval and Byzantine History 0 May 19th, 2017 09:15 PM
What is your Favorite Medieval Civilization and Medieval Historical Time Period? VikingGirlTBird Medieval and Byzantine History 30 April 17th, 2014 12:43 AM
Question for all Bulgarian historians, and, indeed, historians of Bulgaria. Vixen History Book Reviews 19 October 22nd, 2010 03:52 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.