Objectives

The Idea

The Repertorium Chronicarum is the first attempt to record in a single reference work the location of every known manuscript of every known Latin chronicle of the Middle Ages. The Repertorium is intended to assist scholars in rapidly surveying the genre of medieval chronicles to determine which texts are relevant to their own work, and then in finding their way to the manuscript sources of particular chronicles.

The Plan

A project of the temporal and geographical scope of this one — that is, a survey of more than ten thousand manuscripts and of more than a thousand works, produced in the course of 12 centuries over the whole of Latin Europe and now dispersed among hundreds of collections, national and local, public and private, not only throughout the area of its provenance, but throughout America, Eastern Europe, and Japan as well — must necessarily develop unevenly over an extended period. It is our intention therefore to publish information continuously as it   is collected and corrected in order to make it immediately available to scholars.

Inherent in such a plan is a certain incidence of error — not merely in clerical mistakes with signatures or the names of collections, but in more fundamental misunderstandings about the identity, authorship, dating, or content of some, especially obscure, chronicles. For such errors, we can only plead in advance our inability to comprehend so vast a corpus, and we earnestly solicit, under Volunteers, the correction and advice of those who know better.

The Scope

Included are all Latin narratives of public (national, civic, political, military, corporate, ecclesiastical) events: chronicles, annals, histories, chronologies, notes on events; and the implied narratives of such events: catalogues of popes, emperors, and kings, and genealogies of emperors and kings.

Excluded are: saints’ lives, biographies, advice to princes, praise of princes, descriptions of courts, itineraries, charters, letters, narratives understood to be fictional, and geographical descriptions.

Included are works composed from the beginning of the fourth century to the end of the fifteenth century. Thus tenth century manuscripts of Suetonius are excluded, but seventeenth century manuscripts of Henry of Huntingdon are included.

Included are translations into Latin of works composed in other languages (e.g. Eusebius); excluded are translations into other languages of works composed in Latin (e.g. Middle English versions of Martinus Polonus).