Annals ( la, annāles
, from , "year") are a concise
History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as well ...
record in which events are arranged chronologically
, year by year, although the term is also used loosely for any historical record
The nature of the distinction between annals and history is a subject based on divisions established by the ancient Romans.
Marcus Verrius Flaccus (c. 55 BCAD 20) was a Roman grammarian and teacher who flourished under Augustus and Tiberius.
He was a freedman, and his manumitter has been identified with Verrius Flaccus, an authority on pontifical law; but for c ...
is quoted by
Aulus Gellius (c. 125after 180 AD) was a Roman author and grammarian, who was probably born and certainly brought up in Rome. He was educated in Athens, after which he returned to Rome. He is famous for his ''Attic Nights'', a commonplace book, ...
as stating that the etymology of ''history'' (from
Greek may refer to:
Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe:
*Greeks, an ethnic group.
*Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family.
**Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
, , equated with
Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through the power of ...
, "to inquire in person") properly restricts it to primary sources such as
Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Athenian historian and general. His '' History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of " scien ...
's which have come from the author's own observations, while annals record the events of earlier times arranged according to years.
White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of objects such as snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. Whit ...
distinguishes annals from
A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek ''chroniká'', from , ''chrónos'' – "time") is a historical account of events arranged in chronological order, as in a timeline. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and ...
s, which organize their events by topics such as the reigns of kings, and from histories, which aim to present and conclude a narrative implying the moral importance of the events recorded. Generally speaking, annalists record events drily, leaving the entries unexplained and equally weighted.
The chief sources of information in regard to the annals of ancient
, established_title = Founded
, established_date = 753 BC
, founder = King Romulus ( legendary)
, image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg
, map_caption ...
are two passages in
Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during the political crises that led to the est ... Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during the political crises that led to the est ..., '' De Oratore
''De Oratore'' (''On the Orator''; not to be confused with ''Orator'') is a dialogue written by Cicero in 55 BC. It is set in 91 BC, when Lucius Licinius Crassus dies, just before the Social War and the civil war between Marius and Sulla, duri ...'', ii.12.52.
and in Servius
[ Servius, ''ad Aen''. i.373.]
which have been the subject of much discussion. Cicero states that, from the founding of the Republic
down to the pontificate of Publius Mucius Scaevola
( BC), it was usual for the pontifex maximus
to record the name of the magistrates and the noteworthy events of each year on a white tablet (an ), which was exhibited in an open place at his house so that the people might read it. Servius states the events were written for each day..
[ In the late Republic, these were known as the . After the pontificate of Publius, annals were compiled by various unofficial writers, of whom Cicero names Cato, ] Pictor
Pictor is a constellation in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere, located between the star Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud. Its name is Latin for painter, and is an abbreviation of the older name Equuleus Pictoris (the "painter's easel" ..., and Piso. These annals have been generally regarded as the same with the cited by Livy
Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional founding in ..., but there seems reason to believe that the two were distinct, with the being fuller and more circumstantial. Verrius Flaccus's division of genres is borne out in the common division of Tacitus's works into '' Annals
Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical record in which events are arranged chronologically, year by year, although the term is also used loosely for any historical record.
The nature of the distinction between an ...'' and '' Histories'', although he did not use those titles to refer to his own works.
Among the early Christians, it was common to establish the date of
Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the '' Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'') and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samue ... by asking local Jews for the date of Passover
Passover, also called Pesach (; ), is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites escape from slavery in Egypt, which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the first month of Aviv, or spring. ... ( Nisan
Nisan (or Nissan; he, נִיסָן, Standard ''Nīsan'', Tiberian ''Nīsān''; from akk, 𒊬𒊒𒄀 ''Nisanu'') in the Babylonian and Hebrew calendars is the month of the barley ripening and first month of spring. The name of the month i ... 14 in the Jewish calendar
The Hebrew calendar ( he, הַלּוּחַ הָעִבְרִי, translit=HaLuah HaIvri), also called the Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today for Jewish religious observance, and as an official calendar of the state of Israel. ...) and either using that date or the nearest Sunday to it. By the end of the 3rd century, this date sometimes occurred before the spring equinox and frequently varied from city to city. Following the 325 Council of Nicaea, Easter tables began to be drawn up according to various methods of computing Easter, often running from the Passion until decades or centuries into the future. Beginning in Eusebius
Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος ; 260/265 – 30 May 339), also known as Eusebius Pamphilus (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμφίλου), was a Greek historian of Christianity, exegete, and Chris ..., '' Hist. Eccl.'', 7. Ireland
Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the se ..., Wales, and England in the 7th century, monks began to briefly note important events of the year as marginalia
Marginalia (or apostils) are marks made in the margins of a book or other document. They may be scribbles, comments, glosses (annotations), critiques, doodles, drolleries, or illuminations.
Biblical manuscripts ha ... in these tables. Thereafter the compilation of annals became by and large a monastic activity, with the earliest recorded monastic annals being compiled in Ireland and known as the '' Chronicle of Ireland
The Chronicle of Ireland ( ga, Croinic na hÉireann) is the modern name for a hypothesized collection of ecclesiastical annals recording events in Ireland from 432 to 911 AD.
Several surviving annals share events in the same sequence and wordin ...''. Not all early annalistic texts, however, were monastic, and some in fact were made under royal patronage. For example, what is now called the '' Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals in Old English, chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the ''Chronicle'' was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Al ...'', a text concerned mainly with the activities of kings, was written in annalistic form. Other examples of insular annals, written under various kinds of patronage, include the '' Annals of the Four Masters
The ''Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland'' ( ga, Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the ''Annals of the Four Masters'' (''Annála na gCeithre Máistrí'') are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2, ...'', the '' Annals of Ulster
The ''Annals of Ulster'' ( ga, Annála Uladh) are annals of medieval Ireland. The entries span the years from 431 AD to 1540 AD. The entries up to 1489 AD were compiled in the late 15th century by the scribe Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, ...'', the '' Annals of Innisfallen'', and the '' Annals of Wales'' ().
Introduced by insular missionaries to the continent, these texts were recopied, augmented, and continued, especially in Austrasia
Austrasia was a territory which formed the north-eastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine and the Moselle rivers, and was the original territory of the .... During the 9th-century Carolingian Renaissance
The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire. It occurred from the late 8th century to the 9th century, taking inspiration from the Christian Roman Empire of ..., they became the usual form of contemporary history: major examples include the '' Royal Frankish Annals
The ''Royal Frankish Annals'' (Latin: ''Annales regni Francorum''), also called the ''Annales Laurissenses maiores'' ('Greater Lorsch Annals'), are a series of annals composed in Latin in the Carolingian Francia, recording year-by-year the stat ...'', the '' Annals of Fulda'' (), the '' Annals of St Bertin'' (), and the '' Annals of Lorsch'' (). As the annals developed into fuller and more descriptive entries, they became more indistinguishable from chronicle
A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek ''chroniká'', from , ''chrónos'' – "time") is a historical account of events arranged in chronological order, as in a timeline. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and ...s, although the term was still used for various works, such as the Annals of Waverley.
In modern literature, the term "annals" is similarly loosely applied to works which more or less strictly adhere to the order of years, both in western contexts (English ''Annual Registers'', French , German ) and to equivalent styles in other cultures (such as the Chinese
Spring and Autumn Annals
The ''Spring and Autumn Annals'' () is an ancient Chinese chronicle that has been one of the core Chinese classics since ancient times. The '' Annals'' is the official chronicle of the State of Lu, and covers a 241-year period from 722 to 4 ...).
It is also applied to various periodicals
A periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar example is a newspaper, but a magazine or a journal are also examples ..., particularly peer-reviewed journals in the sciences
Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earliest archeological evidence for ..., after the model of Lavoisier
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier ( , ; ; 26 August 17438 May 1794),
Annales de chimie et de physique
''Annales de chimie et de physique'' ( French for ''Annals of Chemistry and Physics'') is a scientific journal founded in Paris, France, in 1789 under the title ''Annales de chimie''. One of the early editors was the French chemist Ant ...''.
* Chinese annals
Spring and Autumn Annals
The ''Spring and Autumn Annals'' () is an ancient Chinese chronicle that has been one of the core Chinese classics since ancient times. The '' Annals'' is the official chronicle of the State of Lu, and covers a 241-year period from 722 to 4 ...
** Annals of the Warring States
** Annals of the Three Kingdoms
* The Annals of Tabari
( ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري), more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari ... (10th century Tabaristan
Tabaristan or Tabarestan ( fa, طبرستان, Ṭabarestān, or mzn, تبرستون, Tabarestun, ultimately from Middle Persian: , ''Tapur(i)stān''), was the name applied to a mountainous region located on the Caspian coast of northern Ira ... Abbasid Caliphate
The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Mutt ...)
* The German Annals ('' Annales Alamannici
The ''Annales Almannici'', which are also referred to as the ''Annals of St. Gall'', provide one of the earliest records of Medieval Europe available. The core text of the ''Annales Alamannici'' covers the years 709 through to 799. Spread over se ...'')
* Annals of Joseon Dynasty in Korea
* The Malay Annals ('' Sejarah Melayu
The ''Malay Annals'' ( Malay: ''Sejarah Melayu'', Jawi: سجاره ملايو), originally titled ''Sulalatus Salatin'' (''Genealogy of Kings''), is a literary work that gives a romanticised history of the origin, evolution and demise of the g ...'')
* Grotius's (1557)
* Bishop Ussher's ''Annals of the Old Testament''
* Cardinal Baronius's '' Annales Ecclesiastici'' (12 vols, 1788–1793)
* Hailes's ''Annals of Scotland from the Accession of Malcolm III to the Accession of the House of Stuart''
* Chambers's ''Domestic Annals of Scotland''
* The annals of the emperors of Japan
* The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
*The Annals of Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
*The Annals of Clinical Biochemistry
*The Annals of Family Medicine
*The IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
The ''IEEE Annals of the History of Computing'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by the IEEE Computer Society. It covers the history of computing, computer science, and computer hardware. It was founded in 1979 by the ...
*The Annals of Human Genetics
The ''Annals of Human Genetics'' is a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering human genetics. It was established in 1925 by Karl Pearson as the ''Annals of Eugenics'', with as subtitle, Darwin's epigram "I have no Faith in anything shor ...
*The Annals of Internal Medicine
''Annals of Internal Medicine'' is an academic medical journal published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world. ''Annals'' publishes content releva ...
*The Annals of Mathematics
The ''Annals of Mathematics'' is a mathematical journal published every two months by Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study.
The journal was established as ''The Analyst'' in 1874 and with Joel E. Hendricks as th ...
*The Annals of Probability and Annals of Statistics
*The Annals of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade
*The Annals of Improbable Research, a parody of other peer-reviewed journals
Works about history