A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek language, Greek ''chroniká'', from , ''chrónos'' – "time") is a historical account of events arranged in chronology, chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the chronicler. A chronicle which traces world history is a Universal history, universal chronicle. This is in contrast to a narrative or history, in which an author chooses events to interpret and analyze and excludes those the author does not consider important or relevant. The information sources for chronicles vary. Some are written from the chronicler's direct knowledge, others from witnesses or participants in events, still others are accounts passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition.Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts, ''Memory and Gender in Medieval Europe: 900–1200'' (Toronto; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, 1999), pp. 19–20. Some used written material, such as charters, letter (message), letters, and earlier chronicles. Still others are tales of unknown origin that have mythical status. Copyists also changed chronicles in creative copying, making corrections or in updating or continuing a chronicle with information not available to the original chronicler. Determining the reliability of particular chronicles is important to historians. Many newspapers and other periodical literature have adopted "chronicle" as part of their name. Various fictional stories have also adopted "chronicle" as part of their title, to give an impression of epic proportion to their stories.


Scholars categorize the genre of chronicle into two subgroups: live chronicles, and dead chronicles. A ''dead'' chronicle is one where the author gathers his list of events up to the time of his writing, but does not record further events as they occur. A ''live'' chronicle is where one or more authors add to a chronicle in a regular fashion, recording contemporary events shortly after they occur. Because of the immediacy of the information, historians tend to value live chronicles, such as annals, over dead ones. The term often refers to a book written by a chronicler in the Middle Ages describing historical events in a country, or the lives of a nobleman or a clergyman, although it is also applied to a record of public events. The earliest medieval chronicle to combine both retrospective (''dead'') and contemporary (''live'') entries, is the Chronicle of Ireland, which spans the years 431 to 911. Chronicles are the predecessors of modern "time lines" rather than analytical histories. They represent accounts, in prose or verse, of local or distant events over a considerable period of time, both the lifetime of the individual chronicler and often those of several subsequent continuators. If the chronicles deal with events year by year, they are often called annals. Unlike the modern historian, most chroniclers tended to take their information as they found it, and made little attempt to separate fact from legend. The point of view of most chroniclers is highly localised, to the extent that many anonymous chroniclers can be sited in individual abbeys. It is impossible to say how many chronicles exist, as the many ambiguities in the definition of the genre make it impossible to draw clear distinctions of what should or should not be included. However, the ''Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle'' lists some 2,500 items written between 300 and 1500 AD.

English chronicles

The most important List of English chronicles, English chronicles are the ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'', started under the patronage of King Alfred in the 9th century and continued until the 12th century, and the ''Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland'' (1577–87) by Raphael Holinshed and other writers; the latter documents were important sources of materials for Elizabethan drama. Later 16th century Scottish chronicles, written after the Scottish Reformation, Reformation, shape history according to Catholic or Protestant viewpoints.

Alphabetical list of notable chronicles

*''History of Alam Aray Abbasi'' – Safavid dynasty *''Alamgirnama'' – Mughal Empire *''Altan Tobchi'' - Mongol Empire *''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' – History of the British Isles, England * ''Annales Bertiniani'' – West Francia *''Annales Cambriae'' – History of Wales, Wales *''Annales seu cronicae incliti Regni Poloniae'' – History of Poland, Poland *''Annals of Inisfallen'' – History of Ireland, Ireland *''Annals of Lough Cé'' – History of Ireland, Ireland *''Annals of the Four Masters'' – History of Ireland, Ireland *''Annals of Spring and Autumn'' – History of China, China *''Annals of Thutmose III – Ancient Egypt *''The Annals of the Choson Dynasty'' – History of Korea, Korea *''Babylonian Chronicles'' – History of Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia *''Anonymous Bulgarian Chronicle'' – History of Bulgaria, Bulgaria *''Bodhi Vamsa'' – History of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka *''Books of Chronicles'' attributed to Ezra – Israel *''Buranji'' – Ahoms, History of Assam, Assam, India *''Cāmadevivaṃsa'' – Lan Na, Northern Thailand *''Culavamsa'' – History of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka *(''Chronica Polonorum''): see ''Gesta principum Polonorum'' *''Cheitharol Kumbaba'' – Cheitharol Kumbaba, Manipur, India * ''Chronica Gentis Scotorum'' *''Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae'' – History of Poland, Poland *Chronicon (Eusebius), ''Chronicon'' of Eusebius *''Chronicon Scotorum'' – History of Ireland, Ireland *Thietmar of Merseburg, ''Chronicon'' of Thietmar of Merseburg *''Chronicle of Muntaner, Chronicle (Crònica) by Ramon Muntaner'' – 13th/14th-century Crown of Aragon. Third and longest of the Grand Catalan Chronicles. *''Chronicle of Finland'' (''Chronicon Finlandiae'') by Johannes Messenius – History of Finland, Finland *''Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja, Dioclean Priest's Chronicle'' – History of Europe, Europe *''Chronicon Slavorum, Chronicle of the Slavs'' – History of Europe, Europe *''Chronicle of Greater Poland'' – History of Poland during the Piast dynasty, Poland *''Chronica Hungarorum'' – History of Hungary *''Chronicle (Jean de Venette), Chronicle of Jean de Venette'' – History of France, France *''Chronicle of the Bishops of England'' (''De Gestis Pontificum Anglorum'') by William of Malmesbury *''Chronicle of the Kings of England'' (''De Gestis Regum Anglorum'') by William of Malmesbury *''Chronographia (Psellos), Chronographia'' – 11th century History of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) by Michael Psellos *''Comentarios Reales de los Incas'' *''Conversion of Kartli (chronicle), Conversion of Kartli'' – History of Georgia (country), Georgia *Chronicle Machairas, Cronaca - Chronicle of Cyprus from the 4th up to the 15th century by Greek Cypriots, Cypriot chronicler Leontios Machairas *''Cronaca fiorentina'' – Chronicle of Florence up to the end of the 14th Century by Baldassarre Bonaiuti *''Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum'' – History of Poland, Poland *''Croyland Chronicle'' – History of England, England *''The Dawn-Breakers, Dawn-Breakers (Nabil's Narrative)'' – Baháʼí Faith and Middle East *''Dipavamsa'' – History of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka *''Divan of the Abkhazian Kings'' – History of Georgia (country), Georgia *''Eric Chronicles'' – History of Sweden, Sweden *''Chronicon (Eusebius), Eusebius Chronicle'' – History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean and Ancient Near East, Middle East *''Fragmentary Annals of Ireland'' – History of Ireland, Ireland *''Froissart's Chronicles'' – History of France, France and History of Europe, Western Europe *''Galician-Volhynian Chronicle'' – History of Ukraine, Ukraine *''Georgian Chronicles'' – History of Georgia (country), Georgia *''Gesta Normannorum Ducum'' – History of Normandy, Normandy *''Gesta principum Polonorum'' *''Grandes Chroniques de France'' – History of France, France *''General Estoria by Alfonso X'' – c. 1275-1284 Castile (historical region), Castile, Spain. *''Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, Henry of Livona Chronicle'' – History of Europe, Eastern Europe *''Orderic Vitalis#The Historia Ecclesiastica, Historia Ecclesiastica'' – History of England, Norman England * ''Historia Scholastica by Petrus Comestor - 12th century France * ''The Historie and Chronicles of Scotland'', Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie *''History of the Prophets and Kings'' – History of the Middle East, Middle East and History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean *''Hustyn Chronicle'' – History of Europe, Eastern Europe *''Jami' al-tawarikh'' by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani - Universal history *''Jans der Enikel'' – History of Europe, Europe and History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean *''Chronicon (Jerome), Jerome's Chronicle'' – History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean and Ancient Near East, Middle East *''Jinakalamali'' – Lan Na, Northern Thailand *''Joannis de Czarnkow chronicon Polonorum – History of Poland, Poland *''Kaiserchronik'' – Holy Roman Empire, Central and southern Europe, Germany *''Kano Chronicle'' – History of Nigeria, Nigeria *''Khulasat-ut-Tawarikh'' by Sujan Rai - History of India *''Khwaday-Namag'' - History of Persia *''Chronicon Lethrense, Lethrense Chronicle'' – History of Denmark, Denmark *''Llibre dels fets, Libre dels Feyts'' – Book of the Deeds by James I of Aragon, first of the Grand Catalan Chronicles *''Madala Panji'' – Chronicle of the Jagannath Temple, Puri, Jagannath Temple in Puri, India, related to the History of Odisha *''Mahavamsa'' – History of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka *''Manx Chronicle'' – History of the Isle of Man, Isle of Man *''Nabonidus Chronicle'' – Mesopotamia *''Nuova Cronica'' – Florence *''Chronicon Paschale, Paschale Chronicle'' – History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean *''Primary Chronicle'' – History of Europe, Eastern Europe *''Puranas'' – History of India, India *''Rajatarangini'' – History of Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir *''Roit and Quheil of Tyme'' – History of Scotland, Scotland, Adam Abell *''Chronicon Roskildense, Roskildense Chronicle'' – History of Denmark, Denmark *''Royal Frankish Annals'' – Frankish Empire *''Scotichronicon'' – by the Scotland, Scottish historian Walter Bower *''Shahnama-yi-Al-i Osman'' by Fethullah Arifi Çelebi – Ottoman empire (1300 ac – the end of Sultan Suleyman I's reign) which is the fifth volume of it Süleymanname *''Skibby Chronicle'' – Danish Latin chronicle from the 1530s *''Swiss illustrated chronicles'' – History of Switzerland, Switzerland *''Timbuktu Chronicles'' – History of Mali, Mali *''Zizhi Tongjian'' – History of China, China

See also

* Books of Chronicles * Chronicles of Nepal * List of English chronicles * Medieval Chronicle Society


{{Authority control Chronicles, Medieval literature Works about history