BLESSED BE THE PEACEFUL BECAUSE THEY WILL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD
THE EARLY CHRONICLERS
Decline of History with the Decline of Rome— Its Revival in the Time of the Goths—Cassiodorus—His Honours and the Political Tendency of his Works—His Lost History of the Goths and the “Libri Epistolarum Variarum’’—Compendium by the Goth Jordanes of the History of Cassiodorus—The Divisions between Romans and Goths fomented at Constantinople—Gothic War narrated by Procopius of Caesarea—Merits and Importance of this Author—Minor Writers
Sad Condition of Italy in the Early Period of the Lombard Invasion — Gregory the Great — Collection of his Letters — Their Great Importance for the History of Italy — The Book of Dialogues — The Edict of Rothari — The “Origo Langobardorum’’ and Minor Writings up to Paulus Diaconus — His Life — His Works and Especially his History of the Lombards
Decay of Italian Chronography — The “Liber Pontificalis” — The Acts of the Neapolitan Bishops — Agnellus of Ravenna — Polemical Writings of Auxilius and Vulgarius — The Monasteries and the Saracen Invasions — Farfa : the “Constructs” — Lives of the Saints of St. Vincent on the Volturno — The “Destructio” — Montecassino : Chronicle of St. Benedict — Catalogues — Translations of Relics — “Historia” of Erchempert — Chronicle of Salerno — Andrew of Bergamo — Panegyric of Berengarius — Liutprand — Benedict of Soracte — Venetian Chronicle of Johannes Diaconus
Intellectual Movement in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries — Reforms in the Church and the Contests Regarding the Investitures — Revival of Ecclesiastical Culture and of Historical Research in the Monasteries — Monastic Registers and Chronicles — The Monastery of Farfa and the Works of Gregory of Catino — The “Chronicon Vulturnense’’ — Renaissance of Arts and Letters at Montecassino promoted by the Abbot Desiderius — The Monk Amatus and his History of the Normans — Leo Ostiensis and Petrus Diaconus, Historians of Montecassino — Historical Writings of Southern Italy — Legendary Chronicle of the Monastery of the Novalesa
Bruno of Segni — Wibert of Toul — Paul of Bernried— Petrus Pisanus — Pandulph — BOSO — St. Peter Damiani — Bonizo’s “Liber ad Amicum” — The Life of Anselm of Lucca — Domnizo’s Life of the Countess Matilda — The Letters of Gregory VII
New Phases of Italian Thought from the Twelfth to the Fourteenth Centuries — Southern Writers of the Norman and Suabian Times — Saba Malaspina — Historians of the Sicilian Vespers — Life of Cola di Rienzo — Otho of Freising — Fra Salimbene of Parma — Chroniclers of Various Cities of Central and Northern Italy — Chroniclers of Lombardy and of the Marca Trivigiana — Albertinus Mussatus
The Chroniclers of the Maritime Republics : Venetian Chronicles — Martin da Canale — Andrea Dandolo — The Genoese Annalists from Caffaro to James D’Oria — Pisa : Petrus Pisanus — Bernard Marango — The Chroniclers of the Rest of Tuscany and Principally the Florentines — Dino Compagni — The Villani
In attempting to give a popular account of the Italian chroniclers of the Middle Ages, I have tried to avoid all unnecessary display of erudition, and to present the book in as simple a form and as free from quotations and notes as possible. If I have not been able to keep myself rigorously to this rule, it has been because I desired as far as I could to make the book not wholly without value to more special students, since, if I am not mistaken, this is the first work which professes expressly to narrate the history of medieval Italian chronography. Hence I have made a diligent study in the best editions of the text of all the authors mentioned in this book, and before passing judgment upon them have tried to see all that others had thought and written on the same points.
As for the general structure of the book, if I have been sometimes rather diffuse in treating of the various historic periods which it traverses, I trust that I may be forgiven for this, considering that it is not easy, nor would it be a good plan, to speak of historical writers, without taking into account the times in which they lived and of which they wrote. Thus I have often been led to enlarge on the lives of the writers whose works I was examining, and this I have done because it seemed to me that in no other way could I give so clear an idea of the times described by them, and of the reasons why they wrote. In Italy more than elsewhere the history of the Middle Ages was related by men who took an active part in the events which they recorded, from the earliest to the latest times, from Cassiodorus and Gregory the Great to Albertinus Mussatus, Dino Compagni and Giovanni Villani. Also, in order to make the reader better acquainted with the disposition, nature, and style of the various chronicles, I have introduced long and numerous extracts from them, translated from the Latin, Greek, or Italian originals. These passages have been translated by my wife, who has also given its English garb to the rest of the book, sharing with me the labour and the interest of compilation. In rendering these fragments the translator has striven to be true to the letter of the originals, but where some, from their obscure and confused Latin, made a literal translation impossible, she has done her best to adhere closely to the intention of the authors. The number of books which I had to consult is too great for me to mention them all, but I have tried to acknowledge those which have rendered me more special service, both from gratitude, and in order that any reader wishing to push his inquiries further may know where to turn for information. The first chapters were printed (through involuntary delay on my part) many months before the last. For this I am sorry, as it has prevented me from making use of two recent publications—the edition of the Acts of the Neapolitan Bishops, made by Signor Capasso of Naples, and the edition of Jordanes, by Theodor Mommsen; yet neither would have changed substantially what I had already written. What those first chapters, however, do recall is a memory bringing with it a sense of regret. Before they were sent to be printed, they had been read by the late Canon Robertson, of Canterbury, and honoured with his suggestions and approval. I hoped to have been able to express to him in this place my gratitude, whereas I can only place it on record, as a poor tribute to one for whom I feel deep reverence. Assuredly he is missed by many in England, as he is by me, for the generous and gentle qualities of his heart, while he is regretted by all, whether in England or Italy, who have studied his works and admired that calm and keen serenity of judgment which is one of the highest attributes of a faithful historian.
The letters of Cassiodorus : being a condensed translation of the Variae epistolae of Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator