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John of Worcester

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John of Worcester

King Henry I's Dream in the Chronicle.

John of Worcester (died circa 1140) was an English monk and chronicler who worked at Worcester Priory. He is usually held to be the author of the Chronicon ex chronicis.

Contents

  • Chronicon ex chronicis 1
    • Authorship 1.1
    • Manuscripts 1.2
    • Sources for English history 1.3
  • References 2
  • Chronicon ex chronicis: editions and translations 3
  • Further reading 4

Chronicon ex chronicis

The Chronicon ex chronicis is a world wide history which begins with the creation and ends in 1140. The chronological framework of the Chronicon was presented by the chronicle of Marianus Scotus (d. 1082). A great deal of additional material, particularly relating to English history, was grafted onto it.

Authorship

The greater part of the work, up to 1117 or 1118, was formerly attributed to the man Florence of Worcester on the basis of the entry for his death under the annal of 1118, which credits his skill and industry for making the chronicle such a prominent work.[1] In this view, the other Worcester monk, John, merely wrote the final part of the work. However, there are two main objections against the ascription to Florence. First, there is no change of style in the Chronicon after Florence's death, and second, certain sections before 1118 rely to some extent on the Historia novorum of Eadmer of Canterbury, which was completed sometime in 1121 - 1124.[2]

The prevalent view today is that John of Worcester was the principal author and compiler. He is explicitly named as the author of two entries for 1128 and 1138, and two manuscripts (CCC MS 157 and the chronicula) were written in his hand. He was seen working on it at the behest of Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, when the Anglo-Norman chronicler Orderic Vitalis visited Worcester:

Ioannes Wigornensis a puero monachus, natione Anglicus, moribus et eruditione uenerandus, in his quæ Mariani Scotti cronicis adiecit, de rege Guillelmo et de rebus quæ sub eo uel sub filiis eius Guillelmo Rufo et Henrico usque hodie contigerunt honeste deprompsit. [...] Quem prosecutus Iohannes acta fere centum annorum contexuit, iussuque uenerabilis Wlfstani pontificis et monachi supradictis cronicis inseruit in quibus multa de Romanis et Francis et Alemannis aliisque gentibus quæ agnouit [...]. "John, an Englishman by birth who entered the monastery of Worcester as a boy and won great repute for his learning and piety, continued the chronicle of Marianus Scotus and carefully recorded the events of William's reign and of his sons William Rufus and Henry up to the present. [...] John, at the command of the venerable Wulfstan bishop and monk [d. 1095], added to these chronicles [i.e. of Marianus Scotus] events of about a hundred years, by inserting a brief and valuable summary of many deeds of the Romans and Franks, Germans and other peoples whom he knew [...]."[3]

Manuscripts

The Chronicon survives in five manuscripts (and a fragment on a single leaf):

Sunspot drawing in 1128, by John of Worcester.[4]

In addition, there is the chronicula, a minor chronicle based on the Chronicon proper: MS 503 (Dublin, Trinity College), written by John up to 1123.

Sources for English history

For the body of material dealing with early English history, John is believed to have used a number of sources, some of which are now lost:

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ [...] huius subtili scienta et studiosi laboris industria, preeminet cunctis haec chronicarum chronica.
  2. ^ Gransden, Historical Writing, p. 144.
  3. ^ Orderic Vitalis, Historia Ecclesiastica, Book III, ed. and tr. Chibnall, p. 186-9.
  4. ^

Chronicon ex chronicis: editions and translations

  • Darlington, Reginald R. and P. McGurk (eds.), P. McGurk and Jennifer Bray (trs.). The Chronicle of John of Worcester: The Annals from 450-1066. Vol 2. Oxford Medieval Texts. Oxford: 1995.
  • McGurk, P. (ed. and tr.). The Chronicle of John of Worcester: The Annals from 1067 to 1140 with The Gloucester Interpolations and The Continuation to 1141. Vol 3. OMT. Oxford, 1998.
  • Thorpe, Benjamin (ed.). Florentii Wigorniensis monachi chronicon ex chronicis. 2 vols. London, 1848-9. Download available from Google Books
  • Stevenson, J. (tr.). Church Historians of England. 8 vols: vol. 2.1. London, 1855. 171-372.
  • Forester, Thomas (tr.). The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854. Available from Google Books.
  • Weaver, J. R. H., ed. (1908) The Chronicle of John of Worcester, 1118-1140: being the continuation of the 'Chronicon ex chronicis' of Florence of Worcester. Oxford: Clarendon Press

Further reading

  • Brett, Martin. "John of Worcester and his contemporaries." In The Writing of History in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to R.W. Southern, ed. by R.H.C. Davis and J.M. Wallace Hadrill. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981. 101-26.
  • Brett, Martin, "John, monk of Worcester." In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Michael Lapidge, et al. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999. ISBN 0-631-22492-0
  • Gransden, Antonia. Historical writing in England c. 550 to 1307. Vol 1. London, 1974. 143–8.
  • Orderic Vitalis, Historia Ecclesiastica, ed. and tr. Marjorie Chibnall, The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis. 6 volumes. Oxford Medieval Texts. Oxford, 1968-1980. ISBN 0-19-820220-2.
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