The Saxon Chronicle of the World


The Saxon Weltchronik (World chronicle) is extant in several versions. As an abridged version, the so-called review or recension A enjoyed a wider distribution than the larger (and today regarded as authoritative) version C, for which the manuscript tradition was limited to northern and central Germany. In the short version presented here, the longer narratives of the original, mainly from the chronicle of emperors, have been omitted completely or at least greatly reduced; the history of the 12th century is condensed to a great degree. This is why this manuscript, which is a representative of recension A, consists of only 74 parchment leaves. The abbreviated version of the Saxon chronicle spread from the region in which it was originally produced, especially into the Alemannic and Bavarian language area. This manuscript, undecorated apart from simple red initials, was written at the beginning of the second quarter of the 14th century in the Bavarian region of that time. It contains, directly after the text of the Saxon Weltchronik, from leaf 66 verso onwards, the oldest record of the so-called “first Bavarian continuation,” which extends to 1314. The continuation deals with the history of the Holy Roman Empire from Frederick II (1194‒1250, ruled 1220–50) to Louis the Bavarian, also known as Ludwig IV (circa 1282‒1347, ruled 1328‒47). Here and there, the focus switches to the corresponding papal history. Towards the end of the continuation the chronicler left some empty space for the reign of Louis the Bavarian, which was only filled in as late as in the 16th century. The codex was definitely already part of the old ducal court library in Munich, one of the predecessors of today’s Bavarian State Library, as early as in the 17th century. Its previous owners are unknown.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Sächsische Weltchronik in bayerischer Mundart, mit der ersten bayerischen Fortsetzung


Type of Item

Physical Description

74 folios, parchment ; 23 x 15 centimeters


  • This description of the work was written by Karin Schneider.
  • BSB shelfmark: Cgm 55

Last updated: January 10, 2018