Chronicle of Fredegar


The Chronicle of Fredegar is a compilation by an unknown author, who most likely lived in Burgundy in the seventh century and to whom modern scholars gave the name Fredegar. The compilation is the only source for the history of Gaul in the period after the death of Saint Gregory of Tours (538‒94). The author probably completed the work around 660. The manuscript presented here, Latin 10910 in the collections of the National Library of France, is the main source for the chronicle. It includes excerpts from the writings of the church fathers, a summary of the Historia Francorum (History of the Franks) by Gregory of Tours, and the original chronicle itself, covering the period from 584 to 642, as well as a transcription of the chronicle of Saint Isidore of Seville (circa 560‒636). The manuscript was created in eastern France. It is written in an uncial script, except folios 7 verso‒8 recto, which are in half-uncials. Some annotations are in Merovingian cursive. The manuscript contains a pen drawing of ornate initials and of colored initials, as well as a pen-drawn sketch representing a female saint wearing a triangular cap (folio A) and two characters holding a phylactery. These individuals could be Eusebius and Jerome, as suggested by the Latin inscription in Greek fonts next to them (folio 23 verso). Other illustrations are a character enthroned, probably Christ, holding a cross and a book in a locket medallion (folio 75 verso), as well as a hybrid creature added to folios 23 verso, between the two characters, and to folio 184 verso. The manuscript was given to the library of King Louis XV by a Monsieur de Lauragais in 1771.

Last updated: December 20, 2017