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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the first ancient Roman historians to write in prose and arrange events in chronological sequence, annually (hence the title annalists). The works of the annalists were marked by a patriotic bias. They are divided into the elder (third to the first half of the second centuries B.C.), middle (second half of the second century B.C.), and younger annalists (first half of the first century B.C.); sometimes the middle and younger annalists are merged together.

The elder annalists employed fasti (the list of high magistrates), annals, family chronicles, the evidence of witnesses, and their own observations as sources, which on the whole made for the reliability of their information; they wrote primarily in Greek. The best known are Quintus Fabius Pictor (the author of the Annals, in which he gives an account of Roman history from legendary times [Aeneas] to the end of the second Punic War [201 B.C.]), L. Cincius Alimentus, M. Porcius Cato the Elder, and others. The middle annalists used the same sources as the elders but enlivened their exposition with curiosities (as, for example, L. Cassius Hemina) or attempted to provide a rational explanation of myths (L. Calpurnius Piso). The works of the younger annalists are less reliable: to be entertaining, they resorted to exaggeration, dramatic effects, and even fabrication, frequently carrying over the political and social motives of their own times into remote epochs. The younger annalists include Claudius Quadrigarius, Valerius Antias, Alius Tubero, and others. The middle and younger annalists wrote in Latin.

The works of the annalists have reached us either in small fragments or by mention of later historians—Titus Livius (Livy), Plutarch, and others. Fragments of the works of the annalists were published in Historicorum romanorum fragmenta, edited by H. Peter, Leipzig, 1883.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Isidore's) discloses his methods as a church historian, which were fundamentally shaped by the annalist tradition fostered by the founder of St.
If he read the "grave pages" of the New England annalists, did he also read Morton's joyous ones?
In the slight sketch here attempted, the facts, recorded on the grave pages of our New England annalists, have wrought themselves, almost spontaneously, into a sort of allegory.
The central theme for Families of the King is that the king's performance of his lordship obligations was recorded and transformed by annalists into literary representations of a political ethos offering insights and an understanding of the Anglo-Saxon aristocratic culture and the impact upon that culture by the Normans who conquered them.
were great annalists, and Herodotus is credited, as the father of History, with creating prose literature out of an assemblage of contingencies, but the drive of most of these writers was precisely to get beyond contingency and find a broader explanatory structure.
Annalists frequently noted impressive celestial occurrences, particularly eclipses and comets, and certain chronicles mention the especially bright supernova that appeared in 1006.
Until late in the nineteenth century the subject had been in the hands of annalists, journalists, politicians and public figures, none of whom had been trained as historians.
In their place is a nature buffeted by episodic uncertainties, whose dating and outcomes demand historical appraisal in ways familiar to human annalists. To be sure, self-consciousness and hindsight, memory and foresight may be uniquely human.
Whatever annalists and chroniclers report, nonetheless, is the extraordinary, not the daily.
This construction, though common coin among annalists of the late Republic, cannot be historical, as modern historians are agreed; it rests rather upon the desire to connect this bulwark of the liberty of the plebs with a great name from early Republican history.(7) Cicero is not uncritical of this version of events either, but his criticism points in a different direction from that of modern historians: he believes not that this account retrojects provocatio to an earlier period, but rather that it dates provocatio too late; in his view there was already a right of appeal (provocatio) from the decisions of the kings.