Matthew Paris

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Matthew of Paris

Matthew of Paris or Matthew Paris, d. 1259, English historian, a monk of St. Albans. He became the historiographer of the convent after the death (c.1236) of Roger of Wendover. The first part of his Chronica majora [great chronicle], a history of the world, is largely a reworked version of Wendover's chronicle. However, the second part, from 1235 to 1259, is original and valuable because its material was carefully collected from eyewitnesses or written from personal knowledge. Paris was an excellent stylist and narrator, and in his rewriting of Wendover's chronicle he formulated the hostile image of King John that has been copied by historians until very recent times. The standard edition of this work is by H. R. Luard (7 vol., 1872–83); a translation by J. A. Giles (1852–54) begins with 1235. Paris wrote a history of England, the Chronica minora [little chronicle], also called the Historia Anglorum, largely taken from the great chronicle but with some added material.


See biography by R. Vaughan (1958).

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Paris, Matthew


Died in 1259(?). English chronicler; monk of St. Albans Monastery (from 1217).

Matthew’s main work was the Chronica majora. The first part was a somewhat revised and enlarged version of the chronicle of his predecessor Roger Wendover. The second part, written by Matthew himself, covers the events of 1235 to 1259 and is an important source on the history of England during the period. He illustrated his chronicle with maps and miniatures.


Chronica majora, vols. 1-7. Edited by H. R. Luard. London, 1872-84.


Vainshtein, O. L. Zapadno-evropeiskaia srednevekovaia istoriografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. (See the Index of Names.)
Vaughan, R. Matthew Paris. Cambridge, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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