CHRONICLE

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CHRONICLE, strictly speaking, is a history digested according to the order of time. In this sense, it differs but little from annals. The term is mostly used in reference to the old histories of nations, written when they were comparatively rude. Chronicles belong to the sources of history, and many have been handed down from early ages; for instance, the two books of the Chronicles of the Hebrews, which belong to the Old Testament. With many nations, such chronicles were written under the authority of government, and priests, being the only men of learning among uncultivated tribes, were intrusted with this office. In the early Christian ages, also, clergymen were generally the authors of the chronicles; e. g., Eusebius, bishop of Csesarea, collected from other historical works his Chronicle of ancient history. Hieronymus of Stridon translated it into Latin, in the fourth century, and others continued it. Many historical works of the Byzantines (q. v.) are also chronicles. We might mention, likewise, the Alexandrine chronicle (Chroniconpaschale), published by Du Fresne ; also the chronicles written by monks, particularly by the diligent Benedictines, in the middle ages, some of which embraced the whole history of the world, from its beginning to their own time (as the Chronicle of Rbegino, of Otto of Freisingen, &c.); others, the histoiy of a certain period (as Liutprand's History of his Time, from 891 to 946), or of a single nation (as the History of the Franks, by Gregory of Tours ; that of the Lombards,by Paulus Diaconus; the English Chronicles, by Stow, &c), or the history of single provinces, cities and institutions (as the Chronicle of the Abbey of St. Denis; the Chronicle of Cologne); also the history of individuals (as Eginhard's History of Charlemagne), and of single events. They have been published partly in large collections (for instance, Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum), and, until the 13th and 14th centuries, were mostly written in Latin. Of many of them the authors are not known. In this case, they are called after the place where they were written or where they were found. These chronicles bear the impression of their time, displaying the ignorance and credulity of their authors, and abounding in religious and moral reflections. We must admit, in their favor, however, that they are not filled with political disquisitions and superficial reasoning, of which modem histories afford so many instances. The chronicles of the middle ages were not written with the purpose of supporting certain principles, but generally give simple facts; on account of which they are preferable, as historical records, to many modern works. Of course, they do not equal in value the result of the deep researches of a Gibbon or a Niebuhr. Young men, in search of historical knowledge, ought to apply themselves more frequently to these sources, and not trust so much to the writers who (Ire w from them; and we can say, from experience, that they would find them very interesting reading. (For information respecting the chronicles of the middle ages, we would refer the reader to the treatises by Rosier, in Latin, particularly the preface to his Chronica Medii Mvi (1798), and the directories of Freher and Adelung.) Chronicle is also often used as the title of newspapers. The most important of these is the (London) Morning Chronicle, an excellent paper of the whig party. (See Newspaper.) CHRONODISTICH,CHRONOGRAM; averse in which certain of the letters used signify Roman numbers, and indicate the year in which the event happened to which the verse relates ; e. g., reges ConCeDant paCeM, where CCDCM make the number 1800. It is little used at present.