The Fredegar Chronicle: Composition and Contextualisation


The Fredegar-Chronicle is the only extant Frankish historiographical work from the seventh century. As a world chronicle, it covers the history from Adam to events in 659/660, offering a narrative that comprises the history of Frankland and several realms and empires beyond the Merovingian kingdoms in a vast geographical horizon. The project wants to shed light on the relation between the text’s structure and its contemporary context including Fredegar’s addressees in order to understand what exactly shaped the chronicle’s perspective on the past. The analysis concentrates on motifs of social cohesion in the narrative such as the chronicler’s ethnic view and understanding of the world and his assessment of the behavior of agents in history, i.e. the kings and noblemen in Merovingian France and elsewhere. These motifs and protagonists serve as orientation marks in a historical development that both ends and culminates in Fredegar’s own times.