Catalan Historical Review, No 12 (2019)

The four great Catalan chronicles, one of the best historiographic series in mediaeval Europe

Lluís Cifuentes i Comamala


The chronicles of James I (c. 1270-1276), Bernat Desclot (c. 1280-1288), Ramon Muntaner (1325-1328) and Peter the Ceremonious (c. 1345-1385), known as the four great Catalan chronicles, are one of the best sets of historiographic works from mediaeval Europe. Eminent scholars, historians and philologists have studied and published them, and translations in numerous languages have also been issued. Nonetheless, they are still undeservedly unknown outside the circle of experts in Catalan history and literature. In 1971, Ferran Soldevila published a joint edition of all four chronicles with profuse historical annotations, which was recently revised and
expanded by the historian Maria Teresa Ferrer i Mallol and the linguist Jordi Bruguera in an edition which currently provides the best access to these works. This article provides a summary of current knowledge of these works from an interdisciplinary perspective, along with a few new insights.

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