Annales Suecici

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by Stephan Borgehammar

The twelve extant series or sets of annals from Sweden may be divided into two groups, an older and a younger one, with a solitary set in between. The older group contains three sets completed in the period ca. 1265–1325 while the younger group contains eight sets compiled ca. 1420–1475. The Annales 1208–1434, previously regarded as belonging to the younger group, exists in an earlier form written at the beginning of the fifteenth century and should thus be placed between the two groups. Annalistic material pertaining chiefly to Sweden is also found in the diaries of three convents, >Diarium fratrum minorum Stockholmensium, >Diarium fratrum minorum Visbyensium and >Diarium Vadstenense. The Annales 826–1415 or Chronologia anonymi is in this Handbook treated as a work by >Paulus Helie.

Four of the sets of annals exist in original manuscripts, i.e. manuscripts in which the process of compilation can be studied: Annales 916–1263, 1160–1336 and 266–1430, and the Chronica Visbyensis 815–1444. The others are copies of lost originals.

Although the extant sets of annals are few and rather small, it would appear that not much of the medieval Swedish annalistic tradition has been lost. Quotations of annals in the Chronica regni Gothorum by Ericus Olai and in sixteenth-century works are often textually superior to the preserved annals, but seldom contain any additional factual information.

The most accurate and interesting information in a set of annals is usually found at the end, where compilers record contemporary events. The Swedish sets are therefore presented here roughly in the order of their completion. After the presentation of each set relevant literature is adduced chronologically, in abbreviated form; the full alphabetical bibliography appears at the end of the article.

Annales 916–1263

Also called Chronologia vetus Sveo-Danica 916–1263, Chronologia vetus ab anno 816[!] ad annum 1263 and Annales Dano-Suecani 916–1263; the section 1130–1254 is in Danish literature sometimes called Dominican Annals until 1254.

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Incipit

Anno Domini Dcccc°xvi°. Dani ad fidem conuersi per Poponem diaconum …

Explicit

M°cclxiij. Magnus legifer mortuus. Magister ordinis absolutus frater Humbertus. Mcclxiiij … Mcccxv.

Manuscript

Uppsala, University Library, C 70, fols. 1r–2r. Facsimile: CCD 5, 69–72.

Editions

BENZELIUS 1709, 14–17; SRD 2, 166–68; SRS 1:1, 47–50; STEENSTRUP 1874–1876, 364–67; MGH SS 29, 183–85; AD, 130–31; • PAULSSON 1974, 252–57; KROMAN 1980, 12–15.

Contents

Two hands have been at work on the manuscript: the older one has written the annals 1130–1254, which mostly record Danish events; the younger one (possibly two different hands) has entered annals for 1255–1263 as well as additions to the original text. Thus, the initial annal on the conversion of Denmark is an addition by the younger hand, which maintains interest in Denmark while paying increased attention to Swedish events. The older hand seems to have been a Danish Dominican, probably working in Lund or Roskilde; he draws on the annalistic tradition of Lund. The younger hand was most likely a Dominican in Skänninge, Sweden, who used Danish annals and information from calendars.

Literature

BENZELIUS 1709, STEENSTRUP 1874–1876, JØRGENSEN 1920 (=AD), BOLIN 1931, KROMAN 1936, GALLÉN 1940, GALLÉN 1946, AXELSON 1955, AXELSON 1956, EINARSDÓTTIR 1965, KRISTENSEN 1969, PAULSSON 1974, KUMLIEN 1979.

Annales 1208–1288

Also called Annales Sigtunenses/Sigtuna Annals (cf. Annales 266–1430 below), Skänninge Annals and Ängsö Annals. The name Annales Sigtunenses was introduced by C. Annerstedt, whose theory about the provenance of this set has since been abandoned.

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Incipit

M°cc°viij°. Bellum fuit in Lenum. Swerkerus fugatus est …

Explicit

M°cc°lxxx°viii°. Frater Geronimus minister fratrum minorum generalis electus est in papam … rapuit dominus Folko filius domini Algotj legiferi Osgotorum.

Manuscript

Ängsö castle, four endleaves in a fifteenth-century liturgical book; photocopies in Uppsala University Library, E 219 c.

Editions

KLEMMING 1870; SRS 3:1, 1–7; • PAULSSON 1974, 258–64.

Contents

The text is a copy from ca. 1300 with many errors. Ericus Olai has had a better version of the same series of annals at his disposal. The preserved copy ends in the middle of the annal for 1288, whereas Ericus Olai cites complete annals for 1288 and 1289. The original was composed in the 1290s, probably in Skänninge: the annals concerning Sweden are often the same as in the Annales 916–1263 (particularly in the period 1208–1238) and there is a similar concern with Dominican affairs. Sources include Jordanus de Saxonia’s Libellus de principiis ordinis praedicatorum, Gerardus de Fracheto’s Vitae fratrum ordinis praedicatorum, and Danish annals.

Literature

ANNERSTEDT 1871 (= SRS 3:1), EK 1930, BOLIN 1931, GALLÉN 1940, GALLÉN 1952, SCHÜCK 1952, LUNDSTRÖM 1957, PAULSSON 1974, KUMLIEN 1979.

Annales 1160–1320

Also called Annales 1160–1336 (but the entry 1336 was written in Vadstena and must be regarded as the first entry of the Diarium Vadstenense), Incerti scriptoris Sveci chronicon rerum Sveogothicarum ab anno 1160 ad annum 1320 gestarum and Uppsala Annals.

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Incipit

Anno Domini M°C°lx°. Passus fuit Vpsalensium rex et martyr beatus Ericus xv kalendas junii …

Explicit

M°CCC°xx° Decollatus fuit domicellus Magnus Birgeri regis filius. M°CCC°xxj. M°CCC°xxij.

Manuscript

Uppsala, University Library, C 92, fols. 4v–9r.

Editions

CELSIUS 1705; SRD 4, 588–96; SRS 1:1, 83–88; • PAULSSON 1974, 265–73.

Contents

The manuscript originally formed the first part of the >Diarium Vadstenense (Uppsala, University Library, C 89), from which it was detached at some time before 1700. The detached pages contain a set of annals apparently composed at the cathedral of Uppsala. The chief part of the set, covering 1160–1307, is written by a single hand. Roughly contemporary hands have made some minor additions, including annals for 1314, 1317 and 1320. Another nine additions were made by a Vadstena friar in the first half of the fifteenth century. The entries 1160–1274 have little over and above what the earlier Dominican annals contain; there is more of interest 1275–1307, particularly as regards ecclesiastical matters. The focus in the latter period is on the Cathedral of Uppsala.

Literature

CELSIUS 1705 (Notae, pp. 13–77), ANNERSTEDT 1871 (= SRS 3:1, pp. V–VI), NYGREN 1924, BOLIN 1931, ROSÉN 1956, PAULSSON 1974, KUMLIEN 1979, GEJROT 1988.

Annales 1208–1434 (1398)

Scholarly studies have hitherto most frequently referred to the Old Swedish translation (late fifteenth century), called Annotata chronologica Arvidi Trolle.

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Incipit

Anno Domini MCCCxvij capti fuerunt domini duces Ericus et Valdemarus.

Explicit

MS B: Anno Domini M°CCClx <ter>tio venit dominus <Albertus>. MS E: Item anno Domini M°CDxxxiiij … ipse Engilbertus vicebat in Swecia xxiiij castra.

Manuscripts

B = Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) B 55, fol. 160v; E = Stockholm, National Archives, Skoklostersaml. E 9047, fol. 9r.

Editions

PAULSSON 1974, 348–50 (the Old Swedish translation in SRS 1:1, 236–37).

Contents

The set begins with annals for 1317, 1336, 1348 and 1350 (MS E adds 1365). Then follow, in chronological order, sixteen annals for 1208–1398. After this MS B adds an annal for 1363(?), instead of which MS E has one for 1434. The text is related to that of Annales 916–1430 and Annales 1298–1473; its relation to the so-called Annales X has not been clarified.

Literature

PAULSSON 1974.


Annales 266–1430

Also called Chronologia ab anno 266 ad annum 1430, Annales Sigtunenses and The Younger Sigtuna Annals (cf. Annales 1208–1288 above). The connection with Sigtuna was made by Carl Gustav Nordin ca. 1800 but has long been abandoned.

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Incipit

Anno ab incarnacione Domini CClxvi crux Domini inuenta est.

Explicit

M°CD°xxx. Obiit illustrissima principissa Philippa … in nocte epiphanie Domini … qui custodiat animam suam in eternum.

Manuscript

Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) B 17, fols. 113r–19r.

Editions

SRS 1:1, 22–32; • PAULSSON 1974, 275–92.

Contents

The main hand wrote the annals for 266–1413 in the 1420s; a different hand added the last annal (1430) after 1442. There is a lacuna from 1200 to 1252. PAULSSON 1974 identifies a possible author: Nils Birgersson, dean at the cathedral of Strängnäs ca. 1390–ca. 1420, dead 1426. The annals are based on numerous different sources which may be roughly described as follows: 266–530 is a separate introductory section with rather faulty information on certain Church Fathers; 1113–1200 is based on material similar to the older Swedish and Danish annals, but twelve entries 1166–1189 are chronologically misplaced (forty-six years too early on average); 1252–1289 has a source similar to Annales 1208–1288; 1290–1320 contains unique material; 1320–1330 is similar to Annales 1298–1473; the annals from 1330 onward are independent of other annals and from ca. 1390 the compiler records contemporary events.

Literature

SCHÄFER 1872, EK 1930, BOLIN 1931, STADE 1939, PAULSSON 1974, AXELSON 1975–1976, KUMLIEN 1979.


Annales 916–1430

Also called Chronologia vetusta ab anno 880 ad annum 1430 and Chronologiska antekningar 826–1430 (the first year, which is very faint in the manuscript, was misread by the early editors), or Annals of the Greyfriars (on which name see further below).

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Incipit

dccccxvj. Dani ad fidem conuersi sunt per Poponem diaconum …

Explicit

Mcdxxx. Obiit illustrissima domina Philippa … Watzstenis et ibidem sepulta.

Manuscript

Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) D 4, fols. 200r–202r.

Editions

SRS 1:1, 61–66; EKDAHL 1832; • PAULSSON 1974, 293–301.

Contents

The manuscript is a rather careless copy, probably executed in Vadstena in the early 1430s, not long after the composition of the original. Three sections may be discerned: 916–ca. 1290, based on Swedish annals of the older kind, in a revised redaction from the late fourteenth century; ca. 1290–ca. 1390, based on a source which has been called Annales X, a source also used by Annales 1298–1473 and perhaps by Annales 1208–1434 (1398), and composed no earlier than the end of the fourteenth century, perhaps as late as after 1430 (according to PAULSSON 1974 modifying an earlier “Annales Triplices” theory – Paulsson’s view was rejected by AXELSON 1975–76 but supported by KUMLIEN 1979, 44–45); and ca. 1390–1430, being eight annals composed by the original compiler in the 1420s. The name commonly used in modern times, Annals of the Greyfriars, is due to the fact that some twenty entries have clear parallels in the Diarium fratrum minorum Stockholmensium. The nature of the connection between these two documents, however, is not clear.

Literature

ERSLEV 1881–82, SCHÄFER 1872, WESTMAN 1904, ANDERSSON 1928, BOLIN 1931, PAULSSON 1974, AXELSON 1975–76, KUMLIEN 1979.


Chronica Visby(c)ensis 815–1444

Also called Chronologia Svecica ex codice minoritarum Wisbyensium ab anno 815 ad annum 1412.

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Incipit

Anno Domini Octingentesimo quinto decimo Dani cum Haraldo rege ipsorum ad fidem conuersi sunt.

Explicit

Anno Domini Mcdxl quarto obijt notabilis vir et promotor conuentus dompnus Henricus van der Lippe … cuius anima in perpetua pace requiescat.

Manuscript

Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) B 99, pp. 43–49.

Editions

LUDEWIG 1731, 176–93 (begins pp. 175–76 with a few other annals from the same manuscript); SRD 1, 256–66 (mixed with other annals from the same manuscript); SRS 1:1, 39–47 (incomplete); • PAULSSON 1974, 315–25.

Contents

The manuscript is originally a necrological calendar from the Franciscan convent of Visby, to which obituary and annalistic texts of various kinds have been added. The Chronica Visbyensis is the longest addition of an annalistic character. It was composed in stages by one main hand, whose last entry is from 1412. A contemporary hand made additions for 1410 and 1412, while later hands have made additions for 1437 and 1444. The Chronica has two main sections. The first consists of annals 815–1344 and includes a list of the descendants of Sven Estridsen at the year 1202. The second section, on Nordic history 1360–1412, begins with an account of the ancestors of King Valdemar of Denmark which starts at 1286. It has a more narrative character and is more properly a chronicle. From about 1390 the Chronica concentrates so much on Gotland that some would like to see here the beginning of a third distinct section. The sources are varied and cannot be determined with certainty; for some events the chronicler seems to have had original documents at his disposal.

For other annalistic entries in the manuscript, a conspectus of its contents and more detailed information on the various editions, see >Diarium fratrum minorum Visbyensium.

Literature

SCHÄFER 1872, VON DER ROPP 1876, ERSLEV 1881–82, LINDSTRÖM 1892, ANDERSSON 1928, ENGSTRÖM 1929, NYGREN 1929, BOLIN 1931, THORDEMAN 1944, HÖGLUND 1953, AXELSON 1961, TORTZEN 1961, AXELSON 1963, BLOM 1972, PAULSSON 1974, KUMLIEN 1979.

Annales Karoli Andreae 1350–1446

Also called Caroli Andreæ monachi Vadstenensis chronologia brevis rerum Svethicarum 1389–1444 and Caroli Andreae chronologia rerum Svecicarum ab anno 1389 ad annum 1446.

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Incipit

Memoralia ad placitum. Anno ab incarnacione Domini MCDxlvj.

Explicit

In claustro fueram ad V annum dum hec scripsi.

Manuscript

Uppsala, University Library, C 3, fol. 168r–v.

Editions

BENZELIUS 1709, 98–100; SRS 1:1, 230–31; • PAULSSON 1974, 351–53.

Contents

Karolus Andreae was born in 1390, was ordained priest in 1415, served in the cathedral of Linköping until 1420 and then in Skänninge for a year, after which he became curate of Vist in 1422. In 1442 he became a friar of Vadstena Abbey, where he died in 1451. He wrote his annalistic notes in 1446/47. They concern institutions and persons connected with himself and are not chronologically ordered.

Literature

BENZELIUS 1709, PAULSSON 1974.


Annales 1040–1448

Also called Incerti auctoris chronologia brevis rerum Svecicarum ab anno 1040 ad annum 1450, Erici Johannis, monachi Vastenensis, chronologia brevis 1040–1450 and Chronologia regum Sueciae.

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Incipit

Anno Domini Mxl regnauit rex Olauus Skotkonungh in Swecia, qui paganus erat …

Explicit

… et ipsi Daci, videlicet dominus Olauus Axelson miles cum complicibus suis … terram et ciuitatem [i.e. Visby] cum castro rapuerunt.

Manuscript

Uppsala, University Library, C 36, fol. 143v.

Editions

BENZELIUS 1709, 100–101.; SRD 2, 552–553; SRS 1:1, 88–89; • PAULSSON 1974, 354.

Contents

The five annals in this set (for 1040, 1363, 1396, 1440 and 1448) are all concerned with royal elections and events surrounding them.

Literature

BENZELIUS 1709, PAULSSON 1974.


Annales 31–1463

Formerly published as Annotationes historicae ab anno 845 ad annum 1445 and Annales Holmienses 1457–1463. Also called Annales 845–1463.

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Incipit

Anno Domini MCCCXC annus jubileus quem de novo instituit Urbanus VI …

Explicit

… alii autem captivatorum rusticorum per intercessionem nobilium et regis misericordiam tormenta rotationis evaserunt.

Manuscript

Uppsala, University Library, E 146, pp. 339–51 and 352–58.

Editions

SRS 3:1, 21–25 (Annotationes, incomplete) and 26–29; • PAULSSON 1974, 335–47.

Contents

The manuscript is from 1706, apparently based on a sixteenth-century copy of the original. The work has two distinct parts, but the SRS edition does not divide them correctly. The first part contains annalistic entries which are very similar to those found in the Diarium fratrum minorum Stockholmensium; it seems in fact to be based on the latter, with additions taken from older annals. The entries are not arranged in chronological order. The second part is a kind of chronicle for the years 1448–1463 (with inserted brief annals for 1129 and 1176, probably deriving from marginalia in the original). It is a contemporary record written from the horizon of Stockholm and from a point of view favourable to the Nordic Union.

Literature

ANNERSTEDT 1871 (= SRS 3:1), ROSÉN 1940, LÖNNROTH 1933, LÖNNROTH 1934, HAGNELL 1941, ROSÉN 1946, WESTIN 1946, PAULSSON 1974, KUMLIEN 1979.


Martyrologium Strengnense (Annales 1436–1470)

Also called Martyrologia siue descriptio brevis omnium Martyrum singulis Anni diebus adscriptum Ecclesia olim Strengnensis (note dating from ca. 1600 on inside front cover of the manuscript), Diarium Strengnense (SRD), Strängnäsmartyrologiet (Paulsson).

Manuscript

Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) A 28.

Editions

SRD 4, 622 (based on a transcript in the unpublished seventeenth-century Diplomatarium of Örnhielm, vol. V, Royal Library, Stockholm); • PAULSSON 1975, 31–33.

Contents

This is not, strictly speaking, a set of annals but a liturgical book with scattered annalistic entries. The core of the manuscript is a martyrology – a copy of a thirteenth-century Dominican adaptation of the Martyrologium Usuardi – that was used in Strängnäs cathedral from the latter part of the fourteenth century to at least 1541. The first six leaves contain a calendar, which functions as an index to the martyrology proper on fols. 7–124. In the course of time, entries about Swedish saints and about anniversaries of the deaths of (mainly) Strängnäs clerics were added to the martyrology. Similarly, the calendar at the beginning of the manuscript was supplied with notes about significant events, entered at the dates on which they occurred. Most of these calendar entries simply record the death of a benefactor or other significant person in the community, but a small number also record events of regional or national significance. Though only ten in number, they have a place in the Swedish annalistic tradition.

The annalistic entries range chronologically from 1436 (? a textual conjecture) to 1470. The events they record are: the death of Engelbrekt (two entries, 1436? and 1441), the election and coronation of king Christopher (three entries, 1441), the death of king Christopher (two entries, 1448), the death of queen Katarina Karlsdotter (1450), the campaign of king Karl Knutsson in Scania (1452, in verse), and the death of king Karl Knutsson (1470).

The first entry about the death of Engelbrekt consists of two hexameter verses and the entry about Karl Knutsson’s campaign in Scania is an elegiac distich; the other entries are in prose.

Literature

SCHMID 1932, CARLSSON 1959, • PAULSSON 1975.


Annales 1298–1473

Also called Chronologia vetusta ab anno 1298 ad annum 1473.

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Incipit

Anno Domini 1298. Facte sunt nuptiæ Birgeri regis.

Explicit

1473. Apparuit quedam stella in nubibus non inter sydera sed erratica … Eodem etiam anno plures ciuitates, oppida et villæ cremate sunt.

Manuscripts

A = Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) D 29 b, no. 9, fols. 3r–14r; B = Stockholm, Royal Library, (Holm.) D 1 (two loose leaves: a folded double leaf and an inserted single leaf).

Editions

SRS 1:1, 92–99; • PAULSSON 1974, 302–14.

Contents

Both manuscripts are copies from the mid-sixteenth century. MS A is complete but with many misreadings; MS B is more correct but contains only the period 1306–1322. There are some additional excerpts from this set of annals in cod. Holm. D 1, in the form of notes by Rasmus Ludvigsson; one such note concerns the year 1286, which suggests that the original set started before 1298. In the present form of the document it is possible to discern three sections: 1298–1390, which is similar to the same period in Annales 916–1430 (PAULSSON 1974 supposes common dependence on the so-called Annales X, AXELSON 1975–76 argues that Annales 1298–1473 is directly dependent on Annales 916–1430); 1391–1430, compiled from several sources, i.e. Diarium fratrum minorum Stockholmensium, a source similar to that of Annales 266–1430, and perhaps of Annales X; and 1434–1473, a group of unique annals with many indications of month and day. The original compilation must have been made soon after 1473. The struggle concerning the Nordic Union is described from the point of view of the archdiocese of Uppsala.

Literature

SCHÄFER 1872, VON DER ROPP 1876, ROSÉN 1940, ROSÉN 1946, WESTIN 1946, PAULSSON 1974, AXELSON 1975–76.


Other annals

In addition to the above-mentioned sets of annals, single entries can of course be found here and there i manuscripts. T. SCHMID has brought attention to a small number of annals in the manuscript C 455 of Uppsala University Library and has edited three of them that concern the year 1513 (SCHMID 1936, 99–100, with editions in the footnotes).


Bibliography

  • AD = Annales Danici medii aevi, ed. E. Jørgensen, Copenhagen 1920.
  • ANDERSSON, I. 1928: Källstudier till Sveriges historia 1230–1436. Inhemska berättande källor jämte Libellus Magnipolensis, Lund.
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  • MGH SS 29 = WAITZ 1892
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  • SRD 1 = LANGEBEK 1772
  • SRD 2 = LANGEBEK 1773
  • SRD 4 = LANGEBEK & SUHM 1776
  • SRS 1:1 = FANT 1818
  • SRS 3:1 = ANNERSTEDT 1871
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