Matthew Paris

(c. 1199–1259)
   Historian.
   Matthew was a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of St Alban, England. He is remembered for his extraordinary chronicles, which included Chronica Majora.
   This was a history of the world and the early part was largely based on the work of Roger Wendover. The section relating to his own times was far more lively. Matthew did not hesitate to criticise the Papal Court, King Henry III of England and the general avarice of the age. It seems to have been based on information gleaned from visitors to the Abbey as well as on his own travels. His manuscripts were decorated with heraldic devices and illustrations of the events recorded. Matthew is an important figure in that he realised the moral responsibilities of the historian and was not content to remain a mere chronicler of events.
   R.Vaughan, Matthew Paris (1958);
   R.Vaughan (ed.), Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Monastic Life in the 13th Century (1984).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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