Annals

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Annals (Latin Annales, from annus, a year) are a concise form of historical writing which record events chronologically, year by year.

History

Medieval

In Middle Ages, when the order of the liturgical feasts was partly determined by the date of Easter, the custom was early established in the Western Church of drawing up tables to indicate that date for a certain number of years or even centuries. These Paschal tables were thin books in which each annual date was separated from the next by a more or less considerable blank space. In these spaces certain monks briefly noted the important events of the year. It was at the end of the 7th century and among the Irish that the compiling of these Annals was first begun – see the Annals of the Four Masters, the Annals of Ulster, the Annals of Innisfallen and the Annales Cambriae or Annals of Wales, one of the earliest sources for King Arthur. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is also in annalistic, year-by-year form.

Introduced by missionaries on the continent, they were re-copied, augmented and continued, especially in the kingdom of Austrasia. In the 9th century, during the great movement termed the Carolingian Renaissance, these Annals became the usual form of contemporary history; it suffices to mention the Royal Frankish Annals, the Annales Fuldenses, the Annales Bertiniani, the Annales Laureshamenses (or "of Lorsch"), officially compiled in order to preserve the memory of the more interesting acts of Charlemagne, his ancestors and his successors. Arrived at this stage of development, the Annals now began to lose their primitive character, and henceforward became more and more indistinguishable from the Chronicles, though the term was still used for many documents, such as the Annals of Waverley.

18th century to present

In modern literature the title annals has been given to a large number of standard works which adhere more or less strictly to the order of years. The best known are the Annales Ecclesiastici, written by Cardinal Baronius as a rejoinder to and refutation of the Historia ecclesiastica or "Centuries" of the Protestant theologians of Magdeburg (12 volumes, published in Rome from 1788 to 1793; Baronius's work stops at the year 1197). In the 19th century the annalistic form was once more employed, either to preserve year by year the memory of passing events (Annual Register, Annuaire de la Revue des deux mondes, &c.) or in writing the history of obscure medieval periods (Jahrbücher der deutschen Geschichte, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reiches, Richter's Reichsannalen, etc.). Today, the most cited law journal in the Balkans is called the Annals of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade

Other works

Other historical works known by the title Annals include:

Magazines and journals include:

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.