LA CHRONIQUE ABRÉGÉE DES ROIS DE FRANCE ET LES GRANDES CHRONIQUES DE FRANCE : CONCURRENCE OU COMPLÉMENTARITÉ DANS LA CONSTRUCTION D’UNE CULTURE HISTORIQUE EN FRANCE À LA FIN DU MOYEN ÂGE?

In: The Medieval Chronicle VIII

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In addition to the Grandes Chroniques de France, the Chronique abrégée des rois de France or Chronique française des rois de France, initiated by Guillaume de Nangis, amplified and continued in Saint-Denis during the fourteenth century, formed the basis of the historical culture of the French elites in the late Middle Ages.

Manuscripts of the work produced in the fifteenth century can be divided into two groups: the first, consisting of lavish copies containing only the Chronique abrégée, referred to the royal ideology and to the noble identity of their owners. Copies of the second group, less prestigious, belonged to royal officers. In these manuscripts, the Chronique abrégée is an ‘authorized’ foundation for the kingdom’s history, around which the owners organise a pragmatic reading of history, adding other texts, and sometimes inserting also their own historical productions. Four manuscripts produced in Normandy between 1418 and 1450 reflect the particular political thought of their owners in the context of the Hundred Years War.