Matthew Paris

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Self-portrait of Matthew Paris from his chronicle (London, British Library, MS Royal 14.C. VII, folio 6r).

Matthaeus Parisiensis ( Matthäus Paris , also Matthäus von Paris ; * around 1200 in England , † 1259 in St Albans ) was a historian in the Benedictine monastery of St Albans not far from London . He is considered one of the most important chroniclers, historiographers and cartographers of the 13th century in England. He also worked as a goldsmith and sculptor .

Live and act

A map of the world in the Chronica maiora . Cambridge Manuscript, Corpus Christi College, Parker Library, Ms. 26, page 284 (circa 1250)

The only certain date from Matthaeus biography is the year 1217, in which he entered St. Albans. Without ever holding an official position, he developed a lively activity as a historiographer and hagiographer . With his main work, the Chronica maiora (7 volumes, which were published in London from 1872 to 1883), he continued Roger von Wendover's Flores historiarum for the period from 1234 to 1259. The work is designed as a universal chronicle, but at the same time contains important information on current events at the time. In addition, Matthaeus wrote two historical treatises on the history of England, the Historia Anglorum and the Abbrevatio Chronicorum Angliae . He also wrote the lives of saints ( Eduard the Confessor , Thomas Becket , Stephen Langton ) in Latin and Old French. Parisiensis wrote and illustrated his manuscripts himself. The more than 100 heraldic shields contained therein are the earliest English source of heraldry . His heraldic works are therefore to be regarded as important sources of heraldry.

He maintained contact with important personalities in his environment, including King Heinrich III. of England and Haakon IV of Norway.


In his writings, Matthew propagated ritual murder legends and other anti-Semitic theses. For example, he established a polemical relationship between the circumcision of boys and the alleged forgery of coins by Jews by circumcising the edges of the coin or circulated a predecessor thesis of the “Jewish World Conspiracy that the Jews were behind the Mongol invasion in order to destroy Christianity. He is also the author of an early form of the legend of the Eternal Jew .


  • Chronica Maiora
  • Liber Additamentorum
  • Historia Anglorum
  • Gesta Abbatum
  • Vitae duorum Offarum
  • Abbrevatio Chronicorum Angliae


  • Evelyn Edson: Matthew Paris' 'other' map of Palestine. In: The Map Collector. No. 66, 1994, ISSN  0140-427X , pp. 18-22.
  • Vivian H. Galbraith : Roger Wendover and Matthew Paris (= Lecture on the David Murray Foundation in the University of Glasgow. 11, ZDB -ID 1211044-9 , = Glasgow University Publications. 61). Jackson, Glasgow 1944.
  • Paul DA Harvey Matthew Paris's maps of Britain. In: Peter R. Coss, Simon D. Lloyd (eds.): Thirteenth Century England IV. Proceedings of the Newcastle upon Tyne Conference, 1991. Boydell Press, Woodbridge et al. 1992, ISBN 0-85115-325-9 , p. 109 -121.
  • Paul DA Harvey: Matthew Paris's map of Palestine. In: Michael Prestwich, Richard Hugh Britnell, Robin Frame (Eds.): Thirteenth Century England VIII. Proceedings of the Durham Conference, 1999. Boydell Press, Woodbridge et al. 2001, ISBN 0-85115-812-9 , pp. 165-177 .
  • Hans-Eberhard Hilpert: Emperor and Pope letters in the Chronica majora of Matthaeus Paris (= publications of the German Historical Institute London. Vol. 9). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-12-915510-4 (also: Regensburg, University, dissertation, 1979).
  • Claude Jenkins: Monastic chronicler and the early school of St. Albans. A lecture. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge et al., London et al. 1922 (several reprints).
  • Suzanne Lewis: The Art of Matthew Paris in the Chronica majora (= California Studies in the History of Art. 21). University of California Press, Berkeley CA et al. 1987, ISBN 0-520-04981-0 .
  • Karl Schnith: England in a changing world. (1189-1259). Studies on Roger Wendover and Matthäus Paris (= monographs on the history of the Middle Ages. Vol. 7). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1974, ISBN 3-7772-7404-6 (also: Munich, University, habilitation paper 1972).
  • Peter-Johannes Schuler:  Mathäus Parisiensis. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 5, Bautz, Herzberg 1993, ISBN 3-88309-043-3 , Sp. 999-1000.
  • Richard Vaughan: The Handwriting of Matthew Paris. In: Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society. Vol. 1, No. 5, 1953, ISSN  0068-6611 , pp. 376-395, JSTOR 41337010 .
  • Richard Vaughan: Matthew Paris (= Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought. NS 6, ISSN  0950-6314 ). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1958, (See: Frederick M. Powicke: Review . In: The English Historical Review. Vol. 74, No. 292, July 1959, ISSN  0013-8266 , pp. 482-485) [ digitized ].
  • Richard Vaughan: Chronicles of Matthew Paris. Monastic Life in the Thirteenth Century. Edited, translated, and with an introduction. Sutton et al., Gloucester et al. 1984, ISBN 0-312-13452-5 .
  • Richard Vaughan (Ed.): The illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris. Observation of Thirteenth-Century Life. Translated, edited and with an introduction. Illustrations selected by Nigel Wilkins. Photographs by Ian Cannell. Sutton, Stroud 1993, ISBN 0-7509-0276-0 .
  • Björn Weiler, Matthew Paris in Norway, in: Revue Bénédictine 122 (2012), pp. 153–181.
  • Björn Weiler, Matthew Paris on the Writing of History, in: Journal of Medieval History 35 (2009), pp. 254-278.
  • Johannes Weiss: The cartographic legacy of Matthaeus Parisiensis in the late Middle Ages and early modern times. Vienna 2010, (Vienna, university, dissertation, 2010, online ).

Web links

Commons : Matthew Paris  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Gert Oswald : Lexicon of Heraldry. Bibliographical Institute, Leipzig 1984.
  2. Wolfgang Benz , Werner Bergmann , Johannes Heil , Juliane Wetzel , Ulrich Wyrwa (eds.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus . Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Volume 2: People. 1: A-K. de Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-24072-0 , p. 527 f.