William of Poitiers (chronicler)

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Wilhelm von Poitiers (French Guillaume de Poitiers , English William of Poitiers ) (* around 1020 in Les Préaux near Pont-Audemer ; † 1090 ) was a Norman chronicler.

Wilhelm von Poitiers comes from an influential Norman family and was a soldier before completing his spiritual studies in Poitiers . After his return to Normandy , he became chaplain to Duke Wilhelm II and archdeacon in Lisieux and stood out among his fellow brothers for his knowledge. In the short biography that Ordericus Vitalis dedicates to him in his Historia ecclesiastica , it is said that he was also a poet.

Wilhelm von Poitiers is the author of an Eloge in the style of Sallust on the Duke, the Gesta Guillelmi II ducs Normannorum , which he wrote between 1071 and 1077. The part that was preserved, the beginning and the end are lost, covers the period between 1047 and 1068. Though not very credible on matters relating to England , the Gesta Guillelmi provides details about the life of William the Conqueror. Here is a detailed description of the preparations for the Norman conquest of England , the Battle of Hastings and its aftermath. Ordericus Vitalis used Normandy here for its history.

Wilhelm's sister was the abbess of Saint-Léger Abbey in Les Préaux.


  • Gesta Guillelmi II ducs Normannorum - Histoire de Guillaume le Conquérant. Clermont-Ferrand, Paléo 2004. ISBN 2-84909-055-7
  • The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1998. ISBN 0-19-820553-8 (Gesta Guillelmi in modern English)


  • Raymonde Foreville: Aux origines de la renaissance juridique. Concepts juridiques et influences romanisantes chez Guillaume de Poitiers, biographe du Conquérant. Impr. Des Sciences, Bruxelles 1952.
  • Langue et civilization régionales - de Guillaume de Poitiers à Jean-Henri Burgaud Des Marets. Musée de Cognac, 20 September-22 October 1973. Musée de Cognac, Cognac 1973.