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Bernat Desclot: The Historian and His Chronicle

Bernat Desclot: The Historian and His Chronicle

(p.55) 3 Bernat Desclot: The Historian and His Chronicle
Authoring the Past
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the chronicle of the royal chancellor Bernat Desclot. Desclot's Crònica (Chronicle), officially titled Llibre del rey en Pere de Aragó e dels seus antecessors passats (Book of King Peter of Aragon and of His Ancestors), was written from 1283 to 1288, after the great Catalan victory in Sicily in 1282. He succeeded as a historian who carefully collates his information with the available documentation. The fictional story of Guillem Ramon's exile to the Aragonese court and his contribution to the marriage revealed the domination of the Catalan nobility over the Aragonese. Desclot concluded his account in the simple manner that characterizes the whole chronicle, which gives him the natural authority demanded of all historians. His account succeeded as the work of a chronicler-historian who writes dispassionately of the Catalan Mediterranean expansion and military heroic deeds in Sicily.

Keywords:   chronicle, Bernat Desclot, Llibre del rey, Crònica, Sicily, Guillem Ramon, Catalan nobility

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