A chronicle (
Chronicler information sources vary; some chronicles are written from first-hand knowledge, some are from witnesses or participants in events, still others are accounts passed mouth to mouth prior to being written down. Some used written material: Charters, letters, or the works of earlier chroniclers. Still others are tales of such unknown origins so as to hold mythical status. Copyists also affected chronicles in creative copying, making corrections or in updating or continuing a chronicle with information not available to the original author(s). The reliability of a particular chronicle is an important determination for modern historians.
In modern times various contemporary newspapers or other periodicals have adopted "chronicle" as part of their name. Various fictional stories have also adopted "chronicle" as part of their title, to give an impression of epic proportion to their stories. A chronicle which traces world history is called a
Scholars categorize the genre of chronicle into two subgroups: live chronicles, and dead chronicles. A dead chronicle is one where the author gathers his list of events up to the time of his writing, but does not record further events as they occur. A live chronicle is where one or more authors add to a chronicle in a regular fashion, recording contemporary events shortly after they occur. Because of the immediacy of the information, historians tend to value live chronicles, such as
The term often refers to a book written by a chronicler in the Middle Ages describing historical events in a country, or the lives of a nobleman or a clergyman, although it is also applied to a record of public events. The earliest medieval chronicle to combine both retrospective (dead) and contemporary (live) entries, is the
Chronicles are the predecessors of modern "
It is impossible to say how many chronicles exist, as the many ambiguities in the definition of the genre make it impossible to draw clear distinctions of what should or should not be included. However, the