history: Medieval Historiography
The concern with separating fact from fiction and legend often disappeared in medieval historiography. Medieval works tended to divide into two types of histories. One was the universal history, which found some inspiration in St. Augustine's
Contact with Byzantines and Muslims broadened history writing by showing the Westerners other points of view. Byzantine historians had also early fallen into the writing of chronicles, although the greater unity of the Byzantine Empire and the persistence of a unified culture gave somewhat more literary quality to the Byzantine works, from Procopius through Anna Comnena to the 13th-century writings of George Acropolita and the Acominatus brothers. Medieval Islamic historians such as al-Tabari and al-Masudi wrote histories of great scope, often employing sophisticated methods to separate fact from fable. But by far the greatest medieval Arabic historian was Ibn Khaldun, who created an early version of sociological history to account for the rise and decline of cities and civilizations. In 12th-century Europe secular history writing emerged, shown in the work of Geoffroi de Villehardouin, and the chronicles of Jean, sire de Joinville, Jean Froissart, and Philippe de Comines in successive centuries.
Sections in this article:
- Eastern Historiography
- History in the Twentieth Century and Since
- History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
- Renaissance Historiography
- Medieval Historiography
- Greek and Roman Historiography
- Western Historiography
- Origins of Historical Writing
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