The rhetoric of historical writing: Documentary sources in histories of worms, c. 1300

Academic Article


  • One of the most hotly contested debates concerning medieval historiography concerns the question of whether medieval authors viewed 'what really happened', in a positivist sense, as the object of their inquiry, or whether they were concerned with writing the past as 'it should have been'. This study examines that question with relation to two historical narratives composed at the city of Worms during the final decade of the thirteenth century. The thesis of this article is that the authors of these two texts were concerned to describe the past as it actually happened, in a positivist sense, and that they relied on written documents, which they considered to be reliable, to write their texts.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • April 2007
  • Published In


  • 400-1499 Medieval period
  • Annales Wormatienses
  • Chronicon Wormatiensis
  • German literature
  • Latin language literature
  • Worms (Germany)
  • historiography
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 187
  • End Page

  • 206
  • Volume

  • 68
  • Issue

  • 2