The Change of Narration in the Chronicles Relating the History of Medieval Prussia Cover Image

A narráció változása a középkori Poroszország történetéről szóló krónikákban. Peter von Dusburg és Johann von Posilge műveinek összehasonlítása
The Change of Narration in the Chronicles Relating the History of Medieval Prussia

Author(s): László Pósán
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: Comparing two narrative sources written by Peter von Dusburg and Johann von Posilge, respectively, the paper examines how the authors' narrative changed in the chronicle literature relating the history of medieval Prussia. As almost a whole century passed between the birth of Dusburg's Chronica terrae Prussiae and Posilge's Chronik des Landes Preussen, the paper primarily focuses on whether and how the author's narrative changed during this period. In this respect, the comparison of the two works revealed quite a few similarities, and even more differences. Dusburg's Latin chronicle is not a contemporary account of various events, whereas Posilge's German-language work might as well be called a contemporary “diary”. The former relates the history of the Teutonic Order, essentially within the context of salvation history, until the first third of the 14th century, while the second has much more to say about power politics and everyday events. This is why in Posilge's work we can read about epidemics, the weather, shipwrecks, floods, criminal acts and product prices, etc. Both chronicles contain short accounts and anecdotal stories, but we can observe the narrative differences in these as well. Dusburg's stories are related to military-political events, whereas Posilge also has everyday stories to tell. Dusburg's chronicle contains the same amount of events arranged in both chronological and thematic order. Posilge's work begins in medias res, and exclusively follows a chronological order. As a result, the pace of story-telling changes in Dusburg's chronicle, sometimes coming to a standstill due to the occasional interruptions of the narrative, while in Posilge's work it follows the same pace throughout, without any noticeable oscillation.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 41-58
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Hungarian