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William of Nangis

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(GUILHELMUS).

A medieval chronicler, who takes his name from the City of Nancy, France. All that is known of him is that he was a Benedictine monk and lived in the thirteenth century in the Abbey of Saint-Denis at Paris. According to some scholars he died before 22 July, 1300; according to others not until after 1303. A chronicle by him exists, extending from the creation to the year 1300, but which before the year 1133 has little independent value, as up to this point it depends completely upon the chronicle of Sigbertus of Gemblours. Even for the succeeding period it is only of subordinate importance. After William's death the chronicle was continued to 1340 by an unknown monk of Saint-Denis, and was then carried to 1368 by Johannes of Venette. The best edition is that of Hercule Geraud issued under the title: "Chronique latine de G. de Nangis de 1113 a' 1300 avec les continuations de cette chronique de 1300 à 1368" (2 vols., Paris, 1843). William wrote a brief summary of the chronicle, which included the years 845-1300, and is called "Chronicon abbreviatum regum Francorum". Recently Delisle seems to have found the original of this compendium in the Vatican Library ; before this discovery it was only known in a French translation (Chronique abrégéé) made by the author himself. William also wrote the biographies of three kings: the "Gesta Ludovici VIII, Francorum regis", the "Gesta Ludovici IX", and the "Gesta Philippi III sive Audacis, regis Franciae", ed. by A. Duchesne in the "Historiae Francorum: Scriptores coaetanei" (5 vols., Paris ). The exhaustive researches of Hermann Brosien published in the "Neues Archiv fur altere deutsche Geschichte", IV (1879), 426-509, show that the two latter biographies, like the chronicle, can be traced back to another author, to the chronicle of the monk Primatus, and are only enlarged by long extracts from Geoffrey of Beaulieu and Gilo de Reims. The "Gesta Ludovici IX", however, seems to have been used in common with Primatus, an earlier authority.

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