Martin the Pole

Martin the Pole or Martin of Troppau in Europe

Life and Work

Martin the Pole or Martin of Troppau, or Martin the Pole (d. 1278), chronicler, was born at Troppau, and entered the order of St Dominic at Prague. Afterwards he went to Rome and became papal chaplain under Clement IV. and other popes. In 1278 Pope Nicholas III. appointed him archbishop of Gnesen, but he died at Bologna whilst proceeding to Poland to take up his new duties.

Martin wrote some sermons and some commentaries on the canon law; but more important is his Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum, a history of the popes and emperors to 1277. Written at the request of Clement IV. the Chronicon is jejune and untrustworthy, and was mainly responsible for the currency of the legend of Pope Joan, and the one about the institution of seven electors by the pope. Nevertheless it enjoyed an extraordinary popularity and found many continuators; but its value to students arises solely from the fact that it was used by numerous chroniclers during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. In the 15th century it was translated into French, and as part of the Chronique martiniane was often quoted by controversialists. It has also been translated into German, Italian and Bohemian.(1)


Notes and References

  1. Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition)

See Also

Further Reading

The Latin text is printed, with introduction by L. Weiland, in Band XXII. of the Monumenta Germaniae historica (Hanover and Berlin, 1826 seq.). See G. Waitz, H. Brosien and others in the Neues Archiv der Geseltschaft fĂŒr Ă€ltere deutsche Geschichtskunde (Hanover, 1876 seq.); W. Wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, Band II. (Berlin, 1894); and A. Molinier, Les Sources de l’histoire de France, Tome III. (Paris, 1903).

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