Post-classical history

Zimmern, Chronicle of

A family chronicle written in Early New High German, compiled by Froben Christoph, count of Zimmern (1519—1566). It survives in two manuscripts: a draft version and a fair copy (MSS. Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbiblio- thek, Cod.Don.580 and 581). The chronicle includes an account of the First Crusade (1096-1099) that purportedly derives from lost eyewitness traditions. This account gives considerable detail on a large number of named crusaders from Swabia and the Rhineland, who were long thought by scholars to have formed part of the forces led by Peter the Hermit, which were defeated by the Turks in Asia Minor in 1096. In fact, the narrative framework of this section is based largely on the much earlier accounts given by Robert of Rheims and William of Tyre, but almost all of the names of crusaders given are anachronisms or inventions, intended to magnify the German contribution to the crusade and to exalt the ancestry and reputation of the counts of Zimmern and other noble families of sixteenth-century southern Germany.

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