Martin of Troppau

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Dominican in Prague, papal chaplain and apostolic penitentiary; b. probably Troppau (Silesia, then part of the kingdom of Bohemia), after 1200; d. Bologna, after June 22, 1278. Although the surname "Polonus" has another explanation besides his nationality, he was probably of Slavic origin. In any case, he was consecrated archbishop of Gnesen by Nicolas III on June 22, 1278, but died on the way to his see. Widely traveled, he was highly esteemed as a preacher (Sermones de tempore et de sanctis ) and canonist (Tabula decreti ); he revised and improved the format of the Italian catalogs of emperors and popes in his Chronicon summorum pontificum imperatorumque (ed. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 22:377475) and thereby achieved an extraordinary reputation as a historian during the late Middle Ages. As a practical workbook for canonists and as an aid for preachers, Martin compiled a summa of historical material (cf. Flores temporum by a Franciscan of apparently the same name) until 1288, in which critical research and scholarship were singularly lacking. This work had been suggested by clement iv and reflected the point of view of the mendicant orders. Fables, e.g., the story of the popess joan and popular legends, e.g., the establishment of the electoral college by Otto III, have survived as a result of this literary work and served as a source for later uncritical historiography. The chronicle saw numerous recensions and translations. Martin's name became a byword for unknown chroniclers.

Bibliography: a. potthast, Regesta pontificum romanorum inde ab a. 1198 ad a. 1304 2:1726, n. 21340. w. wattenbach,, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter bis zur Mitte des 13.Jhr. 2:466472. o. lorenz, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, 2 v. (Berlin 188687) 1:312. p. david, Les Sources de l'histoire de Pologne à l'époque des Piasts (9631386) (Paris 1934) 243244. b. schmeidler, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters 3:282289. h. grundmann, "Geschichtsschreibung im Mittelalter," Deutsche Philologie im Aufriss, v.3 (2d ed. Berlin 1962) 223839, 2278. b. stasiewski, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 7:119.

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Martin of Troppau

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