1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/William of Nangis

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WILLIAM OF NANGIS (d. 1300), French chronicler, was a monk in the abbey of St Denis. About 1285 he was placed in charge of the abbey library as custom cartarum, and he died in June or July 1300. Having doubtless done some work on the Latin manuscripts on which the Grandes Chroniques de France are based, William wrote a long Chronicon, dealing with the history of the world from the creation until 1300. For the period before 1113 this work merely repeats that of Sigebert of Gembloux and others; but after this date it contains some new and valuable matter.

William's other writings are: Gesta Ludovico IX.; Gesta Philippi III., sive Audacis; Chronicon abbreviatum regum Francorum; and a French translation of the same work written for the laity. Making use of the large store of manuscripts at St Denis, William was a compiler rather than an author, and with the exception of the latter part of the Chronicon his writings do not add materially to our knowledge of the time. Both his chronicles, however, became very popular and found several continuators, Jean de Joinville being among those who made use of the Chronicon. This work from 1113 to 1300, with continuations to 1368, has been edited by H. Géraud for the Société de l'histoire de France (Paris, 1843), and practically all William's writings are found in tome xx. of Dom Bouquet's Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France (Paris, 1738–1876). A French translation of the Chronicon is in tome xiil. of Guizot's Collection des memoires relatifs à l'histoire de France (Paris, 1823–1835).

See A. Potthast, Bibliotheca historica (Berlin, 1896); and A. Molinier, Les Sources de l'histoire de France, tome iii. (Paris, 1903).