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Trinity Hall : Ranulphi Higden Polychronicon

Trinity Hall

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Higden’s <i>Polychronicon</i> was one of the most popular English historical writings and it survives in more than a 120 manuscripts. Trinity Hall’s copy is the short form covering events to 1327.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Ranulph Higden (d. 1364), was Benedictine monk of St Werburgh’s Abbey, Chester. His <i>Polychronicon</i> is a biblically based summary of history, compiled from earlier writers. The earliest version of it dates from 1327, but Higden regularly expanded and updated the text throughout his lifetime. The work is divided into seven books, to represent the seven days of creation in Genesis.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The work covers a wide variety of topics including social customs, religion, geography, natural history and numerology. The book is organised as following: Book I is a geographical survey of the world; Book II covers the four Ages of the World from the Creation until the burning of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD; Book III covers the period from the Babylonian captivity to the Coming of Christ, and Book IV the period from the Incarnation to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England. In Books V and VI he traces the history of England until the Norman invasion; and he continues it with English history until his own day in Book VII.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The final page of the manuscript contains some verses written in a different hand to the main text.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Trinity Hall’s manuscript was bequested to the College by Robert Hare (d. 1614).</p>

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