• Latin: annalis, yearly


Chronological records registering from day to day events of each year. The prototype of medieval annals is the “Chronographus” of 354, an official document of the Roman Empire. In England the custom arose of writing lists of events on margins of paschal tables. Anglo-Saxon missionaries introduced the practise of annal-writing into other countries. The Carlovingian annals were at first concerned with monastic records; later, secular annals were written. Medieval annals usually are anonymous; the chronology is often inaccurate and, as is the case with chronicles, care must be taken to distinguish legend from historical facts.

MLA Citation

  • “annals”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 November 2019. Web. 4 March 2021. <>