In Search of the Author of Chronica Polonorum Ascribed to Gallus Anonymus: A Stylometric Reconnaissance

Maciej Eder



The article deals with the question of authorship of the thirteenth-century Chronica Polonorum (or Gesta principium Polonorum [The Deeds of the Princes of the Poles]), also known as The Polish Chronicle. It seeks to verify the hypothesis, recently reproposed by Tomasz Jasiński, whereby the author was of Venetian origin. The hypothesis is namely based on the textual similarities observed between Translatio Sancti Nicolai by an author referred to as the ‘Monk of Lido’ (Monachus Littorensis) and the Chronica. The attribution attempt put forth by M. Eder is based upon stylometric methods that measure the frequencies of the most frequent words in the texts under research (mainly, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, and particles) which are subsequently subjected to cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, or principal components analysis. The outcome of the experiment in question has demonstrated a strong resemblance between the Translatio Sancti Nicolai and the Polish Chronicle, which may be regarded as an substantial argument in support of the Venetian background hypothesis.


Gallus Anonymus; Chronica Polonorum; authorship attribution; stylometry; multidimensional methods; Monachus Littorensis

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