Chronicle of the Tocco family of Kefalonia

The Chronicle of the Tocco family of Kefalonia or simply Chronicle of the Toccos is a chronicle in fifteen syllable blank verse written in medieval Greek, which refers to the era of the Tocco family and especially to the years of Carlo I Tocco, Count palatine of Kefalonia and Zakynthos and eventually Despot of Epirus. It covers the period of 1375-1425 approximately, and Carlo's conquest of territories in the Morea and Epirus.

The author, who remains unknown, described events that occurred during his own lifetime and must have been present in some of them. He possibly belonged to the court of Carlo I Tocco and came from Ioannina. From the text we can deduce that he was not particularly educated since he was using simple language.

The author describes the Toccos as fair governors, who care for the rights of their people. It is remarkable, that he does not mention the Latin descent of the noble family. He appears to be very friendly towards the Greek people and to hate the Albanians.

The Cronicle was published for the first time in 1975 from G. Schirò.[1] It is composed from 3923 verses and was found in the codex Vaticanus Graecus 1831. The beginning and the end of the text is missing. This codex was written before June 1429, possibly from the author, as G. Schirò believed. There is also a 16th century copy of it, codex Vatic. gr. 2214. E. Zachariadou proved that the first pages of the codex were placed in a wrong order and suggested a different order for the first 1000 verses, which makes the text more coherent and easier to understand.[2]

The Chronicle, despite its unimportant literary quality, has significant value as an historical source, as well as a linguistic source for the language of that era.


  1. ^ Cronaca dei Tocco di Cefalonia; prolegomeni, testo critico e traduzione, by Giuseppe Schirò, Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae 10. (Rome: Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, 1975)
  2. ^ E. Zachariadou, "The first thousand verses in the beginning of the Chronicle of the Tocco (Ε. Ζαχαριάδου, «Οι χίλιοι στίχοι στην αρχή του Χρονικού των Τόκκων»), Ipirotika Chronika (Ηπειρωτικά Χρονικά) 15 (1983) 158-181 (in Greek)


  • Hans-Georg Beck, History of the Byzantine vernacular literature (Ιστορία της Βυζαντινής δημώδους λογοτεχνίας), translated by Nike Eideneier, Μ.Ι.Ε.Τ., Athens 1988.(in Greek)
  • G. Schirò, The Chronicle of the Toccos. Ioannina in the beginning of the 15th century (Το Χρονικό των Τόκκων. Τα Ιωάννινα κατά τας αρχάς του ΙΕ αιώνος), Etaireia Ipirotikon Meleton, (Εταιρεία Ηπειρωτικών Μελετών), Ioannina 1965 (in Greek)

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Greek Wikipedia published under the GFDL (contributors).

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carlo I Tocco — was the ruler of Epirus from 1411 until his death on July 4, 1429. Contents 1 Life 2 Family 3 Chronicle of the Tocco family of Kefalonia 4 References …   Wikipedia

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