Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Droysen, Hans, ed., Pauli Historia Romana (Hannover: Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum Separatim Editi (SS rer. Germ) vol. 49))

Text name(s): Historia Romana; Roman History

Number of pages of primary source text: 151


Dates: 364 - 553

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Italy


Record Types: 

  • Chronicle, Annals

Subject Headings: 


  • Introduction


Paul the Deacon’‘s Roman History was a Christian answer to the Breviarum Historiae Romanae (Abridged Roman History) of the pagan scholar Eutropius (4th century), which narrated the political and military history of the Roman empire from the early republic to the accession of the emperor Valens in 364. Paul’’s Roman History resumes the narrative, incorporating ecclesiastical as well as political and military information, continuing the history to the year 553 with the Emperor Justinian’s successful military campaigns in Italy. The work was popular throughout the Middle Ages and survives in many manuscript copies.

This text is contained in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, a useful compilation of primary sources, mainly from Germany and France, in the original language. The first volumes were published in 1826 under the auspices of the Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters, and volumes continue to be published to this day. The MGH is divided into five separate series: Scriptores (Writers); Leges (Laws); Diplomata (Documents); Epistolae (Letters); Antiquitates (Antiquities). Known for its rigorous and conscientious editing of medieval manuscripts, the MGH is an important tool for historians of the Middle Ages. This text appears as volume 49 of the Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum separatim editi (a collection of texts edited separately and intended for classroom use). A full text version of the MGH is also available online at

Introduction Summary: 

The editor’’s brief (7 pp) Latin introduction lists the manuscripts in which the text survives, and upon which this edition is based. The editor also notes that Paul’s work represents a continuation to Eutropius’ Breviarum, noting that Paul often relies upon Orosius, Jerome, Prosper of Aquitaine, Jordanes, Bede, Gregory I, and Ennodius.

Cataloger: MCB