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Matthew Paris (c. 1200–1259) manuscript drawing The British Library

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Paris, Matthew (c. 1200–1259), historian, Benedictine monk, and polymath, reveals very little about his own life and personal circumstances. This is disappointing as well as ironical, considering his compulsive concern to collect and record information relating to the events and affairs of his own time, and his acute inquisitiveness concerning times past. Even his parentage, nationality, and social origins remain uncertain....