A scholarly history

This content was published on July 5, 2004 - 17:15

Aegidius Tschudi (1502-1572) was the most important historian of late-Renaissance Switzerland. His “Chronicon Helveticum” is a monumental history of the territory that would become modern-day Switzerland. He drew on no less than a thousand documents, including the “Ballad of Tell”.

The work was printed between 1734 and 1736 enabling the legend to find its way into every self-respecting drawing room in the Confederation. Thanks to Tschudi, William Tell was no longer simply a figure portrayed by travelling actors at country fairs in central Switzerland, but the protagonist of a great episode in the country's history.

The story was told with all the skills and knowledge at the historian’s disposal, mixing humanist precision with the epic spirit of the Baroque.

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