Thietmar a noble Saxon belonging to the family of Waldeck, and related to the imperial house, was born July 25, 976. In 989 he became canon of St. Maurice, and in 1002 provost of Waldeck, which his grandfather had founded. In 1009 he was made bishop of Merseburg, and in 1018 he died. He wrote a chronicle, with the purpose of transmitting to his successors in the bishopric a history of Merseburg; but the work grew into a history of the German State and of the neighboring Germanic and Slavonic countries. It is the most important of accessible sources for the time of the later emperors, since its statements cover almost the whole of the 10th century, and are largely the reports of what the author himself saw and knew. The book is deficient in point of literary excellences, but is characterized by abundance of matter and truthfulness of spirit. It is as important for the illustration of manners and customs in the days of the Saxon emperors as for the statement of historical events.
Literature. —Lappenberg's preface to Mon. Germ. Hist. vol. 3 of Script.; Giesebrecht, in Ranke's Jahrbb. II, 1, 156-163, and Gesch. der Kais. 1, 746, 780; 2, 517, 547 sq.; Wattenbach, Geschichtsquellen Deutschlands inm ittelalter, p. 181 sq.; Maurenbrecher, De Hist. Decimi SCeculi Scriptt. (Bonn, 1861); Lappenberg, ed. of Thietmar's Chronik in Mon. Germ. Hist. 3, 733-871. See also Hall, Allqenz. Lit. —Zeitung, 1849, Nos. 204-206. — Herzog, Real Encyclop. s.v.