Petermann Etterlin

Chronicle's title page

Petermann Etterlin (c. 1430/40 – c. 1509) was born in Lucerne as the son of Egloff Etterlin, who served as chronicler of the city of Lucerne from 1427 to 1453.[1] Although his parents had destined him for an ecclesiastical career, Etterlin never became a clergyman.[1] In 1464, Etterlin was appointed copyist of the city of Lucerne.[1]

Etterlin’s military career began in 1468 when he joined the army of the Swiss Confederation at the siege of Waldshut.[1] During a temporary exile from the city of Lucerne, Etterlin participated in the battles of Grandson, Murten and Nancy during the Burgundian Wars (Müller 397). In 1477, he was involved in a campaign against Lorraine.[1]

After his return to his hometown in 1477, Etterlin was appointed the post of chancellor of the city of Lucerne.[1] In 1495, after his promotion to the position of chronicler of the city of Lucerne, Etterlin joined the leading French-minded party.[1] From 1493 to 1501, Etterlin is reported to have made several journeys to France.[1]

Towards the end of his life, Etterlin embarked upon writing his Chronicle of the Swiss Confederation (German: Kronika von der loblichen Eydtgenossenschaft).[1] According to Müller, Petermann Etterlin died in Lucerne in 1509, only two years after the completion of his monumental work.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Müller, p. 397.
  • Müller, P. L. “Petermann Etterlin.” Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie 14 (1881): 397-398.