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.