First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

He who would learn something of the origin, character and location of Bohemia will find it in previous parts of this book at folios XXIV, CLXXVII, CLXXXIX, CCIII and CCLXXXIII.


FRIESLAND, situated on the sea, is bounded by Saxony on the east, Westphalia on the south, and Utrecht on the weSt. Some would have it that the inhabitants of Utrecht are Frisians, and among these I find Otto, bishop of the Church of Friesland, who, not without skill, wrote German history. Bishop Albert of Mainz, who erected the cloister at Fulda, and undertook to instruct the Frisians in the Christian faith, was slain by them and crowned with martyrdom. This is a liberty-loving people, skilled in arms, strong and erect in body, of a confident and fearless disposition, and pride themselves on their independence, although the duke of Burgundy calls himself a lord of this country. Nevertheless Friesland enjoys its own customs and usages, and will not submit to foreign domination. The Frisian does not hesitate to die for liberty. Knightly honors are not recognized by the people, and they will not tolerate a proud man who elevates himself above the reSt. They annually elect a council for the general welfare on terms of equality. They severely punish female wantonness. In order that the priests may not pollute the marriage-bed, they do not readily admit those who have no wives; for they believe it difficult for a man to restrain himself. Their entire wealth is in their cattle. The country is flat and maritime, and has extensive fields. Wood is scarce, and the people maintain their fires in clay vessels, using dried cow-dung for fuel. Cornelius Tacitus writes that in the time of the emperor Nero, two emissaries came to Rome from this country; and after they had entered the council chamber of Pompey, and there saw a number of foreigners sitting among the councillors, and were told that such honors were due to the representatives of people who excelled in Roman virtue and friendship, they came forward, and seating themselves among the Roman councillors, cried out that none excel the Germans in arms, fidelity and faith; for which reason Nero endowed them with a city.


HOLLAND is a province of Germany. To the north it lies on the sea. In other places it is formed like an island, enclosed by the branches of the Rhine. It is a maritime country, rich in meadows, and watered by many lakes and rivers from the sea. Some say that the noble city of Utrecht is in Holland, which we do not consider incredible. The principality of the Church of Utrecht is subject to the emperor alone. Its jurisdiction covers a large area watered by numerous branches of the Rhine. To the east are the Frieslanders; to the south is Westphalis; to the west the duchy of Gelders, separated by the Rhine. Utrecht is a wealthy and well populated city, of German manners and speech. In case of necessity the bishop there can muster 40,000 armed men for war. The men and women are well built and are able to protect themselves against invasion from the enemy by their own strength and by inundation. Beer is the drink of the people, and the merchants bring wine there.


The last people of German nationality are to the north and west. These are the Zeelanders, who live on an island opposite the mouth of the Rhine. Among them are the Middelburgers. The place is very well fortified, wealthy, and devoted to manufacturing and commerce. Therein lies a small but not ignoble. city called Brielle, surrounded by water, on which merchants do their shipping.