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


Leneas Silvius Pius, in the beginning of his booklet, stated that he would bring European affairs into the light. But while he was concerning himself with the divisions of Upper and Lower Germany, he left the flowers of the nation by the wayside; for he wrote nothing of the Swabians, the most ancient people of Germany, whom Strabo, the historian, and Julius Caesar eulogized with wonderful praise in matters of war. Swabia is now well provided with many episcopal churches and has many excellent and highly celebrated cities. It is watered by many renowned rivers, is productive and rich in grain and wine, has very intelligent and well-informed people, as well as an able army. He has also foregone both banks of the Rhine, from its source down to Cologne, on both sides of which river may be seen a large number of great episcopal imperial and princely cities, located on fertile soil, rich in grain and fruits, particularly in wine. Practically all Germany and the northern regions idolize this Rhenish wine. Here also are the episcopal cities of Constance, Besle, Strassburg, Spires, Worms, Mainz, and Coblentz, all well fortified with defenses, battlements, moats and high bow-windows. And there live a happy friendly people, part of whom sustain themselves by cultivation of the fertile soil, and part by commerce. The nobility are devoted to the chase, most of them spending their lives in merriment and sensual pleasures. He also overlooked that part of Germany watered by the river called the Linth, which has its source in the Glarus mountains, flows into the Sea of Zurich, and runs through it. This region is defended by strong cities and castles, such as Berne, Lucerne, Zurich, and Solothurn, and by a very warlike people, called the Swiss Confederation, which is feared by all the principalities in the neighborhood, and in a short time marvelously extended its power. He has also foregone Flanders, Hennegau, as well as Brabant, a region illustrious for its wealth and merchandise; and therein lie Bruges, Ghent, Mechlin, and Antwerp. Although the region was considered to be part of Lower France, since the enlargement of the German Empire the people speak in the German tongue.