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

The earthly Paradise, which is under the equinoctial line toward the rising of the sun, was planted by God, from the beginning. In the Hebrew and Latin tongues the word means a garden of pleasure; that is, a garden planted with all manner of trees. Therein was also the Tree of Life. They say that this same place is surrounded by a fiery wall reaching to the heavens, and that the angel of God stands before it with flaming sword, barring the way of those who approach it. In this same Paradise Adam and Eve were created, but they were driven from it because of their sinful appetites.[ Countless attempts have been made to locate the Garden of Eden. One locates it at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates, or somewhere between that junction and the Persian Gulf; another in the highlands of Armenia, near the sources of these rivers; and a third, in the far East, in the mountainous highlands of central Asia, near the sources of the Indus, the Helmend, the Oxus and the Jaxartes rivers. But all these theories become worthless the moment we allow that the deluge may have borne the family of Noah far away from the primeval home of man. The notion that the rivers and countries subsequently known as Hikkekel, Euphrates, Havilak, Cush, etc., are identical with the lands and rivers of Eden, is also destitute of any sure foundation, in view of the universal habit of migratory tribes and new colonists to give old and familiar names to new rivers, mountains, and countries which they discover and occupy. There is nothing in that appears sufficient to solve the problem.] In that place Enoch and Elijah live in joyous comfort,

This Enoch is not the son of Cain who founded "Enochis," the first city mentioned in the Bible, but is the son of Jared, and father of Methuselah (Genesis 5:18, 21-24). He is called the "seventh son of Adam" to distinguish him from the son of Cain, third from Adam. Enoch, son of Jared, was in close communion with the Lord, for we are told that he "walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years." (Genesis 5:22). According to Hebrews 11:5, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God," – meaning that he should not see death before the judgment of the flood. Concerning his departure from the world we are told that "he was not, for God took him" (Genesis 5:24)—an expression which imports a mere change of residence, without suffering the ordinary dissolution of the body.

Elijah was translated in the same manner. Their mutual status seems to have impressed itself upon the mind of the chronicler, and is again referred to in connection with Paradise (Folio VIII, recto). The translation of Elijah is described in
2 Kings 2:1-11:

And it came to pass as they (Elijah and his disciple Elisha) still went, and talked, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up in a whirlwind into heaven.

And so, at different times, Enoch and Elijah were clothed with immortality by the immediate power of God without the necessity of shaking off their mortal status.

who in the end will die at the hands of the Antichrist. This place is far removed from our own habitation. It is in all respects habitable, has a healthy atmosphere, and is fertile and blissful. From its center flows a spring which waters the whole garden. This spring divides into four rivers, as the interpreters of the Book of Genesis inform us. [ "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and it became into four heads" (Genesis 2:10). This implies that the river had its source in the garden, and from that place as a center, it parted to become the fountain heads of four different streams. Some suppose the river flowed through the garden as one stream, and after leaving it became divided into four heads or beginnings of rivers.]


The first is the Pison, or Ganges, a very large and renowned river of India, and which traverses that entire country. Its course is toward the east, and it is augmented by nineteen large tributaries. Although it finally flows into the ocean by a number of outlets and at a number of places, its narrowest width is 8000 paces, its greatest width 100,000 paces, and its depth nowhere less than 20 paces. It is said that against this river Cyrus, the Persian king, presently forgetting his other undertakings, waged an unprecedented war. For when he selected from among his royal horses the most splendid, best conditioned, and trustworthy steed, to swim through this river, but saw both horse and rider engulfed by a whirlpool and drowned, he became enraged (so it is said); and he determined to make this river, which had swallowed up his horse and its faithful rider, so small and shallow that its waters should hardly reach the knees of women wading in it. And his words were not without action; for he concerned himself with this work for an entire year. Without hindrance he divided the river into 460 streams; and it is said that, like the Nile, the river became enlarged at certain times of the year, fertilizing the fields lying about it.["The name of the first river is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havileh, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone" (Genesis 2:11-12). The chronicler assumes that the Pison (which he calls the "Ganges or Phison") is the Ganges River. The name Pison occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures, and what the basis of the author's assumption may be is hard to say. Some claim that Pison refers to the Persian and Arabian Gulfs. The name Havilah, mentioned in the Bible text from which the Chronicle narrative is abridged, occurs in Genesis 10:7, as the name of a son of Ham, and in verse 29 as that of a son of Shem. Nothing would have been more natural than for the sons of Noah to transfer antediluvian names to their children. In Genesis 25:10, and 15:7, the name appears as that of a country southeast of Palestine – probably because settled by the descendants of a patriarch of this name. Bdellium is a transparent wax-like resin now found on the trunks of trees in India. Some render onyx stone as beryl; others sardonix; some as describing any precious stone.]


The Gihon, or Nile, is the second river. It is considered the largest river in the world. By some it is called the Nile, and they say that this is the same river that the teachers of the Holy Scriptures call Gihon, and which flows out of Paradise.[ "And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that encompasses the whole land of Ethiopia" (Genesis 2:13). The name Gihon occurs again in the Scriptures only as denoting a fountain near Jerusalem (1 Kings 1:33, 38, 45; 2 Chronicles 32:30), and its identity with the Nile has found some favor of late. But how could the Nile have flowed out of Eden into Asia?] The inhabitants of the country call it the Nile after the earth or silt that the river carries with it, thus fertilizing the fields of Egypt. This nile comes out of a black river, which the people there call the Father of Waters. It has a swift current, separates all Africa from Ethiopia, and forms many islands, of which the most noted is the island of Meroe.[Meroe, the island, so called, though not entirely insulated, is formed by the Astapus (Blue Nile) and Astaborus, now Athers, and the portion of the Nile valley between their mouths was a district of Ethiopia. Located in a fertile country, rich in timber and minerals, and at the junction of two great rivers, its capital city, also called Meroe, early became a chief emporium between Egypt, North Africa, Ethiopia, Asia, and India, and the seat of government of a powerful state. The government was a hierarchical monarchy, entirely in the hands of priests, who chose a king from among themselves, bound him to govern according to their laws and put him to death at will. At about 300 BCE one of its kings threw off this yoke of the priests, whom he massacred, making his monarchy absolute. See also Strabo's , XVII, 17, 2.] The river is uneven in part and navigable in part, and discharges into a wide area of the sea. After much buffeting on its course, it is confined between the crags of the mountains, and flows on to Ethiopia, the land of the Moors, and into a region called Cattaduppa. It rushes along between the cliffs with such boisterousness and violence, that the great roar of its turbulent waters affects the hearing of the natives almost to the point of deafness. Further on the noise ceases, and the river again becomes quiet and navigable. At the city of Cercasorus,[Probably Cercesura, in Lybia; mentioned by Strabo XVII, I, 30.] the Nile divides into three great branches, one of which veers off toward Delta and Melia, and is again divided. And thus all Egypt is moistened by the annual floodwaters of the entire and much-sundered Nile, and of other rivers. Finally the Nile flows into the Egyptian Sea. The ancients write that the Nile is a great feeder of vegetation and the source of many large aquatic animals, such as the hippopotamus, and of much cane, reed grasses, etc. Annually it provides the fields with additions of fertile soil. Fertilization usually increases when the sun is in the latter part of Leo (the Lion), and continues until it reaches midway into Virgo (the Virgin). Thereafter it decreases as the sun approaches the end of Virgo, or the beginning of the Scales (Libra). Then the Nile recedes to its former banks.

According to Strabo (Geography, XVII, 1, 4.) the water stays more than forty days in summer and then goes down gradually just as it rose; and in sixty days the plain is completely bared and begins the dry out; and the sooner the drying takes place, the sooner the plowing and the sowing; and the drying takes place sooner in those parts where the heat is greater.

Strabo, quoting Aristobulus, says that

the Nile is more productive than other rivers, and produces huge creatures, among others the amphibious kind; and that the Aegyptian women sometimes actually bear four children. Aristotle reports that one woman actually bore seven; and he, too, calls the Nile highly productive and nourishing because of the moderate heat of the sun's rays, which, he says, have the nourishing elements and evaporate mearly the superfluous.

Geography Book, XV, Ch. 1, Par. 22

And they say that the waters of this river have such power and effect that they make women fertile.


The third river, the Tigris, is the swiftest river in Greater Armenia, and is known throughout the world. And (as our people say) it is one of the four rivers that flow out of Paradise. When it reaches the country of the Medes it becomes swift and is called the Tigris, a name given it on account of its swiftness, that word signifying "arrow" in the Median language. But soon the river finds its way into Lake Prethusa, into which it flows with great rapidity, discharging its waters in many colors. After this it rushes to Mount Taurus, disappears in an enormous cavern, from which it emerges through a hidden passage, drawing after it great quantities of seaweed and scum. These it carries to the sea of Zorande, and again becomes a river. Then it disappears again for 25,000 paces, reappearing in the vicinity of Sophone, near Nymphaeum. It then approaches the river Arsanias, in the district of Arrene; but as each river has its own source, each retains its identity. At the Gordyaean mountains, the river divides itself into two channels, one of which flows on to Seleucia and Mesene, the other flowing in a northerly direction to the plains of Cauchae; and when they run together again, they are still called the Tigris.