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

Japheth, the third son of Noah, had seven sons. He possessed Europe, and for his nobleness of character he was blessed by his father, who also expressed a wish for his enlargement.[Having recovered from his drunkenness, and cursed Ham’s son Canaan for his father’s filial disrespect, Noah spoke again: “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant,” (Genesis 10:26-27).] From Japheth sprang fifteen peoples, and from his sons seven. Gomer, first born of Japheth, came to Europe and established the Gomerites, whom the Greeks called the Galatians; and after them the country was named Galatia. This country borders on Hispania and Lusitania, which lie to the south. The Atlantic Ocean is to the west and north, and on the east are the Sequana (Seine) and the country of the Germans.[The chronicler appears to refer to those earliest inhabitants of Europe who came from Asia into Gallaecia, the most northwesterly province in Spain. He does not refer to Galatia, a province of Asia Minor, inhabited by the Galatians to whom Paul wrote. He has followed Josephus, who says, “For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians (Galls), but were then called Gomerites,” (Josephus, B. 1, c. 6, s. 1).] The Galatians are from Gomer, first son of Japheth, and from him came Galatia. And Gomer had four sons; the first was Askenaz, of whom came the Sarmatians, a Scythian people who lived in the depths of the swamps of Maeotis, an inhospitable region of poor vegetation.[According to Josephus, “Askenaz founded the Aschanasians, who are now called by the Greeks Rheginians.” The Askenaz lived in the northwest of Asia Minor, in the region of the Black Sea. The swamps of Maeotis (Palus Maeotis), appear on the Map of the World (Folios XII verso and XIII recto). The Scythians occupied the lands on the shores of Lake Maeotis (Sea of Azov). The Sarmatians were a people who settled an ancient territory in southern Russia, and after them called Sarmatia. From them sprang the present stock of Slavs. Sarmatia is poetically applied to Poland and the Poles.] The second son was Riphath, or Raphaa, of whom came the Paphlagonians and the country called Paphlagonia, in Asia Minor.[Josephus says, “So did the Riphath founded the Ripheans, now called Paphlagonians,” (Josephus, B. 1, c. 6, s. 1). Paphlagonia is a rugged country on the Euxine, between Bithynia and Partus.] The third son was Togarmah, from whom came the Phrygians and the country of Phrygia in Asia Minor. It was first called Dardania, and later Troy.[Togarmah is claimed by the Armenians as their founder. This people originally dwelt in Armenia and Asia Minor, but they poured across the Hellespont into Europe before the dawn of history, and spread across the Mediterranean peninsula, even to Spain. ] Of Magog, second son of Japheth, came the Scythians, and from them the Goths.[Magog probably means “the place” or region of Gog. The Arabians applied the name to the region between the Caspian and Black Seas.] Of Madar, or Madai, third son [of Japhet], came the Medes, and from them Media, a country near Assyria and Persia.[The Medes were a powerful nation to the south and southwest of the Caspian, and the east of Armenia and Assyria.] Of Javan, fourth (son of Japheth), came the Greeks; and Javan had four sons. And this same Javan made the Ionians or Greeks. Ionia was a region of the Greeks, between Caria and Colia, now called Thurgia.[Ionia, a western province of Asia Minor, was early colonized by the Greeks.] Of Elishah, the first [son of Javan] came Elis, afterward called Aeolia. And the Aeolian Islands are said to be 25,000 paces from Italy.[The Aeolians (Elis), occupied three-fourths of Greece, and spread to the coasts and isles of Asia Minor.] Tarshish, second [son of Javan], made Tarsus, in Asia Minor, formerly called Cilicia, which was St. Paul’s fatherland.[Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul, is a town and seaport in southeastern Asia Minor; chief city of ancient Cicilia (Acts 9:11).] From Kittim [Cethimus], the third [son of Javan] comes Cyprus, the island formerly called Cithinia.[Josephus says, “Cethimus possessed the island of Cethimia; it is now called Cyprus,” (Josephus, I, c. 6, s. 1).] From Dodanim, fourth [son of Javan], came Burgundy. He came into the island of Rhodes, and wished to be called Rhodius.[Dodanim refers to the Dardanians, or Trojans.] From Tubal, fifth (son of Japheth), came Hispania, a very large country. From Meschech, sixth (son of Japheth), came the Cappadocians and the land of Cappadocia which lies near Greater Asia.[Tubal and Meschech stand for two peoples who are constantly associated together. Josephus identifies Tubal with the Iberians, who once dwelt between the Caspian and the Euxine. The Mosci were the ancestors of the Muscovites, builders of Moscow, and still give Russia its name throughout the East.] Tiras, seventh (son of Japheth), called his people Thracians; and of them came Thrace, in the land of Scythia. [The Thracians dwelt between Mount Haemus and the Aegean, on the southwest shores of the Black Sea.]

Second Section

This composite contains eighteen portraits, and, in arrangement and execution, is one of the best in the series. The main stem proceeds downward in the manner of most genealogies, which, for convenience of design, uproot the “family tree” and invert it.

Of the eighteen persons represented, all wear headdresses except Japheth, his youngest son Tiras, and his grandson Elishah. In the case of Japheth the cap was probably omitted to show his venerable bald head. But Tiras, progenitor of the Thracians, has a good crop of kinky hair. However, we see that he is manipulating a “globe,” and it may have been assumed that he is in his study where no cranial protection is necessary. The head of Elishah, progenitor of the Aeolians, was left bare perhaps in order to make way for the rather sparse crown of laurels which the artist has bestowed upon him as god of the winds in lieu of an Aeolian harp.