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

While Sela (Shelah), the son of Judah, was still a child, Judah did not give him Tamar, who had been the wife of Er and Onan; but he sent her back to her father’s house as a widow. But after Shelah grew up, he was concerned to provide him a wife, so that he would not be killed as his brothers had been. Tamar disguised herself as a common woman and sat at the crossroad; and she conceived by Judah, and bore Pharez and Zarah.[According to Genesis 38, Judah went down from his brethren and turned in to a certain Adullamite, named Hirah. And there he saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite, and he took her, and she conceived; and she bore him three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah. He took a wife for Er, his first born, and her name was Tamar. Er was wicked and the Lord slew him; whereupon Judah gave Tamar to Onan for wife, and asked him to marry her and to raise up seed for his deceased brother. Onan did not approve, and spilled his seed on the ground. This displeased the Lord, who slew him. This left Judah but one son, Shelah. He asked Tamar to return to her father’s house and remain a widow until Shelah should become of age, lest Shelah should also die as his brothers had. And she did so. After some time Judah’s wife, who had born him these three sons, died; and he went to his friend Hirah, the Adullamite. Tamar heard of his proposed journey, disguised herself and sat in an open place on the way. Judah saw her and thought her a harlot, because she had her face covered. He went inside with her and in consequence Pharez and Zarah were born to him by his daughter-in-law. This is the point to which the chronicler has carried the story.]

Vincentius in his history, tells a good story about Asenath—how beautiful she was, and how honorable, but also, nevertheless, proud and arrogant, disdaining all men. Although she did not want Joseph as a husband at first, yet, after observing his wisdom and discretion, she fully desired him. But he would not accede to her unless she would give up her idolatry. As this caused her much grief, she was finally converted by angelic instruction. [Asenath was the daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. She is the heroine of a remarkable Jewish and Christian romance (dating at least back to the fifth century CE), in which she renounces her false gods before her marriage with Joseph.]

Rhodes, the city on the island of Rhodes, off Lycia, from which it derived its name, was built in 740 B.C., in Joseph’s time, by the Telchines and Carians, who soon thereafter were conquered by Phoroneus, the king of Argira. It is one of the islands called the Cyclades for reasons known to the learned. Those who first came there from the East, while the city was being built (as Pomponius writes) and the ground was being dug up, found there a rosebud, after which the city and the island were called Rhodis; for, according to the Greek tongue, Rhodis means a rose. The island is 900 furlongs in circumference. Among other wonders it contained a statue 70 cubits high, built by Lindus, a disciple of Lisippus. The city suffered much through wars, and finally at the hands of the Turks. It was finally relieved and protected by the Order of the Kings of St. John.

Rhodes is the most easterly island of the Aegean, or more specifically, of the Carpathian Sea, and lies off the south coast of Caria. According to mythology it was first peopled by the Telchines, the children of Thalatta (the Sea). Homer mentions three Dorian settlements, namely, Lindus, Ialysus and Camirus, formed the Dorian Hexapolis, which was established from a period of unknown antiquity, in the southwest coast of Asia Minor. For centuries the island of Rhodes was the constant seat of war. During the Peloponnesian war, Rhodes was subject to Athens. Later it joined the Spartans. It was subjugated by Athens and Sparta in turn, till the end of the Social War of 355 BCE, when its independence was acknowledged. There were frequent internal dissensions. At the Macedonian conquest they submitted to Alexander, but upon his death expelled the Macedonia garrison.

The city of Rhodes, successfully endured the most famous siege by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who at length in admiration of the valor of the besieged, presented them with the engines he had used against them, from the sale of which they defrayed the cost of the celebrated Colossus by the artist Chares of Lindus in Rhodes, the favorite pupil of Lysippus, who flourished about 290 BCE. This, his chief work, a statue of the Sun, was celebrated as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, under the title "The Colossus of Rhodes." Its height was upwards of 105 feet, and it was twelve years in the making. It stood at the entrance of the harbor of Rhodes, but there is no authority for the statement that its legs extended over the mouth of the harbor. It was overthrown and broken to pieces by an earthquake 56 years after its erection in 224 BCE. The fragments remained on the ground 923 years, until they were sold by the general of the caliph Othman IV to a Jew of Emesa, who carried them away on 900 camels in 672 CE.

The Rhodians were at length deprived of their independence by the Roman Emperor Claudius, and their prosperity received its final blow from and earthquake which laid the city of Rhodes in ruins in 155 CE. In the Middle Ages Rhodes became the seat of the celebrated Knights of St. John.

The City of Rhodes

7" x 8-3/4"

The kingdom of Rhodes early became a flourishing one by reason of the skill of its settlers in astronomy and navigation, and other sciences and arts. And here we have its capital jutting out into the sea. The harbor is indicated at the left, and a chain is stretched across its mouth. Three galleons are in evidence, two at sea, under full sail, the third at anchor in the harbor. A pier or wharf leads off to the right. No doubt all these crenellated walls and towers are the ideas of the artist, rather than of Hippodamus of Miletus, the architect who laid out the city in the fourth century CE. At any rate, the absence of incongruous gothic spires and steep gabled roofs is a relief. Towers there are in abundance, it is true, but they are square and flat. The roof of every building is flat. All this seems in keeping with the geographical location of the island, the easternmost in the Aegean Sea, and just off the coast of Asia Minor.

But why all these squat little windmills with their sugar-loaf caps? We see two on the pier in the foreground, four by the harbor, and one in the background. These mills are not mere figments of the imagination. No doubt they had their use in harnessing the winds as sources of power, and were specially adapted to such a location as this where the winds blow from the west, often with violence, for nine months of the year. Other artists have testified to their presence by pictorial records. And where is the great Colossus of Rhodes, 105 feet high, which was 12 years in building and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world? The text mentions it hazily, but the pen of the artist is entirely silent.

N.B. The genealogical portraits on this page, which branch from the opposite one (Folio XXVII recto) will be considered in the connection with the succeeding text.