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

brought before him Juno, Venus and Minerva to judge of their beauty. On this occasion Venus promised Paris that if he would judge her the most beautiful, she would give him the most beautiful woman in Greece for a wife. On this assurance Paris favored Venus; and thereafter he carried off Helen, the wife of Menelaus, the king; and this brought on the final destruction and extinction of Troy.[Paris was the second son of Priam and Hecuba. Before his birth Hecuba dreamed she had brought forth a firebrand that spread forth over the whole city. So when the child was born it was given to a shepherd to expose on Mount Ida. When the shepherd returned after five days, the child was still alive, having been fed by a she-bear. He took the boy home, and called him Paris. He grew up a valiant defender of the flocks and shepherds, receiving the name of Alexander (‘defender of men’). He discovered his real origin, and was received by Priam as his son. The most celebrated event in his life was his abduction of Helen: When Peleus and Thetis celebrated their wedding, all the gods were invited except Eris, or Strife. Enraged at her exclusion, she threw among the guests a golden apple inscribed "to the fairest." Hera (Juno), Aphrodite (Venus) and Athena (Minerva) each claimed the apple, and Zeus ordered them taken to the beautiful shepherd, Paris, to decide the dispute. Hera promised the judge the sovereignty of Asia and great riches; Athena, glory and renown in war; and Aphrodite promised him the fairest of women for wife. Having awarded the apple to Aphrodite, Paris sailed under her protection to Greece and was well received in the palace of Menelaus at Sparta. He carried off the king’s wife Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, and with both her and the treasures that he stole from the hospitable house of Menelaus, he returned to Troy. This gave rise to the war. Before her marriage to Menelaus, Helen had been wooed by the noblest chiefs of Greece, and these, now resolved to avenge her abduction, sailed against Troy. Paris fought with Menelaus before the walls of Troy and was defeated, but was carried off by Aphrodite. He is said to have slain Achilles, either by one of his arrows, or by treachery in the temple of the Thybraean Apollo. On the capture of Troy, Paris was wounded by Philoctetes with an arrow of Hercules. He then returned to his abandoned wife Oenone, but she refused to receive him. He returned to Troy and died there. Philoctetes was one of the suitors of Helen, who took part in the Trojan War.] This ten years’ war is noted and described by Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis, who were present in the camp of the Trojans at that time; and their accounts are so clear that nothing better or briefer can be found.

Dares Phrygius was a priest of Hephaestus at Troy, mentioned in the Iliad (5.9) to whom was ascribed in antiquity an Iliad, believed to be more ancient than the Homeric poems. This work, undoubtedly the composition of a sophist, is lost; but there is extant a Latin work in prose, consisting of 44 chapters, on the destruction of Troy, entitled Daretis Phryggi de Excidio Trojae Historia , and purporting to be a translation of the work of Dares by Cornelius Nepos. But the Latin work is probably of much later origin. It is the production of a person of little education and bad taste, and is by some believed to have been written as late as the 12th century. It is usually printed with Dictys Cretensis. The best edition is by Dederich Bonn, 1837.

Dictys Cretensis is the reputed author of an extant Latin work on the Trojan War, in six books, entitled Ephemeris Belli Trojani, professing to be a journal of the leading events of the war. The preface states it was composed by Dictys of Cnossus, who accompanied Idomeneus to the Trojan War, and was inscribed in Phoenician tablets on limewood or paper made from the bark. The work was buried in the same grave with the author, remaining undisturbed till the sepulcher was burst open by an earthquake in the reign of Nero, the work being found in a tin case. It was carried to Rome by Eupraxis, whose slaves had discovered it, and it was translated into Greek by the order of Nero. It is from the Greek that the extant Latin work professes to be translated by one Q. Septimus Romanus. Although its alleged origin and discovery are unworthy of credit, it appears to be a translation from a Greek work extant under the name of Dictys, since it is frequently quoted by Byzantine writers. It was probably written in Greek by Eupraxis in Nero’s reign, but the time of the translation is uncertain. It contains a history of the Trojan War from the birth of Paris to the death of Ulysses. The complications ascribed to Dictys and Dares are of much importance in the history of modern literature, since they are the chief fountain from which the legends of Greece first flowed into the romances of the Middle Ages, and then mingled with the popular tales and ballads of England, France, and Germany. The best edition of Dictys is by Dederich Bonn, 1835.

The city was captured in the third year of Labdon, judge of Israel, 430 years before the city of Rome was built.

On the war of the Greeks against the Trojans and the destruction of Troy.

Orosius writes that 430 years before the building of Rome, a sworn confederacy of the Greeks and gathering of one thousand ships took place in consequence of the abduction of Helen. And thereafter the city of Troy was besieged for ten years. Phrygius Dares (who wrote the history), says that the princes or generals who besieged Troy numbered 47, and they brought with them 1202 ships. But there came to the assistance of Priam, the king of Troy, 33 princes or generals. And this is the substance of the history of Troy, written by the above mentioned Dares, and brought out of the Greek into Latin by Cornelius. When Castor and Pollux heard that the beautiful Helen, wife of Menelaus, brother of Agamenonis (Agamemnon), had been abducted by Paris, they boarded a ship and followed after her. When they landed by the island of Lesbos a great storm came up, and they disappeared. The Lesbians searched for them as far as Troy, and as they could not be found, they believed them to have become immortal gods.[ Castor and Pollux, generally referred to as the Dioscuri, the well-known heroes, were sons of Zeus. The Romans also called the brothers Castores. According to Homer they were the sons of Leda and Tyndareus, king of Lacedaemon, and consequently brothers of Helen. Castor was famous for his skill in taming and managing horses, and Pollux for his skill in boxing. Both had disappeared from the earth before the Greeks went against Troy. Although they were buried, says Homer, they came to life every other day, and they enjoyed honors like those of the gods. According to other traditions both were the sons of Zeus and Leda, and were born at the same time with their sister Helen out of an egg. According to others, Pollux and Helen only were children of Zeus, and Castor was the son of Tyndareus. Hence Pollux was immortal, while Castor was subject to old age and death. The fabulous life of the Dioscuri is marked by three great events, namely, their expedition against Athens, their battle with the sons of Aphareus, and their part in the expedition of the Argonauts. According to story, Zeus rewarded the attachment of the two brothers by placing them among the stars as Gemini. These heroic youths received divine honors at Sparta, and their worship spread from Peloponnesus over Greece, Sicily and Italy. They were worshipped as the protectors of travelers. Whenever they appeared they were seen riding on magnificent white steeds. They were regarded as presidents of the public games and were believed to have invented the war dance and warlike music. When Sparta went to war its kings were accompanied by symbolic representations of the Dioscuri. Their usual representation is that of two youthful horsemen with egg-shaped helmets, crowned with stars, and with spears in their hands.] There gathered at Troy 47 leaders of troops, with 1202 ships. At first Diomedes[Diomedes succeeded Adrastus as king of Argos. According to Homer, Tydeus, father of Diomedes, fell in the expedition against Thebes while his son was yet a boy; but Diomedes was afterwards one of the Epigoni who took Thebes. He went to Troy with a number of ships, and was, next to Achilles, the bravest hero in the Greek army. He enjoyed the especial protection of Athena, and fought against the most distinguished of the Trojans, such as Hector and Aeneas, and even with the gods who espoused the cause of the Trojans. He thus wounded both Aphrodite and Ares. He and Odysseus (Ulysses) carried off the palladium from Troy since it was believed the city could not be taken so long as this object was within its walls. The palladium was an image of Athena, which was kept hidden and secret, and was revered as a pledge of the safety of the town, where it existed.] and Ulysses[Ulysses, Ulyxes, or Ulixes, called Odysseus by the Greeks, was one of the principal Greek heroes of the Trojan War. He succeeded his father Laertes as king of Ithaca, was the husband of Penelope, and father of Telemachus. During the Trojan War he is prominent, not only as a brave and skillful fighter, but more so as the giver of shrewd counsel and for his cunning enterprises, alone or with Diomedes. After Homer, his character in literature often is portrayed as that of an unscrupulous and dishonorable man. He tries to shirk service at Troy by pretending madness; but Palamedes discovers the trick. In revenge, Odysseus brings about his ruin and death. After the death of Achilles, Odysseus and Ajax contend for his armor, which is adjudged to the former. He is at length accidentally killed by Telegonus, his son by Circe or Calypso.] were sent to Priam[Priam is the famous king of Troy who reigned during that country’s disastrous war. His original name is said to have been Podarces, that is, "the swift-footed," which was changed to Priamus, "the ransomed," because he was the only surviving son of Laomedon and was ransomed by his sister after he had fallen into the hands of Hercules. When the Greeks landed on the Trojan coast, Priam was already advanced in years. He took no active part in the war, and once only did he venture upon the field of battle, to conclude the agreement respecting the single combat between Paris and Menelaus. When the Greek entered Troy the aged king put on his armor to rush against the enemy, but his wife prevailed upon him to take refuge with his family as a suppliant at the altar of Zeus. He was slain in the temple by Pyrrhus.] to demand restoration with reference to the outrage which had been perpetrated. The Trojans having refused to make reparation, war resulted between the parties. In the first engagement, Hector[Hector was the chief hero of the Trojans in their war with the Greeks. He was the eldest son of Priam and Hecuba, and the husband of Andromache. He fought with the bravest of the Greeks, and at length slew Patroclus, the friend of Achilles. This roused the latter to the fight. The other Trojans fled before Achilles into the city. Hector alone remained outside the walls; but when he saw Achilles his heart failed him and he took to flight. Three times he raced around the city, pursued by the swift-footed Achilles, and then fell pierced by Achilles’ spear. Achilles tied Hector’s body to his chariot and dragged his corpse before the walls of Troy. At the command of Zeus, Achilles surrendered the body to Priam, who buried it at Troy with great pomp.], the son of Priam, slew Protesilaus[Protesilaus led the warriors of several Thessalian places against Troy, and was the first of all the Greeks who was killed by the Trojans, being the first to leap form the ships upon the Trojan coast. According to common tradition he was slain by Hector.].

In the second battle he killed Patroclus[Patroclus was the celebrated friend of Achilles. Aeacus, the grandfather of Achilles, was a brother of Menoetius, so that Achilles and Patroclus were kinsmen as well as friends. He is said to have taken part in the expedition against Troy on account of his attachment to Achilles. He was slain, and a long struggle ensued between the Greeks and Trojans for his body; but the former obtained possession of it, and vowed to avenge the death of his friend. His ashes were collected in a golden urn and deposited under a mound, where the remains of Achilles were subsequently buried.], and overcame Minones (Menoetius?)[This probably refers to ‘Menoetius,’ son of Actor and Aegina, father of Patroclus, who is for this reason called Menoetiades.], and Ajax, the Telamonian[Ajax was the son of Telamon, king of Salamis. Homer calls him Telamonian Ajax. He sailed against Troy in twelve ships, and is represented in the as second only to Achilles in bravery, and as the hero most worth, in the absence of Achilles, to contend with Hector. In the contest for the armor of Achilles, he was conquered by Odysseus, and this, says Homer, was the cause of his death. Others relate that his defeat by Odysseus brought on madness, and that he rushed from his tent and slaughtered the sheep of the Greek army, imagining them to be the Greek leaders who had ‘betrayed’ him; and that at length he put an end to his own life.]; but he did not recognize his own blood; for he was born of Esiona, the sister of Priam.

Then at the request of the Greeks a truce of two years was declared. In this third encounter Hector slew the Boeotian Archilocus (Arcilycus) and Prothenorus (Prothoenor), the generals.[Prothoenor and Areilycus, respectively son and father, took part in the Trojan War. Prothoenor was one of the leaders of the Boeotians against Troy, where he was slain.] In the fourth battle Alexander pierced the hip of Menelaus with an arrow.[Menelaus was a younger brother of Agamemnon. He was king of Lacedaemon and married the beautiful Helen. When she was carried off, he and Odysseus sailed to Troy to demand her restitution; but the journey was of no avail. Thereupon Menelaus and his brother resolved to march on Troy with all the forces Greece could muster. Agamemnon was chosen commander-in-chief. In the Trojan War Menelaus distinguished himself with bravery. He was one of the heroes concealed in the wooden horse; and as soon as Troy was taken he and Odysseus hastened to the house of Deiphobus, who had married Helen after the death of Paris, and put him to death. He was among the first to sail away from Troy with his wife, Helen.] In the fifth engagement Hector slew seven very strong commanders, and Aeneas[Aeneas, according to the Homeric story, was the son of Anchises and Aphrodite. On his father’s side he was the great grandson of Tros, and thus nearly related to the royal house of Troy, as Priam himself was a grandson of Tros. At first he took no part in the Trojan War; and it was not until Achilles attacked him on Mount Ida and drove away his flocks that he led his Dardanians against the Greeks. From that point on he and Hector are the great bulwarks of the Trojans against the Greeks. After the city fell he withdrew to Mount Ida with his friends and the images of the gods. From there he journeyed to Italy, settling at Latium (near Rome), where he became the ancestral hero of the Romans.] slew two, and Diomedes two. The sixth engagement lasted 80 consecutive days; and then, at the request of the Greeks, a three years’ truce was declared. At the expiration of it the war was renewed, and Hector, at the head of his forces, slew four strong commanders. On the side of the Greeks two Trojans were slain by Achilles.[Achilles is the great hero of the . According to the Homeric story he was a son of Peleus, a king of Thessaly. He was educated by Phoenix, who taught him eloquence and the arts of war, and accompanied him to the Trojan War. In the art of healing he was instructed by Chiron, the centaur. In 50 ships he led his hosts of Myrmidons against Troy. Here he was the great bulwark of the Greeks. Previous to the dispute with Agamemnon, he ravaged the country around Troy. When Agamemnon was obliged to give up Chryseis to her father, he threatened to take away Briseis form Achilles, who surrendered her on the persuasion of Athena, but refused to take any further part in the war, and shut himself up in his tent. The affairs of the Greeks declined in consequence. An embassy was sent to Achilles, offering him rich presents and the restoration of Briseis; but in vain. By his dearest friend Patroclus he was persuaded to allow the latter to use Achilles’ horses, armor and men on behalf of Greece. Patroclus was slain; and Achilles, to avenge his death, went back into action for Greece. Soon thereafter he slew Hector.] They fought thirty days, when Priam requested a third truce of six months. Agamemnon,[Agamemnon was the brother of Menelaus, and became one of the most powerful princes in Greece. When Helen was carried off by Paris, the Greek chiefs resolved to recover her by force, and Agamemnon was chosen their commander-in-chief. His quarrel with Achilles has been told elsewhere.] on the part of the Greeks, requested a fourth truce of thirty days. Andromache,[Andromache, daughter of Eëtion, king of the Cilician Thebes, is one of the noblest characters in the . Her father and seven brothers were slain by Achilles at the taking of Thebes, and her mother, who had purchased her freedom by a large ransom, was killed by Artemis. She was married to Hector, for whom she had the deepest affections.] the wife of Hector, desired her husband not to engage in the ninth battle, for in her sleep she saw that it would be useless for him to participate in it; but as Hector would not heed her request, she laid her two sons at his feet; but still she was unable to detain him. He went forth to battle and slew three of the strongest opponents, wounded two, and also Achilles. But Achilles finally slew him. The Greeks then asked for a fifth truce of three months. But after the tenth engagement the Greeks requested a sixth truce of one year.

In the eleventh battle, Palamedes[Palamedes joined the Greeks in their expedition against Troy; but Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Ulysses, envious of his fame, caused a captive Phrygian to write him a letter in the name of Priam, and bribed a servant of Palamedes to conceal the letter under his master’s bed. Then they accused Palamedes of treachery. Upon searching his tent they found the letter that they themselves had dictated; and thereupon they caused him to be stoned to death. When he was led to death he exclaimed, "Truth, I lament you, for you have died even before me." The manner in which Palamedes perished is variously related. Some say Odysseus and Diomedes induced him to descend into a well, where they pretended they had discovered a treasure, and when he was below they cast stones upon him and killed him; others state that he was drowned by them while fishing; and others that he was killed by Paris with an arrow. The story of Palamedes, which is not mentioned by Homer, seems to have been first related in the , and was afterwards developed by the tragic poets, especially by Euripides, and lastly by the sophists, who liked to look upon Palamedes as their pattern. The tragic poets and sophists describe him as a sage among the Greeks and as a poet; and he is said to have invented lighthouses, measures, scales, the discus, dice, the alphabet and the art of regulating sentinels.], who became king through an uprising, was slain. In the twelfth encounter Troilus[Troilus was a son of Priam and Hecuba; or, according to others, a son of Apollo. He fell during the Trojan War at the hands of Achilles. However, others relate that he was made a prisoner, and that Achilles ordered him to be strangled; or, fleeing from Achilles he ran into the temple of the Thymbraean Apollo, where Achilles slew him.] slew many in the Greek ranks. The thirteenth engagement lasted for seven consecutive days. And Agamemnon desired a truce of thirty days. In the eighteenth engagement Troilus wounded Achilles, and they fought for seven consecutive days. In the nineteenth encounter Troilus fell from his horse and was slain by Achilles. In the twentieth battle Menno, the Persian leader, was slain.

Then at the request of Priam there was a tenth truce of thirty days.

In the twenty-first engagement Alexander slew Achilles in the temple of Apollinus, to which he enticed him for the purpose of negotiating peace. For this reason the Greeks requested the eleventh truce. In the twenty-second battle Alexander wounded Ajax, and he in turn gave Alexander a mortal wound, of which he died. In the twenty-third and twenty-fourth encounters Pathasillia (Penthesilea), the queen of the Amazons, many times wounded Neoptolemus[ Neoptolemus, also called Pyrrhus, was the son of Achilles. The name of Pyrrhus is said to have been given him because he had fair hair, or because Achilles, while disguised as a girl, had born the name of Pyrrha. He was called Neoptolemus, that is, young or late warrior (or ‘new war’), either because he had fought in early youth, or because he had come late to Troy. Neoptolemus was reared in Sycros in the palace of Lycomedes, and was brought from there by Ulysses to join the Greeks against Troy, because Hellenus had prophesied that Neoptolemus and Philoctetes were necessary for the capture of Troy. Neoptolemus was one of the heroes concealed in the wooden horse. At the capture of the city he killed Priam at the sacred hearth of Zeus, and sacrificed Polyxena to the spirit of his father. He took Andromache, the widow of Hector, and had children by her.], the son of Achilles; but she was thereafter slain by him. Finally Antenor[Antenor, according to Homer, was one of the wisest among the elders of Troy. He received Menelaus and Odysseus into his house when they came to Troy as ambassadors, and advised his fellow citizens to restore Helen to Menelaus. Thus he is represented as a traitor to his country, and when sent to Agamemnon just before the taking of Troy, to negotiate peace, he concerted a plan of delivering the city, even the palladium, into the hands of the Greeks. On the capture of Troy Antenor was spared by the Greeks. His history after this event is related differently. Some writers say that he founded a new kingdom at Troy. According to others, he embarked with Menelaus and Helen, was carried to Libya and settled at Cyrene; while a third account states that he went with the Neneti to Thrace, and hence to the western coast of the Adriatic, where the foundation of Patavium and several towns is ascribed to him. The sons and descendents of Antenor were called Antenoridae.], Polydamus[Polydamus, son of Panthous and Phrontis, was a Trojan hero, a friend of Hector, and brother of Euphorbus.], and Aeneas spoke to Priam on the subject of peace; and when he refused to make peace they betrayed and gave up the city.

When Troy was captured, Agamemnon divided up the possessions and estates of the Trojans. And so the war against Troy lasted ten years, eight months and twelve days; and (as Dares Phrygius states), Greece lost 870,000 and Troy 676,000 men, in dead, up to the time of the surrender of the city; but after the surrender and betrayal of Troy 276,000 Trojans were slain. Aeneas sailed back to Greece with 22 ships, and Alexander went with him. Three thousand four hundred Trojans followed. And so two thousand five hundred followed Antenor; and Etheleaus, with Cassandra and Andronica and Hecuba, Priam’s wife, with fifteen hundred persons, went to Orinuseum. Homer says that Menelaus and Helen fled to the Egyptian country, called Thecures or Polipus, after the destruction of Troy.

When I see that innumerable writers make mention of the destruction of the Trojans and, in addition, when readers of the places, names, and deeds (of this story), on account of their ignorance of history, begin to stumble and often even to fall, for this reason I send everyone back to the histories of the Trojan destruction that Dares the Phrygian and Dictys the Cretan, cultured men, recounted in detail, since the former lived and fought at that time, and the latter was present as a follower of Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans. And as far as knowledge of Trojan affairs is concerned, nothing is briefer or more useful. In fact, nothing can be found clearer and more succinct. He narrates the deeds with such diligence and with such care. And all these deeds, thus arranged by the times, the names, and the places, he treats so accurately in the end that the story is not narrated, but performed, not described, but in fact it seems to readers that they are dragged back again into the war itself and are present (in the story).[This entire paragraph is not included in the German edition of the .]