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

Paris, the royal and highly renowned city of Gallia, lying in the land of the Senones[The Senones were a powerful people dwelling along the upper course of the Sequana (Seine) in Gallia Lugdunensis, a country situated in the confluence of the Arar (Saone) and the Rhodanus (Rhone), with Lugdunum as their chief city, corresponding to the city of Lyons. Lutetia, commonly called ‘Lutetia Parisiorum’ (Paris), was the capital of the Parisii in Gallia Lugdunensis, and was situated on an island in the Seine. Under the emperors it became a place of importance. Here Julian (the Apostate) was proclaimed emperor in 360 CE.], had its beginning after the fall of Troy. For at that time Paris, the Trojan, and Aenaeas, together with Franco, the son of Hector, fled to Gallia, and settled on the banks of the river called the Sequana (Seine). There he made a people; and after him they called it Paris. So the French are of Trojan origin. After the destruction of Troy, these people under the leadership of Priamus, grandson of the great Priam, came through the Euxine Sea and the swamps or sea of Maeotis into Scythia. And there they built a city that they called Sicambria; and they became a great people. They paid tribute to the Romans, like other Scythians, up to the time of Valentinian the emperor. At that time the Alani began their attack upon the Roman Empire. In order to silence the cruelties of the Alani the emperor promised those who would oppose the Alani ten years of freedom. By this offer the Sicambrians were encouraged to oppose the Alani with force of arms, to defeat them in war, and to exterminate them[The Alani were a great Asiatic people, included among the Scythians, but probably a branch of Massagetae. They are first found about the eastern part of the Caucasus in the country called Albania, apparently just another form of the same name. In the reign of Vespasian they made incursions into Media and Armenia, and at a later time advanced into Europe as far as the Lower Danube, where, toward the end of the 5th century CE, they were routed by the Huns, who then compelled them to become their allies. In 406 CE some of the Alani took part with the Vandals in their expedition into Gaul and Spain, where they gradually disappear form history.]. By this action the Sicambrians earned their freedom; and they changed their name to Franks, which according to the Attic tongue means free, terrible, or noble, and according to the Italian tongue, free. After the expiration of the ten-year period the Romans again demanded tribute; but the Franks, because of the freedoms that they had enjoyed, were now opposed to the demand, and refused to comply. Now as the Franks went out of Scythia and came into Germany and there lived for a long time, they became Germans. As the Roman Empire increased, so did France, until all of Gallia and a large part of Germany, from the Pyrenees Mountains to the extremity of Pannonia, was called France. And it was divided into two parts: Gallia, which was called the occidental or western Frankish or German kingdom, and Germany the oriental or eastern part. Under Charles the Great this people merited the Roman Empire and were comforted by the Papal Chair, which was for a long time involved in the Lampertian War. There are many who insist that only those who live in and around Paris are French, and that the Roman Empire was given to them, but these are more properly called Francigenas than Frenchmen born in France. In this city the kings held court and had their residence for a long time, and thereby they made it great and mighty. Charles the Great, after receiving his imperial crown, established there because of its excellent location, a public high school for the whole empire; and from Dionysus Areopagiticus

Dionysius Areopagiticus, called "The Areopagite," is named in Acts 17:34 as one of the Athenians who believed when they heard Paul preach on the Areopagus (‘The Hill of Ares [Roman ‘Mars’]’). Beyond this our only knowledge of him is the statement of Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, recorded by Eusebius, that this same Dionysius was the first "bishop" of Athens. Some hundred years afterwards his name was attached to a number of theological writings of unknown origin. These were destined to exert a great influence over medieval thought. The writings of the Pseudo-Areopagite are: (1) Concerning the Celestial Hierarchy; (2) Concerning the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; (3) Concerning Divine Names; (4) Concerning Mystic Theology, and (5) ten letters addressed to various worthies of great interest, first as a striking presentation of the heterogeneous elements that might unite the mind of a gifted man in the fifth century, and secondly because of their enormous influence upon subsequent Christian theology and art. Their ingredients—Christian, Greek, Persian and Jewish—are united into an organic system, not crudely mingled. Perhaps theological philosophic fantasy has never constructed anything more remarkable.

The writer owed his constructive principles to Hellenism in its last great philosophical creation, Neo-Platonism, since the general principle of the transmission of life form the ultimate Source downward through orders of mediating beings unto men might readily be adapted to the Christian God and his ministering angels. Pseudo-Dionysius had lofty thoughts of the sublime transcendence of the ultimate divine Source. That Source was not remote or inert; but a veritable Source from which life streamed to all lower order of existence—in part directly, and in part indirectly as power and guidance through the higher orders to the lower. Life, creation, every good gift, is from God directly; but his flaming ministers also intervene to guide and aid the life of man; and the life which through love floods forth from God has its counter flow whereby it draws its own creations to itself. God is at once absolutely transcendent and universally immanent. To live is to be united with God; evil is the non-existent, that is, severance from God.

The transcendent Source, as well as the universal immanence, is the Triune God. Between that and men are ranged the three triads of the celestial hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones; Dominations, Virtues, Powers; Principalities, Archangels, Angels. Collectively their general office is to raise mankind to God through purification, illumination and perfection; and to all may be applied the term angel. The highest triad, which is nearest God, contemplates the divine effulgence, and reflects it onward to the second; the third, and more specifically angelic triad, immediately ministers to men. The sources of these names are evident: seraphim and cherubim are from the Old Testament; later Jewish writings gave names to archangels and angels, who also fill important functions in the New Testament. The other names are from Paul (Eph. 1:21; Col. 1:16).

Such is the system of Pseudo-Dionysius, as presented mainly in The Celestial Hierarchy. That work is followed by The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, its counterpart on earth. What the primal Triune Godhead is to the former, Jesus is to the latter. The ecclesiastical hierarchy likewise is composed of triads. The first includes the symbolic sacraments: Baptism, Communion, Consecration of the Holy Chrism. Baptism signifies purification; Communion signifies enlightening; the Holy Chrism signifies perfecting. The second is made up of three orders of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons, or rather, as the Areopagite names them, Hierarchs, who are in a state of perfection, the initiated laity, who are in a state of illumination, and the catechumens, in a state of purification. All worship, in this treatise, is a celebration of mysteries, and the pagan mysteries are continually suggested.

Concerning the Divine Names is a discussion of the qualities that may be predicated of God, according to the warrant of the terms applied to him in Scripture. Concerning Mystic Theology explains the function of symbols, and shows that he who would know God truly must rise above them.

The fifteenth chapter of The Celestial Hierarchy constituted the canon of symbolical angelic lore for the literature and art of the Middle Ages.

, the bishop, who was sent there by the apostles, because of their preaching, it received the holy gospels of Christ. There also Saint Dionysus earned his crown of martyrdom. This city is adorned with the holiness of Bathildis, the queen, and Aurea the virgin, and many other martyrs.


7.5" x 8-3/4"

The City of Paris, or as the ancients knew it, ‘Lutetia Parisiorum,’ is represented by a woodcut here used for the first time. In the earlier part of the Chronicle it was suggested that rulers were in the habit of setting up statues of themselves in the public squares of the cities that they founded. And since this is the City of Paris, we may assume that the warrior we see on the high pedestal towering over the city in the public square is none other than the beautiful Trojan shepherd lad who favored Venus and who later left his utterly destroyed home town to found a city of his own liking and of his own name. True, he had gotten beyond the shepherd boy stage, and now appears in the high place, accoutered cap-a-pie, a lance with flowing pennant in his right hand, his left grasping his trusty sword, and his visor fully drawn. If he was beaten at Troy, he does not look the worse for the wear, and he is still too active for the confines of a pedestal.

Yes, this must be Paris, for in the foreground is the Seine, which the ancients called the Sequana. And resting on its marcelled waves is a sturdy bulging galleon. And there is activity on board. A crew of three men is working on the sails. Apparently the ship is ready to dock, and out of the city gate comes a lone inhabitant to bid the craft and crew a welcome.

The town is well protected by walls, turrets and battlements. The citadel appears in the elevated background. In a way, as one follows the course of the water about the walls, it does seem that this must be the Île de la Cité, the natural stronghold upon which ancient Lutetia sprang up. Paris was at first a fortified town of the Gallic tribe of the Parisii. During the first century CE we hear of it as a Roman town. The island was originally half its present size. It was not a normal site for a town, and could only have been selected for defensive reasons. The old town of Lutetia was destroyed by the barbarian invasions of the third century, but reappeared toward the end of the century on its original site. The stronghold was built for protection against the dangers of the time, for it lay on the route followed by barbarians on their way from the north to the south.

In the fifth century the Franks made themselves masters of Paris. Under Clovis they were converted to Christianity. He established his capital at Paris and built a church or two. Many more churches were built in the following centuries. They were particularly numerous in the Île de la Cité. And so we suppose the artist was justified in dominating his landscape with an imposing Gothic cathedral, and not far from it another church of the same type. According to the usual trend of the times private dwellings are clustered about these religious establishments, while in the distance we see patches of land, possibly cultivated areas, vineyards and meadows, amidst a setting of barren rock and a few clumps of trees.