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

Naples (Neapolis) is an old and highly celebrated city of the land of Campania. It was at one time called Parthenope. The city’s origin and age are noted by Titus Livius, who writes that the city of Palaepolis was not far from the present site of Naples, and that the same people lived in both places. The city of Palaepolis, which was then in the hands of the Greeks, was conquered by Publius Plautius, the Roman. He occupied a convenient site between that city and Naples, and so prevented them from assisting one another against the enemy. But some write that this royal city was built by Diomedes, the king, in the maritime region, and that after it was subjugated by the Romans, it remained loyal and true to them and to other princes and lords. Yet Livy says that Naples was taken by the Romans with the assistance of the Nolanians;[Nola (Nolannus) was one of the most ancient towns in Campania, 21 miles southeast of Capua. In 327 BCE Nola was sufficiently powerful to send 2000 men to the assistance of Neapolis. In 313 it was taken by the Romans. It remained faithful to the Romans even after the battle of Cannae, when the other Campanian cities revolted to Hannibal, and it was allowed in consequence to retain its own constitution as an ally of the Romans. In the Social War it fell into the hands of the confederates, and when taken by Sulla it was burned to the ground by the Samnite garrison. It was afterward rebuilt and made a Roman colony by Vespasian. According to the ecclesiastical traditions, church bells were invented at Nola, and were for that reason called Campanae.] but that thereafter the Neapolitans nevertheless remained loyal toward the Romans and other lords at all times; for when the Romans were in distress, and the Neapolitans were their enemies, and their assistance was sought by Hannibal, they nevertheless stood by Rome. And afterward the city flourished during all the time that the Roman order of councilors and emperors continued to exist. By reason of its peaceful condition, many brave men sought relief there from their cares, and devoted themselves to luxury and frivolity. Suetonius states that when Nero came from Greece to Naples, he there first introduced the art of music; and that he rode through a breach in the walls with white horses. There also lived learned writers, namely Virgil, Livy, Oratius, and others. Bonifacius VIII and John XXIII, both popes, were born there. For the past 300 years this city has been graced by royalty, and magnificently adorned with many praiseworthy churches and large public buildings, houses, and other structures equal to those of other Italian cities. There is the cloister of Saint Clara, built by a queen, the wife of King Robert of Aragon, and it excels all the cloisters of Italy. Item: A beautiful, well-built Carthusian cloister, named after St. Martin, is located outside the walls. There also is a citadel, called "New Castle," a praiseworthy and memorable work, with its new structures, and which is to be prized over and above the older structures in Italy. I will be silent as to the height, thickness, beauty, breadth and adornment of the gates, walls, palaces, chambers and other structures there. Mount Vesuvius of the land of Campana, which is removed from all other mountains, lies within a thousand paces of this city. It abounds in wines, which are called Greek wines. This same mountain at times has cast out upon itself ashes and sparks, covering the fields to the treetops. In the time of Trajan, Pliny the Second, who wished to view this marvel near at hand, was suffocated by flames.

Naples (Neapolis or Napoli) is located on the western slope of Mt. Vesuvius and was founded by the Chalcidians of Cumae (colonists from the city of Chalchis, on the island of Euboea, in Greece), on the site of an ancient placed called Parthenope, after the siren of that name. For that reason we find the town so called by Vergil and Ovid. The year of the foundation of Neapolis is not recorded. It was called the "New City," because it was regarded as a new quarter of the city of Cumae. When the town is first mentioned in Roman history, it consisted of two parts divided from each other by a wall, and called respectively Palaeopolis ("Old City") and Neapolis. This division probably arose after the capture of Cumae by the Samnites, when a large number of the Cumaeans took refuge in the city they had founded. Immediately after which the old quarter was called Palaeopolis, and the new quarter, built to accommodate the new inhabitants, was called Neapolis.

In the year 290 BCE the town passed into the hands of the Romans, who allowed it to retain its Greek constitution. At a later date it became a municipium , and finally a Roman colony. Under the Romans the two quarters of the city were united and the name of Palaeopolis disappeared. It continued prosperous and flourishing until the time of the empire; and its beautiful scenery, and the luxurious life of its Greek population, made it a favorite of residence with many of the Romans. In the reign of Titus it was destroyed by an earthquake, but he rebuilt it in the Roman style. The modern city of Naples does not stand on exactly the same site as Neapolis. The ancient city extended further east. The modern city, on the other hand, extends farther north and west.


The Latin edition of the Chronicle has a city image representing Naples that appears for the first time. In the German edition, however, the woodcut that appeared at Folio XXXIX verso, as representative of the city of Mainz, is here repeated.