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

Marseilles (Massilia), the city beyond the mountains of Gaul (Gallia), was built in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah by the Phocaeans who were driven out from elsewhere and came here. In the time of Tarquin the king, there came in ships from Asia into the Tiber young men called Phocaeans, who made friends with the Romans, and then migrated into the land of Gaul, and amidst the Ligurians, the barbarous people of Gaul, built Marseilles. And by force of arms and war against the Gauls (or those whom they formerly overcame), the Phocaeans accomplished great things. The soil not being fertile, these Phocaeans sustained themselves more often on the water than on land by fishing and frequently by piracy, which was an honorable calling at that time. And so they entered the waters of the Rhone in Gaul and sailed to the hinterland beyond the sea, toward the west. And when they saw how pleasant this region was, they returned home and spread the news, and so caused many people to sail there. Furius and Peranus were leaders of this voyage. Marseilles was built on a promontory at the mouth of the Rhone, and in former times was highly regarded and of considerable size. It had a beautiful harbor and a well fortified castle. here also was built the very beautiful temple to Apollo of Delphi. But the Ligurians were envious of the city attacked it. Yet it constantly grew by conquests and through the defeat of its enemies and many new habitations were added. From them the Gauls learned the manner of refined living, husbandry, and the preservation of cities by walls. They abandoned their coarseness, and lived not by force of arms, but according to law. They established vineyards and planted oil trees, and became as renowned as if Gaul were changed into Greece, and not Greece into Gaul. To this city many noble Romans were sent to be educated. And although the city from time to time was invaded by many lords and tyrants, it never accepted a foreign law, nor suffered a single fall, except at the hands of the Catalauni (Cathelanis).[Catalauni, or Catelauni, were a people in Gaul in the modern Champagne. Their capital was Durocatelauni, or Catelauni (Chalona sur Marne), in the neighborhood of which Attila was defeated by Aetus and Theodoric 451 CE.] To this city Lazarus, whom the Lord awakened from the dead, was sent from among the apostles as a bishop, and his relics have there been held in great reverence to this time. It is said that Mary Magdalene, a sister of Lazarus, was buried there. And there venerated men like Salvianus[Salvianus, an accomplished ecclesiastical writer of the fifth century, was born in the vicinity of Trevas, and passed the latter part of his life as a presbyter of the church at Marseilles.] and Museus, the priests, taught divine matters. Genadius, also a priest, taught Greek and Latin, and like Jerome, wrote a book about illustrious men. There also lived Corvinus the orator, Victorinus the rhetorician, and many others.

Marseilles is the French name for what was originally the Greek colony of Massalia (Latin Massilia). This colony was founded as early as the year 600 BCE by the mariners of Phocaea. In 542 BCE the fall of the Phocaean cities before the Persians probably sent new settlers to the Ligurian coast and cut off Massalia from close connection with the mother country. Isolated amid alien population, the Massalians made their way by prudence and by vigilant administration of their oligarchic government, and their colonies spread east and west, carrying with them the worship of Artemis. The great rival of Massalian trade was Carthage, and in the Punic Wars the city took the side of Rome, and was rewarded by Roman assistance in the subjugation of the native tribes of Liguria. In the war between Caesar and Pompey Massilia took Pompey's side, and in 49 BCE offered a vain resistance to Caesar's lieutenant Trebonius. In memory of its ancient services the city was left as a civitas libera (‘free state') but her power was broken and most of her dependencies taken from her. From this time Massilia has little place in Roman history. It became for a time an important school of letters and medicine, but its commercial and intellectual importance declined. It appears to have been Christianized before the end of the third century, and at the beginning of the fourth century was the scene of the martyrdom of St. Victor.

After the ravages of successive invaders, Marseilles was repopulated in the tenth century under the protection of its viscounts. The town gradually bought up their rights, and at the beginning of the thirteenth century became a republic. In 1245 and 1256 Charles of Anjou, count of Provence, whose predecessors had left the citizens a large measure of independence, established his authority above that of the republic. In 1423 Alphonso V of Aragon sacked the town. King Rene, who had made it his winter residence, however, caused trade, arts and manufacturers again to flourish. On the embodiment of Provence in the kingdom of France in 1481, Marseilles preserved a separate administration directed by royal officials.


The city is represented by the same woodcut that did service for Trier at Folio XXIII recto; and for Padua at Folio XLIV verso.