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

Hermes of Egypt, the philosopher, by our people called Mercury, at one time a disciple of Plato, was celebrated during this time. Although an old man, he was well versed in all branches of learning. By reason of his great knowledge and art he was surnamed Hermes Trismegistus (Trimegestus), that is, three times greater. He wrote many books giving information of things divine; and, among others, a book on the perfect word. And he said—as it it well known in the eighth book of (Augustine's) City of God—that the gods of the pagans were dead people.[Hermes Trismegistus is the reputed author of a great variety of works, some of which are still extant. The Greek god Hermes was identified with the Egyptian Thot, or Theut, as early as the time of Plato. The New Platonists regarded the Egyptian Hermes as the source of all knowledge and thought, and hence called him Trismegistus. A vast number of works on philosophy and religion, written by the New Platonists, were ascribed to Hermes; from which it was pretended that Pythagoras and Plato had derived all their knowledge. The most important of these works is entitled Poemander, apparently in imitation of Pastor of Hermas. It treats of nature, of the creation of the world, the deity, his nature and attributes, the human soul, knowledge, etc.]

Apuleius of Madaura in Africa (Apuleius Aphar Madaurensis), also a disciple of Plato, was famous at this time. This same person wrote many books; for within him were combined a peculiar surplus and grace of knowledge and the means of expression. He wrote books about the golden ass, Metamorphoses, that they call a Greek fable; the four books of his Florida; On the God of Socrates; a book On the World, etc.[This sentence and the preceding one are not in the German edition of the .] An aphorism of his was the following: Nothing is more like God than a man perfectly good in his soul.[Apuleius of Madaura in Africa, was born about 130 CE. He received the first rudiments of education at Carthage, and afterwards studied the Platonic philosophy at Athens. He traveled extensively in Italy, Greece, and Asia, becoming initiated in most mysteries. He returned home, but soon thereafter journeyed to Alexandria. On his way he was taken ill at the town of Oea, and was hospitably received into the house of a young man, Sicinius Pontianus, whose mother, a very rich widow of the name of Pudentilla, he married. Her relatives being indignant that so much wealth should pass out of the family, impeached Apuleius of gaining the affection of Pudentilla by charms and magic spells. The cause was heard before the proconsul of Africa in 173, and the defense spoken by Apuleius is still extant. Of his subsequent career we know little except that he declaimed in public with great applause. His most important work is the novel the (also called ), apparently intended as a satire on the hypocrisy and debauchery of certain priests, fraudulent pretenders to supernatural power, and the general profligacy of public morals. (This entry on Apuleius was abridged by our translator and indefatigable note gatherer, Walter Schmauch, without attribution—it was a more innocent time—from Smith's 1870 , Vol. 1, pp. 248-250 s.v. Apuleius.) ]

Plotinus, a philosopher, also a disciple of Plato, and a teacher of Porphyry (Porphirius), also flourished at this time. He was skilled in all the arts of virtue, and fortified himself in all the divine ordinances with righteousness, strength, moderation and wisdom. He believed that arbitrary fortune could be overcome by the intelligence of his wisdom. Therefore he selected as his seat a place where he would be removed from the unrest of all human activities and severed and relieved from all envy of good fortune. This man did not permit himself to be overcome by any desire, and he wrote a beautiful book of the virtues; and he said that the rational soul, which as he did not doubt has its residence in the seats of heaven, has no superior in nature, and is subject to God alone; for as the sun lights the moon, so God gives light to the soul.[Plotinus was the originator of the Neo-Platonic school of philosophy. He was born at Lycopolis in Egypt in 203 CE. Of his life his disciple Porphyry wrote a biography that has come down to us. From him we learn that Plotinus began to study philosophy at the age of 28 years, and for eleven years remained under the instruction of Ammonius Saccas. In his 39th year he joined the expedition of the emperor Gordian (242) against the Persians, in order to become acquainted with the philosophy of the Persians and Indians. After the death of Gordian he fled to Antioch, and from there to Rome (244). For the next ten years he gave only oral instruction to a few friends, but was at length induced to commit his instructions to writing. In 264 Porphyry came to Rome, and joined himself to Plotinus. By this time twenty-one books had already been written by Plotinus. During the six years that Porphyry lived with Plotinus at Rome, the latter at the instigation of Amulius, Porphyry wrote twenty-three books on the subjects discussed in their meetings, to which nine were later added. In all, Plotinus wrote fifty-four books, and those he committed to the care of Porphyry for correction. On account of the weakness of his sight Plotinus never read them through a second time, to say nothing of making corrections. Porphyry divided the fifty-four books into six Enneads or sets of nine books each. Plotinus lived very modestly, and his hours of sleep were restricted to the briefest time possible. He was regarded with admiration and respect by men of science, philosophers and statesmen. He enjoyed the favor of the emperor Gallienus, and the empress Salonina. He died in 262. His philosophical system is founded on Plato's writings, with the addition of various tenets drawn from the philosophy and religions of the Persians and Indians.]

Diogenes (Dyogenes) of Sinope was a great philosopher (according to Diocles). He was the son of Hicesias, a banker. He left his fatherland and went to Athens, where he found Antisthenes. He estranged himself from all pleasures. He was the first to wear a double mantle on account of the cold; and in it was a pocket in which he carried his food. He wrote and requested a man to build a small room for him; but as the man was slow about it, Diogenes used a tub as a house. In cold weather he turned the opening to the south; and in summer, toward the north. In summer he rolled himself in hot sand, while in winter he embraced statues covered with snow. He once saw a child drinking out of the hollow of its hand, so he threw down his own ordinary cup and said, A child has surpassed me in scornfulness. He said all things are of the gods, and the wise are the friends of the gods. At one time he sat in the sun, and Alexander spoke to him, saying, State what you desire. Diogenes answered, Make no shadow upon me. And it is said that Alexander stated, If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes. This, among other things, was his teaching: If someone gives you advice with kindness, you should listen to him in kindness. He later died in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus.[Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher, was born at Sinope in Pontus, about 412 BCE. His father was a banker, who was convicted of certain illegal transactions, in consequence of which Diogenes left Sinope and went to Athens. His youth is said to have been spent in dissolute extravagance; but at Athens his attention was arrested by the character of Antisthenes, who at first drove him away, but soon relented. His new pupil soon plunged into the most frantic excesses of austerity and moroseness. In summer he used to roll in the sand, and in winter he embraced statues covered with snow. He wore coarse clothing, lived on the plainest food, slept in porticoes or on the street, and finally, according to a well-known story, took up his residence in a tub belonging to the Metroum, or temple of the Mother of the Gods. In spite of his eccentricities, Diogenes was respected at Athens, and apparently was privileged to rebuke anything of which he disapproved. He seems to have ridiculed and despised all intellectual pursuits that did not directly and obviously tend to some immediate practical good. He abused literary men for reading about the evils of Odysseus, and neglecting their own; musicians for stringing the lyre harmoniously, while they left their minds discordant; men of science for troubling themselves about the moon and stars, while they neglected what lay immediately before them; orators for learning to say what was right, but not to practice it. On a voyage to Aegina, Diogenes was taken prisoner by pirates and carried to Crete to be sold as a slave. He was purchased by Xeniades of Corinth, over whom he acquired such influence that he soon received his freedom, was entrusted with the care of his master's children, and passed his old age in his house. During his residence at Corinth his famous interview with Alexander is said to have taken place. The king said, "I am Alexander the Great;" to which the philosopher replied, "And I am Diogenes the Cynic." Alexander then asked him whether he could oblige him in any way. Diogenes replied, "Yes, you can stand out of the sunshine." We are further told that Alexander admired Diogenes so much that he said, "If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes." The cynic died at Corinth in 323 at the age of 90. (This entry on Diogenes was abridged by our translator and indefatigable note gatherer, Walter Schmauch, without attribution—it was a more innocent time—from Smith's 1870 , Vol. 1, pp. 1021-1023 s.v. Diogenes.) ]

Philip (Philippus), son of king Perdiccas (Perdice), was the twenty-third king of the Macedonians; he reigned for 27 years. He was a warrior, and with his strength conquered Armenia, Bithynia, Thrace and Thessaly. He was a man of friendly address, more loved than feared. Yet he was a man of valor, although too fond of wine. However, after his intoxication wore off, he was moderate in his dealings. Once upon a time, in order to protect his kingdom, he had marched away some distance when Nectanabis, then king of Egypt, and a man most skilled in astrology, fled to Philip in fear of the Persians; but when Nectanabis saw Olympias, the very beautiful wife of Philip, he violated her through deceit by means of black magic (in which he was highly learned); for in the night that Olympias conceived she dreamed that she was struggling with a huge snake. And after the return of Philip, Olympias gave birth to Alexander, a son. Although she acknowledged to her husband that she had not born the child by him, but by a huge snake, yet Philip reared Alexander as his own beloved son. And, once Alexander had been born, he wrote Aristotle: You are to know that a son has been born to me; therefore thanks be given the gods, not only because he was born, but also because he was born in your lifetime. I hope that through your teachings he will become worthy. Afterwards Aristotle took the son under his care, and there he remained for five years. Later he tamed a wild horse and rode it without fear. Seeing this, Philip said that he had learned by the answers of the gods that Alexander would reign after him. Therefore he gave him a royal chariot, horses, and a certain amount of gold. Alexander started a war against the king of the Peloponnesians; and from there he brought home to his father the crown of victory. When he later received the reins of government, he called himself king of all lands and of the world.[Philip II of Macedon was the youngest son of Amyntas II and Eurydice. He reigned from 359-336 BCE. He was born in the year 382, and was brought up at Thebes, to where he had been carried as a hostage by Pelopidas; and there he received a careful education. Upon the death of his brother (not his father as the chronicler states) Perdiccas III, who was slain in battle, Philip obtained the government of Macedonia, at first merely as regent and guardian of his infant nephew Amyntas; but at the end of a few months he was able to set aside the claims of the young prince and to assume the title of king. His military exploits are too numerous to mention here; suffice to say that he conquered all of Greece, and attempted to unify it. In the course of his preparations for an Asiatic expedition against the Persian Empire, Philip was murdered at a grand festival which he held at Aegae to solemnize the wedding of his daughter with Alexander of Epirus. He died at 47 in the 24th year of his reign, and was succeeded by his son Alexander the Great.]