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

Siena (Sena), now second among the cities of Etruria in power and possessions, is located in a very pleasant region; and as Polycrates writes in his sixth book was built by the Senonian Gauls 382 years before the coming of Christ, in the time of Brennus, when he marched in to Italy. There is evidence that those of Sena resembled the Gauls and Britons (in whom they had their origin) in appearance and bearing, in the anointing or smearing of their limbs, in their beauty of countenance and color, and also in their folkways; although the passage of time, the influence of the skies, the location, and their intercourse with their neighbors, with whom they intermingled in blood and manners, have in large part produced a change in them. As no mention is made of this city in the writings of the ancients, and as no signs of antiquity appear therein, it may be reckoned among the modern cities. Some say that Charles (Carolus), whose nickname was Hammer (Maleo)[Charles Martel (in Latin Carolus Martellus; c. 688-741) was the ruler of the Franks. He is best remembered for winning the Battle of Tours in 732, which has traditionally been understood as a historical turning-point, for it was by that victory that Islamic expansion into Europe—after rapid success in the Iberian peninsula—was halted. Charles' nickname is derived from the Latin word malleus, which means ‘hammer.'], founded this city; but in the praiseworthy cloister of Saint George de Alga (built by the glory-deserving Pope Eugenius when he was about to leave the world, and paid for with his own money which he inherited paternally), there is to be found an old book, in which it is written that Pope John XVIII built this city out of the bishoprics of Perugia (Perusina), Chiusi (Clusiensi), Arezzo (Aretina), Fesula (Fesulana), Florence (Florentina), Volaterra (Volaterrana), six communities, and gave it the name Siena (Sena), which means six. The city lies on a hill, and by reason of its height, resembles an island; but in the upper region of the city the land is improved with gardens and greens. There are at hand in this city very splendid buildings, such as a beautiful university, a market, a gate, the royal palace, and a very rich and well-regulated hospital. The city is also provided, far and wide, with towers and defenses. Governed by the best laws, there are no coarse or inhospitable people there. The soil is productive in fodder, and consequently supports many oxen, wild goats, and sheep. It also produces grain, wine, oil, and an abundance of fruits of all kinds. It is 800 stadia distant from Rome. This city possessed a galaxy of stars—the holy Saint Bernardinus, whose holy relics work manifold miracles daily in the city of Aquila. He, first of all, brought the order of St. Francis to its present flourishing state. The city was also favored with Hugo, the physician and natural philosopher, who after the death of Jacobi Forli, was considered the most learned and enlightened among all his contemporaries; also Frederick, the learned jurist, who left much advice in matters of jurisprudence; also Aeneas Silvius, the poet, thereafter honored with the papal office and called Pius. It is adorned by very many men and priests of refined knowledge.[This sentence is replaced in the German edition of the with the following: "There, too, by reason of the prominence of the city, a Council (Concilium) was held."] There are many mountainous regions and fields between the river Umbro and the Sea of Danaus, or the river Palias which flows out of that sea; also the very ancient city of Clusium, of which Pliny writes much, and which once upon a time was called Camers (Carmon) and is now subject to the city of Siena and enriched by it.

Siena (Sena) was a town in Etruria and a Roman colony. It was on the road from Clusium to Florentia and is mentioned only in the time of the emperors. According to one tradition, Siena was founded by Senius, son of Remus, who brought with him the image of Lupa, the she-wolf suckling the twins, which still remains the city's badge. When he offered to sacrifice to his gods, a dense black smoke arose from the altar of Apollo, and a pure white smoke from that of Diana —in commemoration of which was made the balzana, the black and white shield of the Comme that we still see upon Siena's gates and public buildings. There are two other shields associated with it: a blue shield with the word "Libertas" in gold letters, and a red shield with a white lion rampant.

Siena's epoch of greatness begins with the twelfth century. The people became associated in arts or guilds, resembling those of Florence, whose representatives sat in councils of the Republic. Throughout the greater part of the 12th and 13th centuries Siena was engaged in serious wars with Florence, brought on by the controversy between Guelfs and Ghibellines and by commercial rivalry. In 1552 Siena became a free city under the protection of Emperor Charles V.