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

Ptolemy Euergetes, son of Philometor and brother of Cleopatra, was the seventh king of the Egyptians. He reigned 29 years. He was a very evil and cruel man; and through fear of him, his brother and Cleopatra his sister, by means of messengers, surrendered the kingdom to him. When he had acquired his kingdom without any struggle, he became excessively proud; and he murdered his brother's son in the hands of his mother, and strangled all his patrons. And just as his relatives had regarded him as a cruel and bloodthirsty individual, so he became the laughingstock and mockery of the Romans who came there; for (as Justinus writes) he had a deformed face, short body, and a fat belly, resembling an animal. This was accentuated by his manner of dress. He begot children by his sister and by the sister of his wife; and he also forced the daughter of his sister, and he dismembered her son, placed him in a trunk, and at the celebration of his birthday ordered it brought forth.[Ptolemy VII (Euergetes II) or Physcon, that is ‘Big Belly' reigned 146-117 BCE. In order to secure undisputed possession of the throne, he married his sister Cleopatra, the widow of his brother Philometor, and put to death his nephew Ptolemy, who had been proclaimed king under the surname of Eupator. A reign thus commenced in blood was continued in the same spirit. Many of the leading citizens of Alexandria who had taken part against him on the death of his brother were put to death, while the populace were given up to the cruelties of his mercenary troops, and the streets of the city were repeatedly deluged with blood. Thousands fled and the population of Alexandria was so reduced that the king invited foreigners to settle there. At the same time that he thus incurred the hatred of his subjects, he rendered himself an object of aversion by abandoning himself to the most degrading vices. He became bloated and deformed in person, and enormously corpulent, whence the Alexandrians gave him the nickname Physcon, by which he is more usually known. His union with Cleopatra was of short duration for he became enamored of his niece Cleopatra (the offspring of his wife by her former marriage with Philometor, and he did not hesitate to divorce her mother and receive her daughter in her stead as his wife and queen. By this he alienated still more the minds of his Greek subjects, and his vices and cruelties at length produced an insurrection at Alexandria. Thereupon he fled to Cyprus, and the Alexandrians declared his sister Cleopatra queen (130). Enraged at this, Ptolemy put to death Memphitis, his son by Cleopatra, and sent his head and hands to his unhappy mother. But Cleopatra having been shortly afterwards expelled from Alexandria, Ptolemy found himself unexpectedly reinstated on the throne (127). His sister Cleopatra fled to the court of her elder sister Cleopatra, the wife of Demetrius II, king of Syria, who espoused the cause of the fugitive. Ptolemy, in revenge, set up against him a pretender, Zabinas or Zebina, who assumed the title of Alexander II. But the usurper was so haughty toward Ptolemy that the latter suddenly changed his policy, became reconciled to his sister Cleopatra, whom he permitted to return to Egypt, and gave his daughter Tryphaena to Antiochus Grypus, the son of Demetrius. Ptolemy died after a reign of 29 years from the death of Philometor, his brother. Although stained with the most infamous vices, Ptolemy retained that love of letters hereditary in the whole race of Ptolemies. In his youth he had been a pupil of Aristarchus, and courted the society of learned men. He himself was the author of memoirs that extended to 24 books. He left two sons, Ptolemy, afterward known as Soter II, and Alexander, both of whom subsequently succeeded to the throne of Egypt; also three daughters, (1) Cleopatra, married to her brother Ptolemy Soter, (2) Tryphaena, wife of Antiochus Grypus, king of Syria, and (3) Selene, who was unmarried at the time of her father's death.]

Ptolemy Physcon (Phiston), or Soter, son of Euergetes, and eighth king of the Egyptians, reigned 17 years. At this time Antiochus Tyricenus, the son of Demetrius, and Antiochus Grypus (Griffi), the king's brother, were at war with one another; so for a time one reigned and then the other. During the course of such murderous dissensions over the kingdom of Syria this Ptolemy died, and he left his kingdom to his wife.[The chronicler seems to be confused in the matter of surnames, as the name Physcon was applied to Ptolemy VII (Euergetes II). The Ptolemy now under consideration is Ptolemy VIII (Soter II), also called Philometor, but commonly called Lathyrus (‘chickpea'), who reigned firstly from 117 to 107, and later from 89 to 81, a total of 17 years, which agrees with the duration of his reign, according to the chronicler. Although of age at his father's death in 117, he was obliged to reign jointly with his mother Cleopatra, who had been appointed by the will of her late husband to succeed him on the throne. She was desirous of associating with herself her younger son Ptolemy Alexander; but since Lathyrus was popular, she was obliged to give way, and send Alexander to Cyprus. After declaring Lathyrus king, she compelled him to repudiate his sister Cleopatra, of whose influence she was jealous, and to marry his younger sister Selene in her stead. After reigning ten years jointly with his mother, he was expelled by an insurrection of the people, whom she had incited against him (107). His brother Alexander now assumed sovereignty of Egypt, in conjunction with his mother, while Lathyrus was able to establish himself in the possession of Cyprus. He reigned therefore 18 years, while Cleopatra and Alexander reigned in Egypt. After the death of Cleopatra and the expulsion of Alexander in 89, Ptolemy Lathyrus was recalled to Alexandria and was established anew on the throne of Egypt, which he occupied from that point on without interruption until his death in 81. He left only one daughter, Bernice, called also Cleopatra, who succeeded him on the throne; also two sons, both named Ptolemy, who, though illegitimate, became in turn kings of Egypt and Cyprus.]

Ptolemy Alexander, ninth king of the Egyptians, reigned 10 years after the expulsion of his brother. He was the brother of the aforesaid Ptolemy Soter. After Cleopatra, the mother, and her eldest son had reigned together for seventeen years, she became dissatisfied with his licentiousness, aroused the people against him, and forced him into exile on the island of Cyprus. She then ordered Alexander, her youngest son, to reign with her in his stead. Afterwards Alexander murdered his mother, and was exiled by the people, and Ptolemy Soter was recalled to the throne. Therefore Alexander made the Roman people heir to the kingdom of Cyrene, left him by his father in his will.[Ptolemy IX (Alexander I) was the youngest son of Ptolemy VII, and reigned jointly with his mother from the expulsion of his brother Lathyrus, from 107-90 BCE. In this year he assassinated his mother; but he had not reigned alone a year, when a general sedition of the populace compelled him to quit Alexandria. He raised fresh troops but was defeated by the rebels. Whereupon Lathyrus was recalled to Egypt, as related in the previous note. In an attempt to make himself master of Cyprus, he was defeated and slain. He left a son, Alexander, who later ascended the throne of Egypt.]

Ptolemy Soter, who had been exiled by his mother, recovered his paternal kingdom in the year Alexander was slain by the Egyptians. He reigned 8 years. For when Alexander had killed his own mother, they banished him in revenge for his mother, as has already been written.[The last two sentences of this paragraph are not in the German edition of the .]

Hannibal, son of Hamilcar the Carthaginian general, was made commander of the Carthaginian army at the age of twenty-five. In knowledge, keenness and counsel in meeting dangers he excelled all the other generals. When he became commander he subdued the people of Spain in three years, and placed his brother Hasdrubal over them as governor, while he passed over the Pyrenees and came to the mountains that divide Italy from Gaul, over which no person except Hercules had ever passed. He opened the rocky passes by burning piles of wood and pouring vinegar on them so that a loaded elephant could pass through, where previously hardly a single person had been able to pass; in the same region many persons and elephants were lost in the snow. It is said that Hannibal led into Italy 80,000 foot soldiers, twenty thousand cavalry, and thirty-seven elephants. He proceeded into the plain of Tarentum, and after devastating the whole region lying beyond the mountains, he defeated the Romans in three engagements and conquered many cities. He did likewise in the region of Liguria. After that he marched over the Apennines, and in Etruria, where Florence now is, he was attacked by a disease of the eyes to such an extent that he lost his right eye. Later he slew C. Flaminius. The Romans then sent Fabius Maximus against Hannibal. He (Fabius) disposed of his forces in the mountain heights and concealed them in the forests; and thereby he deceived him and defeated him with the assistance of the Aretinians. And Hannibal ravaged all Italy and molested it for sixteen years. Afterwards he marched into Apulia and defeated the Romans at Cannae. In this battle so many thousands of Romans were slain that Hannibal sent to Carthage three pecks[Peck = Latin modius (a measure of dry goods equal to 2 gallons or 8.81 liters).] of golden rings that he stripped from the hands of the Roman warriors. And in this battle the Roman consuls were either taken prisoners or slain. And the Romans feared that after this victory Hannibal would soon come to Rome. But Hannibal was compelled to vacate Italy in order to protect his fatherland against Publius Scipio. When the Carthaginians made peace with the Romans, Hannibal was compelled to flee to Antiochus, the king, and still later to the king of Bithynia. There T. Quintus (T. Quintius Flaminius), the legate, followed him; but in order that he would not be captured by the Romans, Hannibal took poison which he carried with him in a ring according to lordly custom. And so by that manner of death he freed himself from the shackles of the Romans.[This sentence is not in the German edition of the .] He died in the seventieth year of his life.[Hannibal (247- c. 183 BCE), son of Hamilcar Barca, was one of the most illustrious generals of antiquity. At the age of nine, his father took him with him into Spain, and it was there that Hamilcar made him swear eternal hostility to Rome. He received an early training in arms, and was present with his father in the battle in which the latter perished (229). Due to his courage and capacity for war, even as early as his eighteenth year, Hasdrubal (son-in-law and successor of Hamilcar) entrusted Hannibal with the chief command of most of the military enterprises planned by that general. On Hasdrubal's death, the soldiers unanimously proclaimed their youthful leader commander-in-chief, which the government of Carthage forthwith ratified. Hannibal was now in his twenty-sixth year. His first work was to firmly establish Carthaginian power in Spain. Then followed the arduous struggle called the Second Punic War. In the spring of 218 Hannibal quitted his winter quarters and commenced his march for Italy, crossing the Pyrenees and passing along the south coast of Gaul. He crossed the Rhone and soon commenced his passage across the Alps. His army suffered much at the hands of the Gaulish mountaineers, and from the natural difficulties of the road; for it was October, and snow had already commenced to fall in the high Alps. When at length he emerged from the valley of Aosta into the plains of Po, he had but 20,000 footmen and 6,000 horses left. His first encounter with the Romans, which took place near the Ticinus, resulted in the complete rout of the Roman army under Scipio. Likewise was the outcome of a second engagement, after which the Roman army took refuge within the walls of Placentia. Early in the following year Hannibal descended by the valley of the Macra into the marshes on the banks of the Arno. In struggling through these marshes great numbers of his horses and beasts of burden perished, and he himself lost the sight of one eye by a violent attack of ophthalmia. The consul Flaminius hastened to meet him, and a battle was fought in which the Roman army was destroyed and in which the consul himself perished. Hannibal took no less than 15,000 prisoners, and marched on through the Apennines into Ticenum and then into Apulia, where he spent the great part of the summer. When the Roman army, 90,000 strong, under the consuls L. Aemilius Paulus and C. Terentius Varro marched into Apulia, Hannibal gave them battle, again annihilating the Roman army. Between 40,000 and 50,000 men are said to have fallen in the field, among whom was Aemilius Paulus, both consuls of the preceding year, about 80 senators and a multitude of wealthy knights who composed the Roman cavalry. This victory was followed by the revolt from Rome of most of the nations in southern Italy. Hannibal established his winter quarters in Capua, which had espoused his side. But Rome was still unsubdued, and still provided with the means of maintaining a protracted contest. The Romans changed their tactics, and instead of opposing Hannibal with one great army in the field, they hemmed in his movements on all sides, keeping an army in every province in Italy to thwart the operations of his lieutenants, and to check the rising disposition to revolt. In 212 Hannibal took possession of Tarentum, but in the following year lost Capua, which was recovered by the Romans after a long siege. Hannibal was losing ground, and in 209 the Romans also recovered Tarentum. Hannibal's forces gradually became more and more weakened; and his only object now was to maintain his ground in the south until his brother Hasdrubal should appear in northern Italy, an event to which he looked forward with anxious expectation. In 207 Hasdrubal crossed the Alps and descended into Italy, but was defeated and slain on the Metaurus. This was decisive of the fate of the war in Italy. From this time Hannibal abandoned offensive operations, collecting his forces within the peninsula of Bruttium. In these fastnesses of wild and mountainous regions he maintained his ground for nearly four years. Toward the end of 203 he crossed over to Africa to oppose P. Scipio. In the following year (202), the decisive battle was fought near Zama, and Hannibal was completely defeated with great loss. By treaty in the following year Carthage was effectually humbled by Rome. But the enmity of Hannibal remained unabated. He introduced the most beneficial reforms at Carthage, and restored the ruined finances; but having provoked the enmity of a powerful party at Carthage, they denounced him to the Romans as urging on Antiochus III, king of Syria, to take up arms against Rome. Hannibal was obliged to flee from Carthage, and took refuge at the court of Antiochus, who was on the eve of War with Rome. On the defeat of Antiochus, Hannibal fled to the court of Prusias, king of Bithynia. Here for some years he found a secure asylum; but the Romans could not be at ease so long as he lived, and they sent T. Quintius Flaminius to demand his surrender. The Bithynian king was unable to resist, and perceiving that flight was impossible, Hannibal took poison to avoid falling into the hands of his enemies.]