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

the men possess, and how much elegance the women have. Franciscus Petrarch writes of an old custom of the people of Cologne that was especially observed by the common women. At sundown on the Eve of St. John the Baptist an incredible number of women assemble on the banks of the river; and with sleeves rolled up to their elbows, they immerse pleasant smelling herbs in the water, and put their snowy white hands and arms in it, at the same time throwing all the troubles of the year into the water, so that the river may wash them away and bring back happiness instead. Oh, you more than blessed inhabitants of the Rhine, which washes away and cleanses your shortcomings, something which neither the Danube (Hister) nor the Elbe (Albis) in Upper Germany, nor the Po (Padus) in Italy, nor the Tiber ever has the strength to do. These are rather lazy, sluggish rivers! Near Cologne is a city called Aachen (Aquensis Aquisgrani)[Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle).], seat of Charles the Great; and there in a marble temple is a tomb of that prince venerated by the barbarian nations. He ordained that his successors in the rule of the kingdom should accept the crown and sovereignty of the Roman Empire, as still happens today, and will continue to occur as long as the German (Theutonica) nation holds the reins of the Roman Empire.

Colonia Agrippina, or Agrippinensis, is the present site of Cologne (Köln in German), on the Rhine. It was so called after 50 CE, when a Roman colony was planted here by the emperor Claudius, at the request of his wife Agrippina, who was born in the place, and after whom the colony was named. Before this colonization the site was called Oppidum Ubiorum, ‘the town of the Ubii.' It rose to be the chief town of Germania Secunda, and had the privilege of the Ius Italicum. About 330, the city was taken by the Franks, but was not permanently occupied by them until the fifth century, becoming in 475 the residence of the Frankish king Childeric. Counts of Cologne are mentioned in the ninth century. The city still contains remnants of Roman occupation, such as the wall, the ancient gate, etc. The great cathedral or Dom stands on the site of a church begun in the ninth century by Hildebold, metropolitan of Cologne, and finished under Willibert in 873. This structure was ruined by the Normans, was rebuilt, but destroyed by fire in 1248. The foundation of the present cathedral was then laid, and in 1322 the new choir was consecrated. After the death of Conrad of Hochstaden (archbishop from 1238 to 1261), who laid the foundation of the present cathedral, the work of building advanced but slowly, and the structure was not completed until the nineteenth century. It contains the shrine of the Magi. The greatness of Cologne was founded on her trade. Wine and herrings were the chief articles of her commerce; but her goldsmiths, armorers, and weavers were famous, and exports of cloth were large.

When, in 1201, Cologne joined the Hanseatic League, its power and repute were so great that it was made the chief place of a third of the confederation.

The expulsion of the Jews in 1414, and still more the exclusion of the Protestants from citizenship and magistracy, deeply affected the prosperity of Cologne. New trade routes, the decay of guilds, and many prolonged periods of warfare further contributed to its decay; and when, in 1794, Cologne was occupied by the French, it was a poor city of about 40,000 inhabitants, of whom only 6,000 possessed civic rights. With the assignment of the city to Prussia by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, a new ear of prosperity began, and this rapidly increased.

The "bones of the Magi" are said to have been brought by the Empress Helena to Constantinople. They were afterwards taken to Milan, and in 1164 presented by Frederick Barbarossa to Archbishop Reinald von Dassele, by whom they were removed to Cologne. The golden reliquary in which they are preserved is now in the Cathedral Treasury. It is a costly specimen of Romanesque work, probably executed in the years 1190-1200. It was seriously damaged in 1794, when carried away for concealment from the French; but it was restored in 1807.

St. Severin, mentioned by the chronicler as bishop of Cologne, is commemorated by the church of his name which stands upon the site of a Christian church built as early as the 4th century. It contains the sarcophagus of St. Severin. The career of Albertus Magnus and the legend of Ursula and her 11,000 virgins are referred to elsewhere in the Chronicle.

Much of this paragraph on Cologne is taken by Schedel from a letter of Petrarch, "Franciscus Petrarca Iohanni Columnae Cardinali salutem plurimam dicit" (Epistolae familiares I, 5 Colonia Agrippina et Lugdunum (1333).

L. Pomponius, historian and orator, and writer of attelane farce, was (according to Eusebius) held in high esteem at this time. He wrote a little book of geography in which he calculated the distances between cities.[Schedel has conflated two different men named Pomponius in this very short biography: (1) Lucius Pomponius Bononiensis, the most celebrated writer of atellane farce, who flourished in 91 BCE, and (2) Pomponius Mela, the first Roman author who composed a formal treatise on geography, and who probably flourished under the emperor Claudius (more than a century after Lucius Pomponius Bononiensis!). The German edition of the still (incorrectly) names our author L. Pomponius, but (correctly) removes the reference to him being a writer of atellane farce.]

Lenaeus (Leoneus) was a highly educated grammarian and a freedman of Gn. Pompey. At the request of his master he translated into our language (Latin) a number of commentaries on medicine, which Pompey found in the possession of Mithridates after he had defeated him; for Mithridates was interested in medicine, and drew medical knowledge from all his subjects, leaving behind commentaries and examples of these in his own secrets.

Lenaeus, according to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (vol. 2, p. 728) was,

a freedman of Pompey the Great, whence he is sometimes called Pompeius Lenaeus. He was a native of Athens, possessed great know ledge of natural history, and was acquainted with several languages, in consequence of which Pompey restored him to freedom. (Suetonius. De llustr. Grammat. 2,15; Pliny, H. N. xxv. 2, 3.) He accompanied his patron in nearly all his expeditions (Suet. l. c. 15), and by his command he translated into Latin the work of Mithridates on poisons. (Plin. l. c., comp. xv. 30, 39, xxiv. 9, 41, xxv. 6, 27, and Elench. lib. xiv. xv. xx. xxiii. xxvii.) After the death of Pompey and his sons, Lenaeus maintained himself by keeping a school at Rome, in the Carinae, near the temple of Tellus, the dis trict in which the house of Pompey had been. This fact is a proof not only of his great attachment to the memory of his late master, but also of his not having made use of his friendship with Pompey for the purpose of enriching himself. His affection for Pompey also led him to write a very bitter satire against the historian Sallust, who had spoken of Pompey in an unjust and slanderous manner. Suetonius (l. c. 15) has preserved some of the opprobrious terms in which Lenaeus spoke of Sallust.

The last phrase, "in his own secrets" (in archanis suis) is not in the German edition of the Chronicle, probably on account of its obscure meaning.

Agrippa, son-in-law of Octavian, was a builder of exceptional merit. During his career he erected many things at Rome. And, moreover, in his term as aedile, he added to these the Aqua Virgo, and with the channels of the others repaired, he made seven hundred basins.[This sentence, not found in the German edition of the , is taken from Pliny, 36.24.121: Agrippa vero in aedilitate sua, adiecta Virgine aqua, ceterisque conrivatis atque emendatis, lacus septingentos fecit. Pliny, however, is mistaken about the building of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, which was completed not under the aedileship of Agrippa in 33 BCE, but in 19 BCE.] And the reason for that was, Suetonius writes, that Octavian Augustus, becoming somewhat angry at the Roman people's request for wine, responded: Agrippa, my son-in-law, has introduced so many sources of water and you ask for wine![] He gave his name and his greatness to Cologne.[Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (63-12 BCE), under whose protection the Ubii, who were on the east side of the Rhine in Caesar's time, removed to the opposite shore to escape the attacks of their neighbors, the Catti. Agrippa studied with the young Octavian (afterwards the Emperor Augustus) at Apollonia in Illyria; and upon the murder of Caesar in 44, was one of the friends of Octavian who advised him to proceed immediately to Rome. Agrippa took an active part in the civil wars which followed, and which gave Augustus the sovereignty of the Roman world. As a military commander he was successful, and in 37 was made consul. He expended vast sums of money on public works, such as aqueducts, and erected several public buildings. He continued to be employed in various military commands until his death in 12 BCE.]