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

These illustrations occupy all of Folio LXVI verso, without text except as noted on the illustrations themselves, which appear in the following order:


The first illustration covers the full width of the page and about one-fourth of its depth. It has no title itself, though a title for the entire page is given in the illustration of the elevation below it. There, the two lines of text, with two straight lines above and below the words, reads: Figura posterioris partis edificii templi secundum lineas fundamentales Ezechielis XII (‘Figure of the rear part of the Temple edifice according to the groundplan measurements, Ezekiel 12'). This Biblical reference has no application to the subject in hand. True, chapter 12 treats of a vision of the prophet, in the course of which Ezekiel was informed that "the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate." (Ezekiel 12:20); while the Temple vision is covered by chapters 40-48. The cardinal points as given in this illustration are: Auster (South), found on the left; Aquilo (North), on the right; Occidens (West), found at the top of the plan, and Oriens (East), at the bottom. The drawing shows the following details:

  1. The Walls:
    1. Outer Wall: Murus exterior australis (‘Outer wall to the south'); Murus exterior occidentalis (‘Outer wall to the west'); and Murus Aquilonaris exterior (‘Outer wall to the north'). All these designations refer to the same wall, of which only that portion is shown which confines the rear structures of what we may call a Temple city.
    2. Middle Wall: Murus medius australis (‘Middle wall to the south'); Murus medius occidentalis (‘Middle wall to the west'); and Murus Medius aquilonaris (‘Middle wall to the north'). What has been observed with reference to the Outer Wall is also true here.
    3. Wall of the Outer Court: Murus atrii exterioris (‘Wall of the Outer Court'), the inscription found at the foot of the plan, refers to a wall which is not to be confused with the outer and middle walls above referred to. It is the wall which divides the portion of the Temple here shown from that lying below it (See complete plan, Folio LXVII verso). The passage through this wall really connects with a chamber one hundred cubits square, not here shown, which contains the Altar of the Burnt Offerings. And so, through this passage we proceed upward (actually westward), to inspect the rear of the Temple structure, remembering that the word "temple" includes a number of buildings in the manner of a city.
  2. The Promenade: Deambulatorium, longitudinis C cubitores, latitudinis X (‘Promenade, length 100 cubits, width 10'). Immediately before us is the Temple proper.
  3. The Temple: We enter through the Porticus (porch), to either side of which are circular structures, round towers, designated as coclea . From the porch we enter the Sanctum , and from thence we proceed to the Sanctum Sanctorum , or Holy of the Holies, which none but the high priest might enter, and he only once a year, on the day of solemn expiation. So by way of the Sanctum and porch we leave these inner chambers to examine the Temple exterior. All about it on three sides, south, west, and north, are a number of small chambers, twenty-four, according to count, which connect with one another in the interior, but to which, according to the plan, there is no access from either sanctum, or from the outside. The text does not enlighten us on this point, nor does Ezekiel give us any description of these twenty-four chambers. In a long court to the left of the Temple structure and its accompanying little chambers, we find the inscriptions Longitudo edificii centum cubitorum (‘Length of the edifice 100 cubits'), and Appenditia templi australia (‘Appendages to the Temple on the south'). On the right, in a similar elongated court, are the inscriptions Appenditia templi aquilonaris (‘Appendages to the Temple on the north'); the second being the words Longitudo centum cubitorum (‘Length 100 cubits'). Above the structure (west) are the words Appenditia templi occidentalis (‘Appendages to the Temple, on the west'). In this latter case the dimension is not given. No doubt the small chambers, in series, constitute the "appendages" or wings, about the Temple structure, to which these inscriptions refer; for there is no such inscription at the Temple front where we enter, and where of course there are no such chambers.
  4. Outbuildings: The chronicler states that there were two other buildings, each 100 cubits in length and 50 cubits in width, one of the south (left), the other to the north (right), and each 20 cubits removed from the Temple itself (Folio LXVII recto). What their use was we do not know. Each building has two large chambers with an outside entrance but no communicating doors. We consider first the structure to the left (or south) of the Temple proper: It is inscribed Latitudo L cubitorum (‘breadth fifty cubits'). The chamber immediately before us (east) contains the words Pars orientalis edificii australis (‘East part of the edifice to the south'); while the adjoining chamber is inscribed Pars posterior edificii australia (‘Rear part of the edifice to the south'). Let us next consider the structure to the right (north): the chamber immediately before us (east) is inscribed Pars orientalis edificii aquilonaris (‘East part of the edifice to the north'); while the adjoining chamber is entitled Pars posterior edificii aquilonaris (‘Rear part of the edifice to the north'). Over the breadth of this building are the words Longitude L cubitorum (‘Length fifty cubits'), which should have read Latitudo L cubitorum (‘Breadth fifty cubits').


Elevation of the East Gate and Appendages. Immediately below the ground plan of the rear portion of the Temple structure (Folio LXVI verso) is the Aspectus altitudinis templi portae orientalis et appenditorum secundum ipsum Ezechielem XII (‘Elevation of the east gate of the Temple, and its appendages, according to Ezekiel XII itself'). The illustration portrays a medieval structure, the general features of which give the impression of a castle, or other fortified place; but the windows and doors are purely gothic, even to the extent of stained glass and a rose window above the door. The structure is three stories in height and flanked on either side by towers of the same altitude, designated coclea. The walls are crenellated, and the roofs of the towers cone-shaped; but the palm branches are omitted. The stories of the structure are inscribed:

  1. Mansio templi inferior habens XL cubitos altitudinis. (‘Lower abode of the Temple, having an altitude of 40 cubits').
  2. Mansio media templi habens XL cubitos in altitudine. (‘Middle abode of the Temple which has a height of 40 cubits').
  3. Mansio templi superior habens 40 cubitos altitudinis. (‘Upper abode of the Temple which has a height of 40 cubits').

To the left of this imposing façade, and apparently but not actually leaning against the same, is a miniature three-story appendage or wing, beside which we find this inscription: Haec appendentia stant retro coclea sed qui non possunt sic depingi. Ideo hic posita sunt (‘These appendages stand behind the tower, but they are not able to be depicted thus. Therefore they are placed here').


Elevation of the North Edifice. To the right of the foregoing, being the lower right hand corner of the page is a small three-story structure with crenellated walls but no towers. It is entitled Aspectus edificii aquilonaris secundum altitudinem et longitudinem secundum Ezech. XII. Et simile edificium debet imaginari situatum esse in parte australi templi (‘Elevation of the north edifice according to its height and length, according to Ezekiel XII. And a similar edifice should be imagined to have been situated on the south part of the Temple'). All this undoubtedly refers to the outbuildings on either side of the Temple itself, and which are shown on the ground plan of the rear portion of the Temple properties (Folio LXI verso, first illustration).

Temple Illustrations continued on Folio LXVII verso.