First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…
FOLIO XCIIII verso and XCV recto

The Ancestry of John the Baptist is shown by a woodcut at the top of Folio XCIV verso. The genealogy begins with a dual portrait of Ismeria (sister of Anna) and her spouse—an elderly couple, she with a halo. From her a branch runs which divides and proceeds to Eliud (not mentioned in the text) on the left, and to Elizabeth, who is shown in a dual portrait with her husband, Zacharias. From them another branch proceeds to their son John the Baptist. The entire ensemble consists of a single woodcut. The portrait of John's parents is not the same as that shown on the recto of this folio, although the general characteristics of dress are the same. John the Baptist is shown as an elderly man, and in symbolism of his mission he holds in his left hand a large book, upon which rests a little lamb. In his right hand is the banner of the Resurrection. About his head is a simple halo. This genealogy accompanies the text as given in the third paragraph of Folio XCIIII verso.


The Descendants of Anna are represented in a single woodcut on the recto of folio XCV, and which covers the greater portion of the page, on which begins the Sixth Age of the World. At the top of the woodcut appears Anna, who was married three times. Beside her and to the left is her first husband Joachim; to the right her second husband Cleophas, and third one Salome. Anna is shown in flowing robes, a halo about her head, her hands in an attitude of prayer.

From Joachim a single branch proceed to the Virgin Mary on the opposite folio.

From Cleophas a winding branch runs to his daughter Mary, who is shown in dual portrait with her husband Alpheus. From this couple a short branch proceeds to Joseph Justus (not mentioned in the text), and a longer one to the three sons, James Alphaeus the Lesser (Jacobus Minor), Simon Chananeus (Symon), and Judas Thaddeus (simply called Judas).

From Anna's third husband runs a long branch to the third Mary (Salome) portrayed with Zebedee. From her there is a branch to John the Evangelist and James the Greater (Jacobus Major).

Lower right and left hand corners of the woodcut are filled in, apparently for good measure, with portraits of Herod the Great (Ascolonita) and Mariamne (Mariamnes), one of his wives. Herod is in medieval armor and holds a large sword in his left hand, while in his right is a scepter.


The Lineage of Christ is here continued from Folio LXXXVIII verso, to which Joseph is now added.


Events in the Life of Mary are given in three woodcuts:

  1. The Birth of the Virgin Mary. The mother, Anna, is shown in bed, attended by two women who are bringing her drink and food. Beside he bed is a small cradle out of which peeps the infant Mary.
  2. The Espousal of the Virgin Mary. Joseph stands at the left, Mary at the right. A Catholic priest wearing a huge mitre stands between them and joins their hands in marriage.
  3. The Annunciation. Mary appears at the right kneeling in prayer. The angel Gabriel, scepter in hand, has suddenly alighted at the left, and hails the surprised Mary as the future mother of Christ.


Herod's Birthday and the Decapitation of John the Baptist. Herod Antipas is celebrating his birthday. The celebrants are seated at the table. The king himself sits at the right, and oddly enough in a seemingly uncomfortable niche in the wall. Beside him sits his wife Herodias, and to her left is her daughter Salome. Attendants are busy about the table; a cupbearer brings in a large goblet; another attendant stirs the air with a besom of peacock feathers. We must assume that Salome has completed her dance, and that it has pleased the king, since he has clearly fulfilled his promise to give her whatever she should ask for. The executioner of John the Baptist has done his work and now stands against a wall to the left of the table, resting an elbow on his deadly tool, a huge sword, which one would hardly believe this diminutive officer able to wield. The head of John the Baptist rests on the platter in the center of the table, as thought it were the pièce de résistance of the banquet. Why Salome should raise her index finger, or why her father should raise two, apparently in religious significance, is not understandable. The face and the attitude of the king indicate that the whole affair has left a bad taste in his mouth. His wife Herodias seems better pleased. Salome, the dominating figure in the woodcut, poises the sharp point of a knife on the forehead of a the victim.