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

Maurice (Mauricius) was a son-in-law of the emperor Tiberius, and the first of imperial lineage to be elevated to the office of emperor; and although he was a Cappadocian, he was called upon to assume the sovereignty because of his virtue and firmness in the dispatch of matters of State. The Lombards, for a period of twenty years after the death of their king Alboin, had been governed by dukes; and now they set up a king for themselves; and him they called Flavius, as all preceding Lombard kings had called themselves. Maurice undertook to drive the Lombards out of Italy, and asked Sigebert, king of the Franks, to make war. Sigebert quickly collected a great army out of Gaul and Germany. He fought a great battle with the Lombard king, but was defeated. This victory so encouraged the Lombards that they marched forward to the Sicilian Sea, bringing the Italian states under their power. They besieged Rome for a long time, but could not take it. Now while the Lombards rejoiced in the good fortune of victory, and fell into all manner of vices, Maurice made a law that no Roman not incapacitated or weakened by wounds before the expiration of his service should enter upon the knighthood of the Lord. But Gregory admonished him not to extend his hand into spiritual things, nor attack the clergy. Nevertheless Maurice promoted John, the Constantinopolitan bishop, to an ecumenical patriarch, and admonished Gregory to submit to this. But Gregory answered that the power to bind and loose had been given to Peter and his successors, and not to the Constantinopolitan bishop. Still not satisfied, Maurice moved the Lombards to attack the Romans; and they besieged Rome for a whole year; but not venturing to take the city, they returned to Milan. Maurice rued his treatment of Gregory and accorded him kindly honor. Yet Maurice was a useful man for the common good; for he often fought against the enemy and defeated them. Finally Phocas was elected emperor by the army, and Maurice was slain in the twenty-first year of his reign.[Maurice (Mauricius Flavius Tiberius), Eastern Roman emperor from 582 to 602, was of Roman descent, though a native of Arabissus in Cappadocia. He joined the army and fought with distinction in the Persian War (578-581). At the age of 43 he was declared Caesar by the dying emperor Tiberius II, who bestowed upon him his daughter Constantina. Maurice brought the Persian war to a successful close by the restoration of Chosroes II to the throne (591). On the northern frontier he bought off the Avars, but after 595 inflicted several defeats upon them through his general Crispus. But his strict discipline provoked mutiny in the army on the Danube. The revolt spread to the popular factions in Constantinople and Maurice consented to abdicate. He withdrew to Chalcedon, but was put to death by his successor, Phocas, after witnessing the slaughter of his five sons.]

Phocas took over the sovereignty of the Roman Empire after the death of Maurice and his sons Theodosius, Tiberius, Constantinus, and Advocatus; and he reigned eight years. He was made emperor when he arrived at Constantinople; and although he induced the people to have great faith in him, many were deceived by the result of his dealings; for during his time the Persians under Chosroes (Cosdra) overran the Roman provinces and defeated the army of this emperor. They harassed Jerusalem, and dishonored and destroyed the churches, taking the holy cross from there. They took away as prisoner Zacharias, the holy man, and patriarch of the same city. For this reason Phocas was scorned by all, and particularly by the Roman senate, and was deprived of his sovereignty and of his life by Heraclius, the general of the army and governor of the African provinces. And Heraclius took into the sovereignty with him his son.[Phocas, Eastern Roman Emperor (602-610) was a Cappadocian of humble origin. He was only a centurion when chosen by the army of the Danube to lead it against Constantinople. A revolt within the city soon resulted in the abdication of the reigning emperor Maurice, and the elevation of Phocas to the throne. Phocas proved entirely incapable of governing the empire. He consented to pay an increased tribute to the Avars and allowed the Persians to overrun the Asiatic provinces and to penetrate to the Bosphorus. When the African governor Heraclius declared war against him, Phocas was deposed with scarcely a struggle in 610. He died in the same year on the scaffold.]

At Saint Peter’s, in Rome, Pope Gregory (Gregorius), that most holy man, held a council of twenty-four bishops; and in that council many points of our faith were duly considered. The proceedings of the four preceding councils, held at Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, were publicly confirmed, while the proceedings of the fifth one were recognized. Through the same council Gregory ordained that no man of two marriages should become a priest, and that a bishop should be consecrated but once. He also ordained that he would observe the last decisions in all matters; also that the inception of the mass was to be with a verse from the Psalter; that Kyrie Eleison should be sung or spoken nine times, and Alleluia.[Kyrie Eleison is Greek, and literally translates as, ‘Lord, have mercy’: a phrase used as a petition in many liturgies of the Eastern and Western churches as well as in the Anglican communion, together with the additional response ‘Christ, have mercy’. The first movement of the mass in the Roman Catholic Church begins with these words set to music.] He also ordained and confirmed the great litany and the order of the churchly offices.[Gregory’s work in connection with the liturgy and church music is a subject of dispute. If we are to credit a 9th-century biographer, Gregory abbreviated and simplified the Sacrament of Gelasius, producing a revised edition with which his own name has become associated, and which represents the ground work of the modern Roman Missal. But though it is certain that he introduced three changes in the liturgy (namely, the addition of some words in the prayer Hanc igitur, the recitation of the Pater Noster immediately before the fraction of the Host, and the chanting of the Allelulia after the Gradual besides a paschal time) and two others in the ceremonial (forbidding deacons to perform any musical portion of the service except the chanting of the gospel, and subdeacons to wear chasubles), no evidence warrants belief that the Gregorian Sacrementary is his work. A doubtful tradition ascribes to Gregory the compilation of an Antiphonary, the revision and rearrangement of the system of church music, and the foundation of the Roman Schola Cantorum.]

Afterwards Pope Boniface III also held a council of 72 priests and 33 deacons; and it was ordained that, under pain of excommunication, no successor was to be elected within three days after the death of the pope or bishop. Those also were to be excommunicated, who through gift or favor sought papal or temporal office. He also ordained that all elections of bishops should be by the clergy and the people, and that such elections were to be given as much force as if sanctioned by the princes of the state. He also ordained that a priest about to say mass should always place a clean cloth, called the corporal, upon the altar.