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

Pope Deusdedit, a Roman whose father was Stephen the subdeacon, was a very good father who was very fond of the clergy and augmented their number. They say this man possessed such holiness that by a kiss he cured a leprous person instantly. He ordained that a godson should not marry the godchild of his godfather. In the time of this pope God permitted (as his name indicates)[Deusdedit, meaning ‘surrender to God’ or ‘God has given’.] many calamities to take place, such as earthquakes, and such rashes or sores developed as made persons susceptible to leprosy, and so deformed them that they could not be recognized. He died in the 3rd year and 23rd day of his pontificate and was buried in the Basilica of Peter on the sixth day of the Ides of November. By his death the papal chair was then vacant for one month and 16 days.[Deusdedit, or Deodatus/Adeodatus (615-618), is said to have been the first pope to use leaden seals for pontifical documents. Soon after his elevation an epidemical leprosy afflicted the poor of Rome. It communicated itself without touch, and merely by the breath of the infected; but the pope continued to visit the sick. A pious legend adds that, “One day Deodatus, desirous of encouraging the clergy to imitate his example, kissed a leper on the forehead, and the sick man was immediately cured. During his pontificate the Persians conquered Jerusalem and all Palestine, immolated priests, monks and nuns by the thousands, burned all the churches, and seized upon an innumerable quantity of sacred vessels. The exact time when this pontificate began, as well as its duration, are uncertain, but it is believed that Deusdedit died in the year 617 or 618.]

Sisebutus, a king of the Visigoths, reigned 36 years. At first he was a pagan, but later became a Christian. He brought back under his rule many Spanish provinces which had been subjugated by the Romans. Such Jews as he was able to seize in his kingdom, he forced by severe tortures to accept the Christian faith in accordance with the wishes of Heraclius. Heraclius had been warned to beware of the circumcised; yet he was afterward oppressed, not by the Jews, but by the Saracens, who also practiced circumcision. Now this king was such a powerful man that he took from the Romans all their Spanish possessions, and thus ended the Constantinopolitan imperial rule in Spain.

Pope Boniface (Bonifacius) the Fifth, of Campania, whose father was John (Joanne) began his pontificate at the time Eleutherius was dispatched to Rome by Heraclius, but made himself king of Italy.[See Eleutherius, Folio CLII recto (below), and note.] Boniface was a man of truly singlular humanity, who showed good will and mercy to the people, neglecting nothing becoming a good shepherd. He ordained that those fleeing to the churches should not be removed from them; also that the Acolytes should not touch the blood of the martyrs; and that those who injured what was holy at any place should be burned. He died in the fifth year and 10th day of his pontificate, and was buried accompanied by all the people’s tears in the Basilca of Peter. After his death the seat was vacant at that time for 13 days.

Boniface V, pope from 619 to 625, was originally from Naples, and was chosen to succeed Deusdedit, or Deodatus, also called Adeodatus, upon the latter’s death. According to Bede, this pope wrote three letters to Justus, metropolitan of Canterbury, congratulating the prelate on the success of his apostolical labors and exhorting him to persevere in his missions; he grants him the power of ordaining bishops, and, as a recompense for his zeal, he sent him the pallium.

The pope wishing, as his predecessors had done, to employ religion in extending the temporal authority of the Holy See, published in all Christian states a bull, providing that malefactors, whatever might be their crimes, could not be removed from the churches where they had taken refuge or sanctuary. This decree Boniface issued in the year 620, three hundred years after the reign of Constantine. By reason of this papal bull some have proclaimed Boniface the founder of church sanctuary. But the privilege is as old as paganism, and Christian emperors conferred it on churches long before his day. Boniface’s action was simply an official endorsement of what had gone before. The church did not set up a form of sanctuary all its own, nor did it have recourse to the laudable and rational system of cities of refuge established by the Hebrews; but it adopted it in the form known to the pagan Greeks and Romans—a form which made the church the haven of traitors, murderers, thieves and villains in general. By the laws of Justinian, in the beginning of the sixth century, murderers, adulterers, and rapists of virgins were excluded from the privilege. By the later canon law of Gratian and the papal decretals, protection was granted to all offenders except robbers, highwaymen, and those guilty of grave crimes in the church itself. All other offenders the church refused to surrender unless an oath was taken freeing them from death or mutilation.

During this pontificate appeared the famous book of John Moschus, called the Spiritual Meadow. This John was an Egyptian anchorite, who, after having been saved when his country was invaded by the Persians, had obtained the government of a convent at Rome. In his work he professes to have been an eyewitness to all the peculiar marvels he relates. Here we learn of a French monk who pushed the fanaticism of penance so far that he ate only barley bread, spread with ashes, twice a week, and slept only one night in four. Space does not permit us to multiply these fantastical tales.

Boniface died on the 25th of October, 625, after having occupied the see for 7 years and 6 months. He was interred in the cathedral of St. Peter at Rome.

Pope Honorius the First, also of Campania, whose father was Petronius, lived at the time when Theodolinda died. Not being troubled with extraneous affairs, he rejuvenated all the clergy with his learning and piety. He improved many churches at Rome, put a bronze roof on the Basilica of Peter, and erected many other churches at Rome. This very pious man died in the 12th year, 11th month and 17th day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. After his death the chair then rested one year, seven months, and 18 days.[Honorius I, pope from 625 to 638, was of noble Roman family. He continued the work of Gregory the great, especially in England. Heraclius the emperor, aided him in his difficulties with the schism of the “three chapters” in Istria and Venetia, a schism that was ended by the deposition in 628 of the schismatic patriarch Fortunatus, and the elevation of a Roman subdeacon to the patriarchate. The support given him by Constantinople may have influenced Honorius, who joined the patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria in supporting the doctrine of “one will” in Christ, and expounding this view in two letters to the patriarch Sergius. For this he was anathematized by name along with the Monothelite heretics by the council of Constantinople in 681, a condemnation afterward confirmed by more than one pope. Honorius I was succeeded by Severinus.]

Year of the World 5823

Year of Christ 624

Pope Severinus the First, a Roman whose father was Labienus, was confirmed as pope in place of the deceased Honorius by Isacius (Ycatio), the supreme ruler of all Italy; for at that time the election of a pope by the clergy was considered ineffectual unless confirmed by the emperors or their highest state representative. He was a man of exceptional kindness and devout spiritual practices; a lover of the poor, encouraging and kind to the needy; honest and gracious toward all men; and illustrious in the rebuilding and improvement of the churches. He died in the first year and second month of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter on the fourth day of the Nones of August. The chair then was vacant for four months and twenty-nine days.[Severinus, pope in 640, successor to Honorius I, occupied the papal chair only three months after his consecration, having had to wait a year and a half for its ratification by the emperor. During this long vacancy the exarch of Ravenna, supported by the military body of Rome, occupied the Lateran, and seized the treasure of the Church.]

Pope John (Ioannes) the Fourth, from Dalmatia, whose father was Venancius, as soon as he became pope, showed himself man of wonderful goodness. With the funds left by Isacius (Ysacius) he redeemed, as far as possible, all prisoners. And as soon as he had assumed the cares of his office he ordained that anyone who unlawfully dared seize the property of the church should be compelled to restore it four-fold. During the time of this pope, Rhotaris, king of the Lombards, favored the Arian errors and permitted two bishops at one and the same time, and of equal authority, in all the cities of his realm—one a Catholic, the other an Arian. But John, full of good works, died in the first year, ninth month, and ninth day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter on the fourth day of the Ides of October. The chair then was vacant for one month and thirteen days.[John IV, pope, from 640 to 642, a Dalmatian by birth, succeeded Severinus after an interval of four months. He adhered to the repudiation of the Monothelite doctrine, but endeavored to explain away the connection of Honorius I with the heresy. He was succeeded by Theodorus II.]