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

Year of the World 5833

Year of Christ 634

Pope Theodore (Theodorus), a Greek whose father was Theodore, a bishop of Jerusalem, upon becoming pope carefully considered all things necessary to the advancement of spiritual Christian life; and he conducted himself toward the people, particularly the poor, with wonderful goodness. He ordained that the Easter wax tapers should be blessed on Easter eve. And he ordered that no one should be given a divorce who contracted a marriage after an invalid vow. This pope condemned to exile Pyrrhus (Pirrhum), the Constantinopolitan patriarch, and Sergius, and other heretics. He brought the bodies of Primus and Felicianus, the saintly martyrs, to Rome, and buried them in the Church of Stephen, the first martyr, and beautified their resting place. Afterwards he built a church and two chapels. He died in the sixth year, fifth month and 18th day of his pontificate and was buried in the Basilica of Peter on the day before the Ides of May. The bishop’s chair then was vacant fifty-two days.[Theodore I, the son of a bishop, was born in Jerusalem. He succeeded John IV as pope, holding the Roman see from 642 to 649. The monothelite question was still raging, and the Roman bishop took a lively interest in it. In a Roman synod he excommunicated Pyrrhus, the Monothelite patriarch of Constantinople, signing the document with an admixture of ink and consecrated wine. This action produced little or no effect in the East. Some additional strength was, however, imparted to the Roman see in his time by the decision of an African synod to the effect that all matters of religion be laid before the apostolic chair in order to derive from this source an agreement in true doctrine for all churches.]

Pope Martin (Martinus) the First, a native of Tudertis whose father was Fabricius, was made pope after Theodore. He sent a messenger to Constantinople to admonish Paul to turn from his errors and to adhere to the truth; but as Paul ignored this papal admonition the pope deposed him from his office. This displeased the emperor Constans, who, in response, made Olympius (Olimpium), his chamberlain, an exarch of Italy, with instructions to seize Martin and send him to him. During this controversy the Saracens at Alexandria prepared for war; and they came to Rhodes with a mighty fleet, took the city, and demolished the very famous Colossus, the bronze of which they loaded on nine hundred camels.[See text and note, Rhodes, Folio XXVI verso.] However, Constans did not change his attitude even in the face of such calamity and distress, but sent another exarch, Theodore Calliopas, into Italy under orders that he bring to the emperor, the pope, Martin, in bonds. Now as he was well received by the Romans, he approached the pope with feigned friendly greetings, at the same time throwing chains about his neck and sending him to Constantinople. From there Martin was exiled to the same place to which the Blessed Clemens, the Roman bishop[‘Roman bishop’ (or ‘bishop of Rome’) is another way of saying ‘pope’.], had been sent once upon a time; and as this Martin was there steeped in much sorrow and need, and depressed, he finally died in exile in the 6th year, first month and 26th day of his pontificate, having given many proofs of his virtue; and he has been illustrious to the present day; and for these reasons he is numbered among the holy martyrs. The day of his commemoration is November 10th. The chair at Rome then was vacant 14 months; and no one can say anything for certain concerning this very holy man’s death.[Martin I succeeded Theodore in 649. He had previously acted as papal apocrisarius at Constantinople. Among his first official acts was the summoning of a synod to deal with the Monothelite heresy. It met in the Lateran church, and was attended by 105 bishops. It held five sessions, and in twenty canons condemned the Monothelite heresy, its authors, and the writings by which it had been promulgated. In this condemnation were not only included the Ecthesis, or exposition of faith of the Patriarch Sergius, for which the emperor Heraclius had stood sponsor, but also the Typus of Paul, the successor of Sergius, which had the support of the reigning emperor, Constans II. Martin published the decrees of his Lateran synod in an encyclical, and Constans replied by enjoining his exarch Olympius to seize the pope and send him prisoner to Constantinople. And so the exarch proceeded, and had already attempted to compel compliance with the emperor’s orders, but in vain; and he had even become reconciled to the bishop. The emperor, however, sent into Italy another exarch, Theodore Calliopas, who, in 653, caused Martin to be seized in the Lateran Church. He was first transported to the island of Naxos in the Aegean from where, after a year’s imprisonment, he was sent to Constantinople. Here he was severely treated. He was brought to trial on a charge of conspiracy against the emperor, and of being in league with the Saracens. Although not convicted, he was condemned to death. The dying patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, begged the emperor to spare his life; and in 655 he was banished to Cherson, where he arrived March 26, 655, and died the following September. Miracles are said to have been performed at his tomb.]

Year of the World 5843

Year of Christ 644

Pope Eugenius the First, a Roman whose father was Rufianus from the Caelian Hill, became pope after Martin, and at the very time that Peter was installed at Constantinople to succeed Paul, the heretic. And although said Peter in some measure observed the Christian practises more than Paul had done, he did not entirely follow them in manner and form as they were prescribed by the holy Roman Church. This pope was a man of marvelous goodness, piety, gentleness, graciousness, and kindness. He ordained that no monk should leave his monastery on any account whatsoever without the leave of his superior. He died in the second year and ninth month of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter on the fourth day of the Nones of June. The chair then was vacant for 1 month and 28 days.[Eugenius I was appointed pope by Constans II on the banishment of Martin, and held the see for three years. At the height of the Monothelite crisis he showed greater deference than his predecessor to the emperor’s wishes, and took no public stand against the patriarchs of Constantinople, though he held no communication with them.]

Pope Vitalianus, a Signinian from the town of the Volsci whose father was Anastasius, became pope. Being a very good man and diligent in divine service, he made many regulations pertaining to the divine office; and (as some would have it) permitted the use of the organ. He sent Theodore, the archbishop, and Adrianus (Hadrianum), the abbot, highly learned men, to Britain, and called England, to maintain the faith. He died in the 14th year and 6th month of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter on the 6th day of the Kalends of February. The bishop’s chair then was vacant 4 months and 15 days.

Vitalianus, Roman bishop from 657 to 672, succeeded Eugenius I. In the Monothelite controversy then raging, he refrained from express condemnation of the Typus of Constans II. The chief episode in his pontificate was the visit of Constans to Rome. On this occasion the pope showed the emperor great honors, a deference which the latter requited by stripping all the bronze ornaments of the city – even to the tiles of the Pantheon – sending them to Constantinople.

Vitalianus failed in attempting to call to account the archbishop of Ravenna, who was properly independent of Rome, and who, under the protection of the exarch, retorted his anathemas, and held him at defiance. At his death his archbishop (Maurice) earnestly charged the clergy never to submit to Rome.

In 667 Egbert and Oswy, kings of Kent and Northumberland, sent Wighard to Rome for consecration as archbishop of Canterbury, to which office he had been elected. But Wighard, with most of his suite having died at Rome, Vitalianus selected and consecrated as his successor at Canterbury, one Theodore, a Greek by birth, but who had been brought up as a monk in the Roman church. The new archbishop was a man of learning and zeal, and succeeded in promoting the good order an discipline of the English Church.

Pope Adeodatus, a Roman whose father was Jovinian, was elevated from monk to pope. He was a pious and gracious man, kind to the poor, good to guests, merciful to the indigent. He restored and dedicated the Church of the Blessed Peter on the Via Portuensis next to the bridge of Meruli (Pons Meruli) at that time. He improved with new buildings the monastery of Saint Erasmus (Herasmi) on the Caelian Hill, in which he lived a monastic life; and to destroy strange omens that often appeared in his time, he conducted many litanies.[The word ‘omens’ is one possible translation of the Latin prodigia, which can also mean ‘signs’, ‘portents’, and ‘monsters’. Schedel’s text is a very radical abridgement of his source, the 9th-century (s.v. Adeodatus), which talks about the prodigia taking place after the death of Adeodatus and specifies them as consisting of rain, thunder and lighting (the latter causing the deaths of men and cattle). The text then adds that because of the Litanies said every day God was eventually placated.] Finally in the fourth year, second month, and fifth day of his pontificate this very holy man died; and he was buried in the Basilica of Peter mourned by many on the sixth day of the Kalends of July. The chair then was vacant four months and 20 days.[Adeodatus became pope in 672 and was succeeded by Donus in 676.]