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

Caesara (Cesaria), queen of the Persians, because of her devotion to the Christian faith, at this time, without the knowledge of her husband, and accompanied by a small number of her faithful and confidential followers, left her homeland in disguise and came to Constantinople in the year 683. She was honorably received by the emperor, and a number of days later was baptized at her own request, the emperor acting as her godfather. When the news reached the king of Persia, he speedily sent his messenger to Constantinople to demand the return of his wife by the emperor. In response the emperor said that the queen was free to stay or to return home; and when she was asked, she said that she would never return unless the king became a Christian. Before long the king came to Constantinople with forty thousand men. He was well received by the emperor, and, together with his men, was baptized and confirmed in the true faith, the emperor acting as godfather and honoring him with many presents and gifts; after which the king, together with his spouse, joyfully returned to his kingdom.[ Fredegarius (Fredegar in Frankish) is the name of the unknown chronicler who continued into the seventh century the history of Gregory of Tours. His history covers the period from around 584 to 641, while several supplements by unknown hands bring the records passing under this name down to the year 768, i.e. to the period of Charlemagne. Fredegarius is invaluable for the facts of this otherwise obscure period, and his chronicle is not a mere series of annals, but often exhibits a human interest (such as in this excerpt about Caesara) that can be quite fascinating.]

Rothari (Rotharis), the king of the Lombards, reigned 16 years after his predecessor, Arioaldus. Although gifted with many virtues, he was spotted with the Arian stain, bringing all the Lombards under his influence. Thus he had two bishops in each place, one a Christian, the other an Arian. In military affairs and in battle he was so efficient and ingenious that he brought under his dominion Etruria and Liguria, together with the maritime countries as far as Massilia (Marseilles). He was also so intelligent that he assembled in proper order in a book all the laws that were in use, which he called the Edict; for prior to that time the Lombards had been without laws for a period of seventy-one years. Finally, after a battle with Theodorus, the exarch of Italy, in which the latter lost seven thousand men, Rothari died, leaving no sons.[Rothari came to the Lombard throne pursuant to the following succession: Agilulf (See Folio CL recto) was followed by Adelwald, (615-625) Arthari’s son. Adelwald was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Ariowald (625-636). Upon the latter’s death, his widow married Rothari, making him king (636-652). Rothari was a distinguished ruler. He limited the power of the Greeks in Italy, and in 644 caused the laws of the people to be codified in a book, called the . Although the chronicler states that he died without sons, history informs us that he was succeeded by a son named Rodoald.]

Rodoald (Rodoaldus), his (i.e., Rothari’s) son, succeeded him and ruled for five years. To him the daughter of Queen Theodolinda was married. He sank so low in sensuality that he committed adultery with the wife of another, who stabbed him to death.[Rodoald, who succeeded Rothari on the throne of the Lombard kingdom in the year 652, was slain in 653 by a Lombard whose wife he had seduced.]

Aripert (Aripertus) reigned after him (Rodoald) for 9 years. He built a beautiful church at Pavia in honor of our Savior, and died leaving two sons, Berthari (Pertheritem) and Godepert (Gundibertum), as successors to the kingdom. During this same period the Lombards were at peace with Rome and Ravenna; but they incited all manner of tumult among themselves. Now when Grimoald (Grimoaldus), Lombard duke of Beneventum, learned that these two brothers were at odds, he came to Pavia with a large army, driving Berthari, the younger brother, out of Pavia, and Godepert out of Milan. When this dissension became known to Clovis, king of the Franks, he sent a large force of men into Italy; but Grimoald routed them. Some write that the Lombards, anticipating the Gauls, feigned mass retreat, leaving behind them their camp and wagon fortifications, in which they left a large quantity of wine, in the meantime secreting themselves in ambush at no great distance. The wine gave the Gauls great joy, and they sated themselves with it until they fell asleep. Immediately, then, they were slain like cattle.[Aripert I, an Agilulfian, succeeded Rodoald as king of the Lombards, and reigned from 653 to 651. He held himself out as a patron of the arts and literature, and was succeeded by his sons Berthari and Godepert (each has multiple spellings), who promptly fell into a dispute for the sole sovereignty. Both sought the aid of Grimoald, mighty duke of Beneventum, who was married to Aribert’s daughter. Grimoald slew Godebert in Pavia and drove Berthari out of Milan; after which Grimoald himself was elected king by the people (662-672). He beat back the attacks of the Greeks and Franks and stemmed the invasions of the Avars. He also made new laws for the internal government. On the death of Grimoald in the year 672, his illegitimate son, named Romuald was confined to Beneventum, while the people recalled Berthari as their king (672-690). Berthari was followed by his son Cunibert (690-703).]

The Saracens at this time consumed so much wealth that, after they had subdued and calmly taken possession of the provinces in Asia that used to belong to the Romans, they took for granted they would invade Europe. And thus, sailing with a great navy from Alexandria, they arrived at Rhodes, an island of the Roman Empire. There they took the city, and demolished the very famous Colossus (from which the principal city of the island took its name), the bronze of which they loaded on nine hundred camels. And with Rhodes devastated the Saracens sailed into the Aegean Sea and afflicted many islands of the Cyclades.[This paragraph is not in the German edition of the , perhaps because it repeats much of what was said on Folio CLIII verso in the paragraph devoted to Pope Martin: ‘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.’]

Grimoald (Grimmoaldus), tenth king of the Lombards, reigned for 9 years. This king possessed many illustrious gifts of mind and body, for he was not only possessed of intelligence and versatility in his dealings, but also was otherwise able and virtuous. He was of medium stature, strong body, bald head, long beard, and active physically and mentally. He caused blood to be let from an artery in his arm, and when he drew the bow to shoot a pigeon, the artery bled and did not cease until he died.[See note to Aribert, on this same Folio, above.]

After the death of the emperor Constantius[Constantius is Constans II.] the Saracens came with a great fleet, oppressing the city of Syracuse and the entire island. With their plunder they returned to Alexandria, also bringing with them the treasures and ornaments of the city of Rome which Constans himself had taken there.[See Constans II and note, Folio CLIIII recto, above.]

Dagobert (Dagobertus), the king of the Franks, a man of cunning intelligence, clever in counsel and deed, died about this time. His soul was released from the hands of demons by the help of Dionysius and Mauritius (Mauricii), the martyrs, and Martin, the confessor, whom he afterwards honored as his patrons and advisers for the rest of his life. He reigned 34 years and was at perpetual enmity with the English. With the co-operation of the emperor Heraclius he caused all the Jews in his kingdom to be baptized.[Dagobert I, king of the Franks, was the son of Clotaire II. In 623 his father established him as king of the region east of the Ardennes, and in 626 revived for him the ancient kingdom of Austrasia, minus Aquitaine and Provence. As Dagobert was yet but a child, he was placed under the authority of the mayor, or majordomo of the palace, named Pepin, and Arnulf, bishop of Metz. Upon the death of Clothar II in 629, Dagobert wished to establish unity in the Frankish realm and in this and the following year made expeditions into Neustria and B urgundy where he succeeded on the whole in securing recognition of his authority. Under him the Merovingian monarchy attained to its culminating point. Dagobert restored to the royal domain the lands that had been usurped by the great nobles and the Church. At Paris he maintained a luxurious, though by his own example, a disorderly court. He was a patron of the arts and delighted in the exquisite craftsmanship of his treasurer, the goldsmith St. Eloi (Eligius). His authority was recognized throughout the realm, and as a sovereign he was reckoned superior to the other barbarian kings. He entered into relations with the eastern empire, and swore a “perpetual peace” with the emperor Heraclius. He protected the church and placed illustrious prelates at the head of the bishoprics – Eloi (Eligius) at Noyon, Ouen (Audoenus) at Rouen, and Didier (Desiderius) at Cahores. His reign is also marked by the creation of numerous monasteries and by renewed missionary activity in Flanders and among the Basques. He died on January 9, 639, and was buried at St. Denis.]