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

Ferrara (Ferraria), the renowned noble city, located on the ancient river Po (Padus), as the histories say, was first surrounded by walls and beautified around the Year of the Lord 700 by Smaragdus, the exarch of Italy. The origin of its name lies in the fact that from ancient times it was the custom of the archbishops of the churches to name the three regions belonging to their churches after the three metals; as Aureolum, the city of gold; Argenta, the city of silver, and Ferrara, the city of iron. From the time of its building, this city remained on the side of Ravenna and also on that of Rome, against the Lombards; and when the Lombards were defeated by Carolus and the Christian churches were surrendered, Ferrara remained steadfast in its allegiance. Afterwards, at the time when the German emperor began to strive against the churches, this city pursued a wavering course, taking the part of each side in turn. In the 11th century of the Lord, Matilda the countess, with the aid of Venice and Ravenna, took this city from the emperor Henry III, the enemy of the churches. And one hundred twenty-one years later (when the marquises of Este were mighty in friendship and riches at Ferrara), a man of Ferrara, named Salinguerra, at the instigation of the emperor Frederick Barbarosa, took this city, and he reigned there for nineteen years; but in the Year of Salvation twelve hundred forty he was driven out by the Roman Pope Innocent the Fourth with the help and support of the Venetians. Before long the marquises of Este endeavored to subject this city to their rule. But sixty-eight years later, under Pope Clement the Fifth, Azzo, the marquis of Este, espoused Beatrice, the wife of the king of Naples, he was imprisoned by Fresco, his son, at the instance of his stepmother; and with the help of the Venetians the son took Ferrara. When he observed that the Ferrarans were about to submit themselves to the Church, he burnt half the city in revenge. For this wrong the citizens drove him out, giving themselves over to the Venetians in the hope of being faithfully protected by them. And so the marquises were driven out and the Venetians took over the city upon its surrender by the citizens; and the Venetians refused to give it up, although Pope Clement the Fifth placed a ban against the city of Venice, by which all her possessions in Gaul and Britain were severed from her. Nor did they obey the papal command until they were forced to do so by the papal legate with the assistance of the Florentines and King Charles by force of arms. Afterwards Ferrara, under the rule of the family d’Este, was always obedient to the Church, with the condition that it should annually pay to the Roman Church ten thousand golden pieces. Likewise there were various understandings with the Venetians. Under the Roman pontiff Eugenius the Fourth a council was held here. Here also is a university, from which many highly learned men came forth.[Ferrara is a city and archiepiscopal see of Emilia in Italy, and capital of the province of the same name. It is located 30 miles north by northeast of Bologna. Its origin is uncertain, but it was probably a settlement formed by the inhabitants of the lagoons at the mouth of the Po. It first appears in a document of Aistulf of 753 or 754 as a city in the exarchate of Ravenna. After 984 we find it a fief of Tedaldo, count of Modena and Canossa, nephew of the emperor Otto I. Later it made itself independent, and in 1101 the Countess Matilda took it by siege. At this time it was dominated mainly by several great families, among them the Adelardi. In 1146 the property of Gugliemo Adelardi passed as the dowry of his niece Marchessela to Azzolino d’Este. After many struggles Azzo Novello was nominated perpetual podesta in 1242. In 1259 he took Ezzelino of Verona prisoner in battle. His grandson, Obizzo II (1264-1293) succeeded him, and the pope nominated him captain-general and defender of the states of the Church; and the house of Este was from this point on settled in Ferrara. Borso received the fiefs of Modena and Reggio from Frederick III as first duke in 1452, and in 1470 was made duke of Ferrara by Pope Paul II. Ercole I (1471-1505) and his son Alfonso I carried on war with Venice when the was written.]