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

Sebald (Sebaldus), most worthy and holy confessor, flourished, as some say, in Germany at this time for his learning and piety. He was born of noble parents, the son of a king of Denmark and his chaste queen, who through vows and prayers brought forth this fruit through God. From youth he was held to discipline and study of the scriptures. He journeyed to Paris to study the liberal arts, and having become highly knowledgable in them, he espoused a beautiful maiden of royal French ancestry. But he scorned his kingdom and all worldly pomp, and leaving his most beautiful spouse by night, secluded himself as a hermit in a distant region; and there he lived in piety for fifteen years. Prompted by his devotion he went to Rome, from where Pope Gregory the Second sent him forth to preach to the Germans. The brothers Willibald and Wunibald were his companions. He was illustrious for his learning and virtue, and for his miracles among the Lombards, and later at Regensburg; and finally at Nuremberg, where in a hermitage in the forest he lived a contemplative, serviceable and full life unto his end. He not only instructed the people but became renowned for his miracles. Having reached a great age he went to Saint Martin’s Chapel at Nuremberg, where now stands the Benedictine monastery of Saint Egidius; and there he died in blessedness. His holy remains were carried to the city for burial by unbridled oxen; and there a famous basilica was built in his name. In view of his many miracles the Roman popes caused his name to be inscribed among the number of holy confessors. Pope Martin the Fifth ordained that the festival of Saint Sebald should be celebrated on the 13th day of the Kalends of September. Saint Sebald, patron and house-father of Nuremberg, is honored by the Nurembergers with worthy celebrations; for through the services of its most worthy patron the city has been enhanced in honor and dignity.[Sebald (Sebaldus) is represented in the popular legends and traditions of Nuremberg as the son of a Danish king. It is most probable that he was of Anglo-Saxon lineage, and that he left England with Boniface and his companions to carry on missionary work on the continent of Europe. His name anglicized is Saint Siward, Seward, or Sigward, and we find him in association with Saint Williband and Saint Willibrod, and other Anglo-Saxon missionaries. It appears he traveled through the north of Germany to Nuremberg and took up his residence near the city, preaching, converting, baptizing, and performing miracles until the time of his death, fixed at about 770. As an object of veneration Sebald belongs exclusively to Nuremberg, but the rarity and value of some of the old prints and woodcuts in which he is represented have spread his name at least among collectors and amateurs.]

Luitprand (Luitprandus), son of Aisprand (Aisprandus), king of the Lombards, received the kingdom while his father was yet alive; and he reigned thirty-one years and seven months, and was well worthy of the sovereignty. He was tall, possessed an erect strong body, and was so active and alert that no one was regarded as more skilled than he. He was so esteemed for righteousness and goodness that it was difficult to say in which of the virtues he excelled. He was also a very Christian man, and such a lover of devotion to God that he never permitted a church to be built without his help and revenues. At Pavia he also erected and adorned many churches. Charles (Carolus) Martel (Marcellus) was his godfather and very friendly toward him, sending him many men from Italy to help him against the Saracens. He also sent him his son Pepin (Pipinum), in order that he might cut his hair (as is the custom). Luitprand received him very kindly, and sent him back to his parents with presents. However, in the twelfth year of his reign he was moved by the ambition to rule; and he captured the cities round about and undertook the siege of the city of Rome. For that reason Pope Gregory (Gregorius) sent messengers to Charles (Carolum) the king of France, pleading with him to come to the assistance of the city of Rome and the churches. At the request of King Charles, Luitprand abandoned his undertaking, giving up to the Romans many of the cities he had wrested from them.[After the death of Grimoald, king of the Lombards, there followed a series of revolutions (671-711), during which six kings were on the Lombard throne. However, the prosperity of the Lombards was once more restored on the accession of Luitprand in 711. He framed wise laws, corrected evils, and won the favor of the nobility by his courage and prudence. But ambition led him to undertake the conquest of all Italy. Taking advantage of the internal strife caused by the iconoclastic edicts of Leo III, the Eastern emperor, he invaded the territory of the exarchate and took Ravenna. His success aroused the jealousy of Pope Gregory II, who, though delighted with the defeat of the iconoclasts, was disturbed by the growth of the Lombard power. When the Lombards entered Roman territory, the pope made an alliance with the Venetians whom he instigated to aid the exarch in recovering Ravenna. The people supported the pope. Leo sent emissaries to arrest him, but he was saved from imprisonment by the intervention of the Lombard king. The Italians revolted against Leo; but the pope dreaded Luitprand, and sought the protection of Charles Martel, the Duke of France. Gregory II died in the midst of the negotiations, which were pursued by Gregory III. Ravenna was taken from the exarch, who fled, and Italy was forever lost to the Eastern Roman Empire, only the pope and Lombard king remaining to dispute the sovereignty. Gregory III appealed to Martel as his predecessor had done; but the Frankish ruler died (741) before he was able to give assistance. Two years later Luitprand died also. He was succeeded in turn by Hildebrand and Rachis. In 749 Rachis was succeeded by Aistulf, and during his reign the Lombard kingdom reached the zenith of its greatness.]

Richoldus, Duke of Frisia, was in this year converted by the preaching of Wulfram (Wolframmii), the bishop; but when he went to be baptized, he was seized with doubt; and he withdrew one foot, inquiring whether most of his forefathers were in hell or in Paradise. And when he was told that most of them were in hell, he hurriedly withdrew the other foot also, saying that it is better to follow the many than the few. And so he was cheated by his own folly, and he was taken away by a death upon which he had not reckoned.

Two comets were seen in January of this year for 15 days in the sky. One of them appeared before sunrise, the other followed at vespers.

Othmar (Othmarus), a German, educated in the Scriptures and in virtue, was consecrated as a priest. Because of his pious conduct and renown, Count Victor elevated him to the prelacy, and he was elected abbot. He greatly enlarged the monastery with estates and buildings, and led a strict and well regulated life. He often visited the poor, and also built a hospital. Yet he was persecuted by those who envied him. A woman accused him, and he was sent into exile; and there he died. After ten years his body was translated over the Lake of Constance to the monastery of Saint Gall, in the presence of great miracles and the stilling of the turbulent waters. And as often as the little barrel full of wine that he used for refreshing the monks was drunk, it experienced no loss of wine.[ The last sentence in this paragraph is not in the German edition of the .]


Sebald (S. Sebaldus), patron saint of Nuremberg, is here represented as a sturdy bearded pilgrim and missionary, with a symbolical shell on his hat, a staff in his left hand, and in his right a model of his church with its two towers, one of the most venerable edifices of Nuremberg. He is so represented in a statue by Peter Vischer, and in a fine woodcut by Albrecht Dürer. The type of hat is the usual one for pilgrims.


Othmar (Othmarus), represented as a monk—a small cask, with a carrying handle in his left hand; crozier in his right. The cask may symbolize the fact that St. Othmar may have performed the office of cellarer (a sort of monastic wine steward) for the monastery where he resided.