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

Pepin (Pipinus) the Younger, son of Charles Martel (Caroli Marcelli), was appointed mayor of the palace in France upon the death of his father, and excelled his father and his ancestors in glory, honor and renown. To speak of all his proceedings against the Germans, Aquitainians and Burgundians would require too much time and space. Although he was administering all the affairs of the nation of the Franks and of their king, Childeric, in his name and stead, he encountered more opposition on the part of this feeble minded King Childeric than from any other source; for which reason, as the writers of the history of the Franks state, the nobility and people of this nation, having compared the virtue and ability of Pepin with the unfitness of Childeric, sought the counsel of Pope Zachary as to whether they should any longer endure this incompetent king, or bestow the sovereignty to the more deserving Pepin. And when the pope answered that the care of the state should be in the hands of him who is most worthy of it, Pepin was declared king by the common consent of the Franks, while Childeric was consecrated as a cleric. And so ended the rule of the Merovingian house in Gaul, which had reigned under twenty-one kings over a period of 296 years. Pepin was now confirmed by Pope Zachary, and later by Pope Stephen. The Roman Church called upon him to assume leadership in a war against Aistulf, the Lombard king. He besieged him at Pavia, and Aistulf sued for peace. From that point on Pepin daily enhanced the reputation and might of France; and when he returned from Italy, Tassilo (Taxillo), duke of Bavaria, became a vassal to Pepin; and the Saxons offered him three hundred horsemen, to be employed wherever he might have occasion. And now, having participated in many wars, and being burdened with age, he resigned these matters to his son Charles. And Charles commenced his knightly career with good fortune. Seven years later Aquitaine was subjugated to the kingdom of the Franks. At the same time Pepin died at Thuron, near St. Denis.[Pepin or Pippin (III), called ‘the Short’ or ‘the Younger’, was the younger son of Charles Martel. Before his death in 741, the father had divided the kingdom of the Franks between his two sons Carloman and Pepin, giving Carloman the East and Pepin the West. Since 737 there had been no king in the Frankish realm. The two brothers were officially called majores palatii (major-domos, or mayors of the palace), while the chroniclers called them simply principes (‘princes’ or ‘rulers’). In 743, however, the mayors decided to appoint a king, and they chose Childeric III, who was apparently connected with the Merovingian family. But Childeric was a mere figurehead, and had no power. The two brothers presided over the tribunals, convoked the councils at which the Frankish church was reformed, assembled the hosts and made war, jointly defeating and subduing Duke Hunald of Aquitaine. In 747 Carloman unexpectedly abdicated, became a monk, and retired to a monastery near Rome, leaving Pepin sole master. In 751, Pepin, after consulting Pope Zachary, took the title of king, removing the politically impotent Childeric to a monastery. He then caused himself to be crowned by Boniface. His reign was marked by important events—visits from the pope, expeditions into Italy, and the creation of the papal states by conferring on the pope the Exarchate of Ravenna, which he had wrested from Aistulf, king of the Lombards. Pepin took Septimania from the Arabs and Aquitaine from its duke. He intervened in Germany where he forced Tassilo, duke of Bavaria, to become his subject. Pepin died in 768, leaving two sons, Charles (Charlemagne) and Carloman, who divided the kingdom.]

In the meantime the Turks went forth to gain better lands and homes. At first they moved against Asia, the Alani,[Alani, an Asiatic people, included under the Scythians but probably a branch of the Massagetae. They were a nation of warlike horsemen, first found about the Eastern Caucasus in the country called Albania, another form of the same name. They passed into Europe as far as the lower Danube where they were routed by and forced into an alliance with the Huns. In 406 some of them took part with the Vandals in Gaul and Spain, where they gradually disappear from history.] Colchians,[Cholchis, a country in Asia, bounded on the west by the Euxine, on the north by the Caucasus, and on the east by Iberia.] and Armenians. Later, in the Year of the Lord seven hundred fifty-five they proceeded to Asia Minor, and also against the Persians and Saracens. These Turks were Scythians from among those whom Alexander the Great, as Jerome (Hieronimus) and several other historians state, had locked up with iron chains in the Hyperborean Mountains,[Hyperborean Mountains, an imaginary range of mountains in the far north (the word ‘Hyperborean’ means ‘beyond the north (wind)’ in Greek). The term was afterwards applied by geographers to various chains—the Caucasus, the Rhipaei Montes, and a number of others.] according to Ethicus the philosopher. They had their ancestral homes in Asiatic Scythia beyond the Pyrenees and in the island of Tharaca[Probably Taurica Chersonesus, a peninsula stretching into the Euxine from Sarmatia, or the country of the nomad Scythians, with which it connected by a narrow isthmus, now the Crimea. The isthmus is so slender as to make it probable that in a remote period Taurica was an island.] in the north. They were savage and cruel, uncivilized and lewd, lacking character and honor, and were abhorred by other peoples. While Pepin (Pipino) ruled over the Franks they went forth through the passes of the Caucasus and overran Pontus and Cappadocia, and slowly but surely over time overran the neighboring people. And now the outrageous attacks of the Turks became so overpowering that the Saracens could not make peace with them by any other means than the surrender of the kingdom of Persia, which the Saracens had subjugated in the time of Phocas and Heraclius. Of the power and further conquests of the Turks more will be said hereafter.

At this time ended the government known as the Exarchate of Italy, which had endured under the rule of ten exarchs, beginning with Narses, for a period of one hundred seventy-five years. These rulers, called exarchs, were sent from Constantinople into Italy. To this Exarchate belonged many distinguished Italian cities which were taken away from the Roman Church by the Constantinopolitan emperors, but restored to the Church by Pepin (Pipinus) after his war against Aistulf.

Eucherius, bishop of Lyons, was at this time renowned for his many miracles. He was the son of a nobleman, and turned to a spiritual life. For a long time he lived in a cave, fasting and praying to God and serving him with great devotion. Pursuant to angelic revelation he was afterwards placed in the bishop’s chair at Lyons. During his lifetime he was illustrious for his many miracles.[Eucherius (c. 389- c. 449), bishop of Lyons, was a native of Gaul, of illustrious parents, and married. He was the greatest light of the Church of Lyons, after Irenaeus. Probably on his wife’s death he retired to the isle of Lerins, and was a monk there until 434, when he was elected bishop of Lyons. From Lerins he wrote a treatise in stylish Latin prose entitled (‘Epistle to his kinsman Valerian, On the contempt of the world’) an expression of the despair for the present and future of the world in its last throes shared by many educated men of Late Antiquity, with hope for a world to come.]

Theodore (Theodorus), bishop of Pavia, a very holy and highly learned man, also flourished at this time. He left a number of excellent and memorable writings.[Theodore was bishop of Pavia from 743 to 778. He was an outspoken critic of Arianism, which caused his repeated exile by Lombard Arian kings.]