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

Year of the World 5964

Year of Christ 764

Constantine (Constantinus), the second pope of that name, a Roman, succeeded the pontificate of Paul. He became such in this manner: Toto, Thotonem, the Nepetian (Nepusinum) duke, who was an ally of the Lombards and lived at Rome, avariciously compelled many people to leave Nepeso[Nepeso (Nepete or Nepisinus), now called Nepi: a city of Etruria, about 30 miles from Rome. It early became an Episcopal see, a religious position that it has retained without intermission to the present time, though now but a small town.] for Rome; and he so strengthened himself by the arms of these people that, influenced by various gifts and by the advice of false friends, they made Constantine pope. Another, called Philippicus, was also desired as pope by a number of others; but by force of arms he was compelled to forego the pontificate. And so Gregory, the Prenestinian[Praeneste (now Palestrina), one of the most ancient and once powerful and important cities of Latium. The modern city is built almost entirely on the site of the Temple of Fortune.] bishop, was forced to immediately consecrate Constantine, and to anoint him as a bishop, although he was still a layman. In consequence of such consecration his (Gregory’s?) hands atrophied to such an extent that he could not carry them to his mouth. After Constantine had stupidly exercised his office for one year, he was cast out of the see, and Stephen the Third was regularly elected pope. Through him a council was afterwards assembled at the Lateran, and Constantine was deprived of his sight, looked up in a monastery, and deposed in disgrace. Some do not reckon him among the popes.[Constantine II, now known as an ‘antipope’, occupied the papacy in 767-8. During the last days of Pope Paul I in June, his brother, Toto of Nepi, and a group of Tuscans had him made pope when he was still a layman. In spring 768 he was deposed and killed by the Lombards.]

Year of the World 5975

Year of Christ 774

Stephen (Stephanus), the third pope of that name, a native of Sicily whose father was Olibus, entered upon the pontificate in the Year of our Lord 768. He was a learned and well informed man, and very strict and firm in the management of certain spiritual matters. He was welcomed by the entire Roman clergy and the people as a true guide and pope. He turned his attention to the correction of morals and assembled the clergy (particularly from Gaul and Italy) in the Lateran Church at Rome. And there was much discussion as to the ordering of ecclesiastical matters; and they deposed the aforesaid Constantine and repealed his decrees; and by the common consent of all it was ordained that no layman who had not been regularly consecrated should aspire to the pontificate, nor encumber it, under penalty of being accursed; also that all transactions of a holy nature which Constantine had handled should be regarded as improper and of no force, except those concerning baptism and the chrism. On the day following these proceedings took place a fine procession of thanksgiving to God, in which the pope and many others walk barefoot out of the Lateran Basilica to Saint Peter’s with great devotion and divine service. This most industrious shepherd, true successor of Peter and imitator of Christ, at last died in the fourth year, 5th month and 27th day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. The seat was then vacant for 9 days.[Stephen III (or as some reckon, Stephen IV) was pope from 768 to 772. He was a native of Sicily, and, having come to Rome during the pontificate of Gregory III, gradually rose to high office in the service of successive popes. On the deposition of Constantine II, Stephen was chosen to succeed him. He in turn was followed by Adrian I.]

Pope Adrian (Hadrianus) the First, a Roman whose father was Theodore, was born of noble parents. During his pontificate he was a zealous devotee of the nobility of virtue. By reason of his greatness of mind, eloquence and piety, he compares favorably with any other pope. Hardly had his election been made public when he released the prisoners in Africa and ordered those who had been sent into exile to return. When news of this reached the Lombard king Desiderius, the latter sought the pope’s friendship and alliance, and for that purpose sent emissaries to him. To these he gave the answer that as much as he desired peace with all, and particularly with the Lombards, yet he could not give credence to the words of their king, who had so often broken treaties with Pope Stephen. After this time the pope called upon King Charles (Carolum) for help; and Charles besieged Desiderius and the Lombards at Pavia. He left the siege to Bernhard, his uncle, and proceeded to Rome. He honored this Adrian by kissing his feet, and they obligated one another to perpetual friendship. When Pope Adrian was thus restored to security against the fears of war, he turned his mind to the beautification of the churches and buildings in the city of Rome. At last he died in the twenty-third year, tenth month, and tenth day of his pontificate, and was buried with great praise in the Basilica of Peter on the sixth day of the Kalends of January.[Adrian I, pope from 772 to 795, was the son of Theodore, a Roman nobleman. Soon after his accession he found it necessary to invoke the aid of Charlemagne against Desiderius, the Lombard king, who had laid siege to Ravenna and ravaged its environs. In his contest with the Greek empire and the Lombard princes of Benevento, Adrian remained faithful to the Frankish alliance; and the friendly relations between pope and emperor were not disturbed by differences as to the veneration of images, to which Charlemagne and the Gallican Church were strongly opposed while Adrian approved the decree of the council of Nicaea (787) confirming the practice and excommunicating the Iconoclasts. Adrian restored the ancient aqueducts of Rome, and governed his little state with a firm and skillful hand.]