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

Charles (Carolus), king of the Franks, who because of his deeds was later surnamed the Great, reigned for 46 years after the death of his father Pepin (Pipino). Pepin had reigned 15 years and left his kingdom in equal parts to Charles and Carloman; but as Carloman died soon afterwards, the Franks gave over the care of his share to Charles. This Charles (it is said), was born at Ingleheim, situated four miles from Mainz. Now when Pepin died, Charles made war against the Aquitanians; and he returned home victorious. After this the pope called upon Charles for support against Desiderius, the Lombard king; so Charles, with a large army, moved against Desiderius, who also armed with a great force and went forth to meet him; and they came together in battle. But the Lombards were defeated and took to flight. Desiderius, with a few of his soldiers, fled to Pavia, and Charles pursued him with his army. Finally, Desiderius and his wife and children were made prisoners. And from the first, Italy re-established itself through the good works of Charles. When the war with the Lombards was ended, the pending war with the Saxons, which had been carried on for two years by his generals, compelled him to return home. Now the Saxons were a very great and warlike people. They honored false gods, and continually carried on hostilities with the Franks; and although the Saxons were often defeated, making treaties and giving hostages, nevertheless, until the advent of Charles, none of the Franks had won a complete victory nor subdued the Saxons in their infidelity. Charles armed a mighty force, and determined upon a day on which all the men on the Rhine were to assemble; and the Franks armed with great joy. And so the Saxon war was renewed, and there had never been a greater, longer, or severer war with the Saxons; for it is known that this war lasted 33 years. Finally the Saxons were so hard pressed that they gave themselves up to Charles, with everything in their power; and they abandoned their ways and all their false gods, and were compelled to accept the Christian faith. But as the people of Spain were at this time also held in severe subjection by the barbarians, Charles turned his mind to their relief; and he marched against the enemy. Before long a number of cities surrendered, while others were captured by force; and so nearly all of Spain came into the power of the Franks. In the meantime Tassilo (Taxilo), the Bavarian duke, roused his near neighbors against the Franks; but he afterward surrendered and gave hostages. And now as the kingdom of Charles and all the affairs of the Franks attained to great renown, and the kingdom became rich in possessions, Charles proceeded against the Hungarians, who had given aid and support to his enemies in war. And Charles never conducted a war in which more people were slain; for a great number of Hungarians, and among them the most noble, perished. And the Franks carried home with them a very large amount of gold and silver.[Charlemagne (Charles the Great; Carolus Magnus in Latin), king of the Franks and emperor, born April 2, 742, was the eldest son of Pepin III, called the Short, and grandson of Charles Martel. On Pepin’s death in 768, Charles and his brother Carloman jointly succeeded to the throne; and on Carloman’s death, three years later, Charles became sole king. At the request of Pope Adrian I, he crossed the Alps in 773, and overthrew the Lombard kingdom, confirming Ravenna to the papal see. In 771 and again in 775 he made war against the Saxons, securing the submission of their chieftains in 777. But the Saxons rose again in 782 and destroyed a Frankish army, which Charles avenged with fearful severity. In 788 Bavaria was absorbed in his dominions, and next the country of the Avars to the Raab. In 800 he marched into Italy to support Pope Leo III against the rebellious Romans, and on Christmas day of that year he was crowned by the pope in St. Peter’s and saluted as the emperor of the Romans. The remaining years of his reign were spent in further consolidations of his vast empire, which extended from the Ebro to the Elbe. Bishoprics were founded in the Saxon country; many of the Slavs beyond the Elbe were subjugated. The emperor promoted education, agriculture, arts, manufactures and commerce. He built sumptuous palaces, particularly at Aix-la-Chapell (Aachen) and Ingelheim near Bingen, and many churches. He died January 28, 814.]

Roland (Rolandus), a count Palatine and grandson of Charles, was a man of inestimable strength and greatness, for which he was renowned throughout the world. When Charles again led his forces into Gaul, he was surprised by the Vasconians[The Basques.] near the Pyrenees. And although many of the enemy were slain in this battle, yet Anselm (Anshelmus) and Eggihard (Egibardus), the highest officers in Charles’s army, as well as this Roland (referring to the portrait opposite the text), were slain; although some say Roland died of thirst. [Roland, hero of the great French epic (‘The Song or Lay of Roland’), was an historical character. Charlemagne invaded Spain in 778, and had captured Pamplona, but failed before Saragossa, when the news of a Saxon revolt recalled him to the banks of the Rhine. On his retreat to France through the defiles of the Pyrenees, part of his army was cut off from the main body by the Basques, and entirely destroyed. The incident is related in Einhard’s (‘Life of Charles’), where the names of the leaders are given. “In this battle were slain Eggihard praepositus (‘chief’ or ‘general’) of the royal table; Anselm, count of the palace; and Hruodland, prefect of the Breton march. . .” The scene of the disaster is fixed by tradition at Roncevaux on the road from Pamplona to St. Jean Pied de Port. There is evidence of a continuous tradition dating from the original event, and as Roncevaux lay on the route to Compostella, the many pilgrims who must have passed the site, from the middle of the 9th century onwards, may have helped to spread the story. In addition to France, it was in Italy that the Roland legend had some of its greatest legacy: Charlemagne and Roland appear in the (Canto XVIII) of Dante, and statues of Roland and Oliver appear on the doorway of the cathedral of Verona.]

Tassilo (Taxilo), duke of Bavaria, at the instigation of his wife, at this time provoked his neighbors, and made an alliance with the Hungarians. His wife was the daughter or Desiderius, the Lombard king, and being dejected by her father’s misfortune, she reminded Tassilo of it day and night, urging him to come to the relief of her father from sorrow and misery; for no one but Tassilo could restore him to freedom. With such pleadings she moved him to equip an army. But Charles soon came to Bavaria, and Tassilo was so frightened that he surrendered and gave Theon, his son, and other select youths as hostages.[Tassilo (Taxilo), duke of Bavaria, of the lineage of Agilulf, was born in 742 and became duke in 749. Eight years later he was compelled to acknowledge his uncle Pepin, the Frankish king, as his overlord. However, under Charlemagne he attempted to achieve independence, entering into a secret alliance with his brother-in-law, the Lombard Adalgis, and the Avars. But in 787 he was again compelled to submit. A year later he renewed the old alliance and was condemned to death, but pardoned and locked up in a monastery. He died in 794, the last of the Agilulfian line.]

Adalgis (Aldegisius), son of Desiderius, who during the siege of Pavia fled to Greece, at this time, by the help of many Greeks, came into Italy with a great force to demand the return of his father’s kingdom. But he was defeated by the Franks, imprisoned, and subjected to so many tortures that his misery ended in martyrdom.[Adalgis (also spelled Adelchis; Aldegisius in Latin) was the son of Desiderius and a prince of the Lombards in Italy. After his father was defeated by Charlemagne in Pavia in 774, Adalgis took refuge in Constantinople. He hoped to recapture Lombardy with the aid of Empress Irene, but when finally given a chance in 787, he was defeated by a coalition consisting of the Franks and the new prince of Benevento, Grimoald III, a vassal loyal to Charlemagne. Adalgis fled to Constantinople (contra the story of his being captured in the ), where he died in 788.]