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

Louis (Ludovicus), the first of that name, surnamed the Pious, received the empire in the Year of Salvation 815, after the death of his father, Charles (Carolum) the Great; and with his son Lothair (Lothario) he reigned 25 years. In the winter, while in Aquitaine, Louis received notice of his father’s death; at once he returned to Aix-la-Chapelle (Aquisgranum), and there he first heard the messengers who had journeyed after his father. Afterwards he transacted business with an assembly of the country, concerning matters affecting the Empire and the kingdom of France. Emperor Leo’s ambassadors from Constantinople were also there at that time, and the treaties were renewed. Said Louis, together with King Bernard, undertook a military expedition against the people of Danorum; but as the seas were too frozen in the depth of winter, the emperor and the king were so delayed in their undertaking that when they had covered half the distance to Paderborn, in Saxony, they encamped the army for the winter. There the emperor received news that the most distinguished persons in Rome had sworn to assassinate Pope Leo; at once the emperor sent the king to Italy with the command to prevent diminution of the kingdom or secessions from it. When King Bernard arrived in Italy he became very ill, and he silenced affairs at Rome through Gerardus, the count. Afterwards Pope Stephen the Fourth went to France, and crowned Louis as emperor. Now when he came into the sovereignty, Louis conducted serious wars against the Vasconians and the Britons or English, and also against the Saracens, and he reduced these people to obedience, subordination and peace. With an armed force he also restored to his paternal kingdom, Harold (Heroldum), who had been driven out of Dacia. After many such well managed campaigns, this King Louis held a diet at Aix; and after making peace in ecclesiastical affairs, he declared his first-born son Lothair an associate sovereign, while he appointed Pepin, the second son, to Aquitaine, and designated Louis, the third son, king of Bavaria. In the course of these events Bernard, the king of Italy, at the instigation of certain Italian lords, became antagonistic to the emperor; but he was punished and beheaded as stated previously. Afterwards the king was informed that the Britons were in revolt; but when he had armed to silence them, and had arrived there, he found all things at peace. In the meantime his wife, Irmengard (Ermelgardam), who had born him three sons, died. Afterwards he appointed his son Lothair king of Italy in lieu of the deceased King Bernard. He was called to Rome by Pope Paschal (Pascali) and the Roman people, and was there first anointed and crowned as king by the pope, and after that acclaimed emperor. This Louis, a mild man, so conducting himself toward the papal see that the four popes who succeeded one another over a period of twenty-seven years, during the term of his sovereignty, were never without his support and assistance. This Louis was afterwards imprisoned by his son Lothair; but he was later released and restored to his throne. At last died the following: Firstly, the Greek emperor Michael; shortly afterwards Pope Gregory; and the emperor (Louis) followed in less than a month. He himself was buried in the Basilica of the Blessed Arnulf (Arnolphi).

Louis I, surnamed the Pious, Roman Emperor, a third son of Charlemagne and his wife Hildegard, was born at Chasseneuil in central France, and was crowned king of Aquitaine in 781. His tastes were ecclesiastical rather than military, and his government was conducted mainly by counselors. After the deaths of his two elder brothers, Louis, at his father’s command, crowned himself co-emperor at Aix-la-Chapelle on September 11, 813, and became sole ruler the following January. He earned the surname of the Pious by banishing his sisters and others of immoral life from court, by attempting to reform and purify monastic life, and by showing great liberality to the church. In 816 he was crowned emperor at Rheims, and the following year at Aix. He arranged a division of his empire among his sons, which was followed by a revolt by his nephew Bernard, king of Italy; but the rising was suppressed and Berhard slain. In 819 he married Judith, daughter of Wolf I, count of Bavaria. She bore him a son, Charles the Bald. A district was now carved out for Charles, but discontent over the arrangement resulted in a rebellion in the following year, provoked by Judith’s intrigues. Lothair and his brother Pepin joined the rebels, Judith was sent to a convent, Louis was deposed, and Lothair became the real ruler of the empire, for a brief period, when his father was again restored to power.

Further trouble between Pepin and his father led to the nominal transfer of Aquitaine from Pepin to his brother Charles in 831. The emperor’s plans for a division of his dominions led to a revolt of his three sons. He met them in June 833, near Kolmar, but owing to the influence of Pope Gregory IV he found himself deserted by his supporters; and the treachery and falsehood which marked the proceedings gave to the place the name Lügenfeld, or “field of lies.” Judith was again banished, Louis was sent to a monastery, and the government of the empire was assumed by his son. But when the younger Louis had failed to induce Lothair to treat the emperor in a more becoming fashion, he and Louis took up arms in behalf of their father. As a result, Louis the Good was again restored to power in 834, Judith returned, and the kingdoms of Louis and Pepin were enlarged. The struggle with Lothair continued until fall, when he submitted to the emperor, and was confined to Italy. Louis the Pious was publicly restored to full power. In December 838 Pepin died, and the empire, except Bavaria which was the kingdom of Louis, was now divided between Lothair, reconciled to this father, and Charles. The emperor was returning from the suppression of a revolt on the part of his son Louis, when he died June 20, 840 on an island in the Rhine near Ingelheim.

The Mauri, a people thus called, at this time came to Sicily in ships and devastated everything. In consequence of which the Venetians also sailed there; and when the unbelievers saw their sails from afar, they returned to Africa.[Mauretania, most western of the principal division of North Africa, lay between the Atlantic on the west, the Mediterranean on the north, Numidia on the east, and Gaetulia on the south; but the districts embraced under the name Mauretania and Numidia were of very different extent at different periods. One of the chief tribes occupying this territory were the Mauri, who possessed a great breadth of fertile country between the Atlas mountains and the coasts, and seemed to have applied themselves to the settled pursuits of agriculture. From 429 to 534 Mauretania was in the hands of the Vandals, and in 650 and the following years it was conquered by the Arabs. Its ancient inhabitants still exist as powerful tribes in Morocco and Algiers under the names of Berbers, Schillus, etc.] The body of Saint Mark, the Evangelist was brought to Venice from Alexandria by certain merchants through a cunning deceit; for the priests, at the request of the merchants, placed the little casket containing the remains in a basket at a designated place. And the merchants covered the casket with vegetables and pork and carried it through the market. When the toll-gatherers sought to collect duty from it as merchandise, and found pork under the vegetables—having a horror of such meat, they searched no further; and so the body was placed on board a ship and brought to Venice.[According to legend, at the command of the Apostle Peter, Mark, whom he converted, went to preach the gospel in Egypt and founded the church of Alexandria. His miracles aroused the anger of the pagans, who reviled him as a magician. They seized him during the feasts of their god Serapis and dragged him along the streets and highways and over stony and rocky places until he perished. The Christians of Alexandria buried his mangled remains, and his sepulcher was regarded with the great reverence for several centuries. About 815, some Venetian merchants carried off the supposed relics to Venice, where the famous Basilica of St. Mark, perhaps the greatest Christian church in a country full of such lovely edifices, was built over them, St. Mark becoming the city’s patron saint.]

Rabanus, a monk and German abbot at Fulda, later archbishop of Mainz, and a very famous and distinguished theologian and poet, at this time through the greatness of his intelligence wrote many excellent books, especially that miraculous work On the Praises of the Holy Cross.[One of Rabanus Maurus’ most popular works was a collection of poems centered around the cross, called De laudibus sanctae crucis (‘On the Praises of the Holy Cross’), a set of learned, complexly arranged poems that present the cross (and often a monk kneeling before it) in word and image, and sometimes also in numbers.] This same man also commented on Chronicles and Maccabees, and wrote quite elegant sermons for very powerful people in celebration of all the saints. And he sat (in office as archbishop of Mainz) for 10 years (starting) in the Year of Salvation 846.[Rabanus (also spelled Hrabanus) Maurus, born at Mainz c. 776, was reared in the Benedictine monastery at Fulda. After considerable study he became a distinguished scholar and abbot of the monastery. In 847 he was elevated to archbishop of Mainz. His monastery school became the most celebrated in Germany, and he was surnamed Praeceptor Germaniae (‘Teacher of Germany’). He died February 4, 856.]

Strabo, also a monk from Gaul, was a very eminent Gaul and a most diligent commentator. He was a disciple of the previously mentioned Rabanus, and was a teacher of no less importance during this time than his master. He commented very beautifully on the books of the Bible, and he wrote about the duties of the Church to the emperor Louis (Ludovicum), as well as many other things.