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

Lothair (Lotharius), son of the aforesaid emperor Louis (Ludovici), reigned after his father for 15 years, together with Louis, his son, whom he made an associate in the sovereignty; and after the death of his father he had the Roman Empire to himself. Louis was hardly in his grave when his three brothers, Lothair, Louis and Charles (Carolus) became embittered toward one another on account of Italy; and they entered upon a great war, the like of which had not occurred since the Catalonian battle with Atilla (Athila) in Gaul; for each came on with his greatest power and might, and they met in the field of Auxerre (Antesiodorensi); and there they fought a battle in which more Franks were slain than ever before. And although Louis and Charles held the field, they were as much impaired in strength as Lothair was, and each found it impossible to protect his own country against the enemy. Lothair fled from the field to Aix-la-Chapelle (Aquisgranum), and his brothers pursued him. With his wife and children he escaped to Vienne by way of Lyons (Lugdunum); and there he assembled another army. Emissaries from Italy, Gaul and Germany urged the three brothers to make a treaty, and negotiations were commenced to secure peace and divide the paternal inheritance. The three brothers agreed that Charles the Bald possess the paternal kingdom to the north, from the English Sea to the river Mosa; Louis, all of Germany to the Rhine, and what his father had possessed beyond the Rhine; Lothair to have the imperial title, together with Rome, Italy, the provinces of Narbonne, and Lotharingia. Now after these matters had been settled, Lothair gave the sovereignty to his son Louis, and then entered a monastery. In the meantime the other Louis, his brother, died in his German Empire. And as he had divided the kingdom among his sons, and had now grown old, he left the imperial title to Louis. Not long afterwards Lothair died.

Lothair I was the son of Louis the Pious. His father, by his first wife had three sons—Lothair, Pepin and Louis; by his second wife, Judith, his son Charles the Bald was born. In 816, two years after his accession, Louis the Good received the imperial crown from Pope Stephen V, and soon afterwards divided the empire among his three sons. By this arrangement he made Lothair, the eldest his partner in the imperial government. Upon Pepin he conferred Aquitaine; and upon Louis, Bavaria. However, the child of the second wife, Charles the Bald, seemed to have been excluded from the succession by this partition, but the emperor was persuaded to make a new division. In 829, however, the three princes united in a project to restore the original agreement. The imbecile emperor was compelled to humble himself before the rebels and the empress was confined in a cloister. But soon Louis again recovered his authority, and his wife Judith was recalled to court. She proceeded to avenge herself on her enemies. The emperor finally disinherited his sons Lothair and Pepin. The three sons, Lothair, Pepin and Louis, assembled their forces in Alsace in 832, and prepared to march against their father. The crafty Lothair sent the pope to propose terms of peace to the emperor; and by the intrigues of Gregory IV, the emperor suddenly lost all support, and was obliged to surrender. He was dethroned and the imperial crown conferred on Lothair. The prelates subjected his father to penance, an act which it was calculated would forever bar his return to the throne. But the prelates had ventured too far. Lothair became universally detested, and a new revolution restored his father to the Frankish throne. On the death of Pepin in 840, Louis the Good divided his dominions between Lothair and Charles, thus excluding his son Louis, who immediately appealed to arms. While marching against his rebellious son, the emperor died in the 28th year of his reign in 840, near Mainz, after bequeathing to his favorite son Charles the provinces of Burgundy and Neustria (later called Normandy).

No sooner had Lothair ascended the throne than he planned to deprive his brothers Louis and Charles of their dominions; but they took the field and defeated him in a bloody 3-day battle at Fontenay, in Burgundy, in 841. On this occasion so many Frankish nobles and soldiers were slain that no successful resistance could be made against the ravages of the Norman freebooters. However, Lothair was still formidable, and forced his brothers to a new partition, which was accomplished at Verdun in 843. By this treaty the three sons divided the great Frankish empire that their grandfather Charlemagne had built up. Lothair took Italy, Burgundy and Lorraine; Louis received Germany, and was therefore called Louis the German. Charles the Bald, received France.

Lothair’s kingdom extended from the Duchy of Beneventum and the Mediterranean on the south, to the North Sea on the North, lying between Germany and France; the Rhine dividing it from the former, and the Rhone separating it from the latter. Lothair, who took the imperial title, associated with him in the government his son Louis, making him ruler over Lombardy. Lothair’s capital was at Aix-la-Chapelle.

The dominion of Louis the German, who was called King of the East Franks, embraced all the German territory east of the Rhine. The principal state of Germany was East Francia, or Franconia, which comprised the valleys of the Main, the Neckar, and the Lahn; Saxony and Thüringia lying to the north of it, and Swabia and Bavaria embracing the ancient territory of Alemannia, to the south and southeast.

The dominions of Charles the Bald, who was styled King of the West Franks, embraced all the territory of modern France, except the eastern portion comprised in Lorraine, Burgundy, and the provinces east of the Rhine. Paris was the capital of this kingdom.

At this time Gaul, like Italy, suffered great evil and damage at the hands of the Saracens, due to the dissensions between Lothair and his brothers. The Normans forded the Ligiris,[Liger or Ligeris, the Loire, one of the largest rivers in Gaul.] and ravaged Aquitaine and the island of Heria,[This may refer to Uliarus Island (Oleron).] and destroyed ever so many monasteries. Sweeping through Gaul, far and wide, they plundered, robbed and ravaged many cities and fortresses; but they dared not tarry for long in the Frankish cities, returning to Aquitaine where they set up their royal seat.[During the reign of Louis the Pious the Saracens, who had subdued Sicily, spread all over the Mediterranean and threatened to make themselves masters of Italy; while the Normans continued their ravages on the coast of Germany and France. Thus Western Europe at this time was troubled with enemies on the North and South, and by war within.]

At this time marvelously large hailstones (they say) fell in Gaul, killing many people and animals. These stones had hard centers of marvelous length.

In Italy occurred an earthquake as well, destroying cities and mountains.

Locusts, in inconceivable numbers, having six wings and two teeth harder than stone, covered the earth like snow in Gaul, and destroyed all the vegetation. When they finally fell into the sea, and were afterwards thrown back on the seacoast, they gave off such a foul stench that the air was polluted, resulting in a great number of deaths among the populace. A comet also appeared in the second year of the reign of Lothair.

The Africans at this time proceeded to Italy, where they were engaged at the city of Ostia by the Romans. The Saracens invaded Italy, plundered the city of Ancona and ravaged it with fire.

Adeulphus, the English king, and a most Christian man, at this time exercised sole sovereignty over all England, which now occurred for the first time. Through his special leaning in favor of service to God, he made the island tributary to the Roman see, ordaining that every house should pay a tribute of one silver penny to the church and Saint Peter annually.[The text probably refers to Ethelwulf (Aethelwulf), king of the West Saxons, who died in 858. He is best known by his famous “Donation,” which is said to have originated the system of tithes. In reality it was merely “the devotion of a tenth part of his private estate to ecclesiastical purposes, the relief of a tenth part of the folk land from all payments except Trinoda necessitas, and the direction that every ten hides of his land should provide for one foreman or stranger.” During the pontificate of Benedict III, Ethelwulf made a pilgrimage to Rome, and presented a golden crown and other valuable offerings, made rich presents to the clergy, the nobles and the people; promised an annual payment to the pope, and rebuilt the English school at Rome, which had been destroyed by fire.]

Edmund (Edmundus), afterwards king of the English, was celebrated for his piety and service to God, and was an earnest defender of the Christian faith, conducting many battles against the unbelieving Danes. He finally received the crown of martyrdom. After his decapitation his head was preserved by a wild wolf.[The text probably refers to Edmund, King of East Anglia, (855-869), also referred to as Edmund the Martyr. Having been defeated and taken prisoner by the Danes, he was offered his life on condition that he give up Christianity and acknowledge the Danish supremacy. Refusing these terms, he was bound to a tree and shot at with arrows. He was finally beheaded at the town called St. Edmondsbury in his honor. His constancy in faith earned him canonization, and the English Church still holds his name in remembrance on November 20th, the day of his martyrdom.]