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

Pope Benedict the Third, a Roman whose father was Peter, was by reason of his piety deservedly called Benedict[Benedict means ‘the blessed one’.]; for under Gregory, and also afterwards, he conducted himself so honorably that upon the death of Leo he was elected to succeed him. He was regarded by the people as a sacred bright star sent down to earth by God. Nevertheless, he pleaded with God and his saints, regarding himself as unworthy of the papal see. After having received the pontificate against his will he fasted for three days, and prayed within his heart that God grant him a holy life and the rule of the entire church. And although some, under the leadership of Rhodoald, bishop of Porto, wished to elevate another to the pontificate, they later realized their mistake, asked mercy of this holy man, and worshipped him according to custom. And the emissaries sent by Emperor Louis (Ludovici) to Rome to confirm the papal election did likewise; for Benedict was a man of such kindness and worthiness in soul and body, that during his pontificate and before that time, he was esteemed and loved, and acceptable to all men. What he undertook he accomplished, not alone in word but in deed. He was always present when a priest passed away; and he visited the sick, fed the poor, comforted the miserable, and industriously protected widows and orphans. And thus with these acts he was continuously leading While dying he ordered that his body be buried before the doors of he Church of the Blessed Peter the Apostle. He died in the second year, sixth month, and ninth day of his pontificate. Meanwhile the bishop’s (seat) was vacant 15 days.[Benedict III succeeded Leo IV in 855, and held the pontificate until 858. He was opposed by Anastasius, who had been chosen by the Roman people, but over whom he finally prevailed by the support of the bishops and the clergy. He was consecrated in the presence of the imperial ambassadors, and confirmed by them.]

Year of the World 6063

Year of Christ 864

Nicholas (Nicolaus), the first of that name,[Nicholas I, called the Great, succeeded Benedict III in 858, owing his election to Emperor Louis II and his nobles. His pontificate of nine and one-half years was marked by at least three memorable contests: In the first he supported the unjustly degraded patriarch of Constantinople, Ignatius; but two of its incidents, the excommunication of Photius, rival of Ignatius, by the pope in 863, and the excommunication of Nicholas by Photius in 867, were steps of serious moment in the separation of the Eastern and Western Church. The second struggle was with Lothair, king of Lorraine (second son of Emperor Lothair I, and brother of Emperor Louis II) about the divorce of his wife Theutberga. The pope not only quashed the whole proceeding, but deposed Gunther and Thietgaud, the bishops who brought to Rome the “libellus” of the synod which had given judgment. The third involved the rights of Bishops to appeal to Rome, against their metropolitan, and this right was sustained. Nicholas died in 867 and was succeeded by Adrian II.] a Roman whose father was Theodosius, was well reared and piously instructed from youth. He was consecrated a subdeacon by Sergius, and later a deacon by Leo. With his own hands, and not without tears, he lowered the body of Benedict into the grave. After much watching and praying, they elected him pope in his absence. And although he fled, they found him and brought him to the atrium of the Lateran against his will, and placed him in the apostolic chair. After he was consecrated at the Basilica of Peter and crowned with the papal tiara,[Emperor Louis II was present at the consecration and coronation of Nicholas in 858. This is the first instance on record of the coronation of a pope—a new measure for placing him, as to outward pomp and circumstance, on a level with temporal princes, to whom Nicholas already believed himself superior as bishop.] he constantly conferred with Emperor Louis (Ludovico) on matters of church and state. Emperor Michael of Constantinople sent him his messengers with gifts and presents. This pope in the exercise of his worthy dignity, deposed John (Ioannem), archbishop of Ravenna, who refused to obey a summons to appear in connection with proceedings previously held; but he was later pardoned.[John, archbishop of Ravenna, maintaining the independence of his see, refused to appear before a council at Rome, at which he had been required to answer a charge of unlawful proceedings in deposing certain bishops of his province; and sentence of excommunication was passed against him, not withstanding the interposition of Louis in his behalf. The archbishop was compelled to submit, and the see of Ravenna became from that point on entirely dependent on Rome.] The king of the Bulgarians, with all his provinces, was converted to the Christian faith through his writings and wholesome admonitions, and was given bishops and priests; and peace was made between Louis and the Duke of Benevento. With the cooperation and confirmation of Emperor Louis, many statutes and ordinances were enacted. Finally this man died adorned by every type of virtue in the ninth year, ninth month and 13th day of his pontificate, and he was buried before the gates of the Basilica of the Blessed Peter in accordance with his will after the example of his predecessor. There are some who write that after his death the seat was vacant for many years.

Adrian (Hadrianus), the second of this name, also a Roman whose father was Talarus, a bishop, was related to Pope Sergius. He was very virtuous, and mild, and liberal in his gifts to the poor. For these and other qualities he was held in such great esteem by the people, that when the election of a new pope was under discussion, the people thought of Adrian alone; and at the Lateran Basilica they elected him against his will. When Emperor Louis (Ludovicus) heard of this he speedily sent his emissaries to Rome to confirm the election. And when Adrian entered upon the duties of his office, he zealously considered all things pertaining to the honor and service of God, by word, example and teaching, and by admonitions to a good and blessed life. He also zealously protected those oppressed by judgments and force. With all his might he opposed the enemies of the church. He died in the fifth year, ninth month, and twelfth day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. And then the papal (seat) ceased (to be occupied) for twelve days.[Adrian II, pope from 867 to 872, was of a noble Roman family, and became pope at an advanced age. He was married in his youth, and his wife and daughter were still living. They were carried off and assassinated by Anastasius’s brother. Adrian died in 872.]