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

Year of the World 6073

Year of Christ 874

Pope John the Eighth, a Roman whose father was Gundus, upon his elevation to the pontificate, declared Charles (Carolum), who at that time came to Rome, emperor. Later, in the course of a quarrel, he was thrown into prison by the Romans; but before long, through the help of some of his friends, he regained his freedom; and he fled to Louis, surnamed Balbus in France.[Louis II, surnamed Balbus (‘the Stammerer’), was born in 846, and died in 879. He was the son of Charles the Bald, and was named king of Aquitaine by his father, whom he succeeded in France in 877. He was married to Angarde of Burgundy, and by her had two sons, Louis III and Carloman; by his second wife Adelaide he had one son, Charles the simple, born after his death. The first two divided the kingdom on the death of their father.] He lived there a year and anointed him as king. He also disposed of several misunderstandings which had occurred among the clergy. Then he left the place, and held a council at Treca,[Troyes: At the beginning of the Roman period Troyes was the principal settlement of the Trecassi, from whom it derives its name. In the early Middle Ages the bishops were supreme in Troyes, but in the 10th century the supremacy was transferred to the courts of Troyes, who from the 11th century were known as the courts of Champagne.] in which were established many things pertaining to the faith. He gave a bishop to the people of Flanders, who were then just emerging from the wilderness and becoming accustomed to better discipline and to religious services. But as the Saracens invaded Italy at this time, John was recalled to Rome; and with the assistance of the Christian princes he drove a large number out of Italy and Sicily. He was learned in the Greek and Latin tongues; and being a highly learned man he wrote many things, translating from the Greek into the Latin. He died after having been pope for ten years and two days, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. He also wrote the life of Gregory the First in four books when he was a deacon.

John VIII, pope from 872 to 882, successor to Adrian II, was a Roman by birth. He defended the Roman State and the authority of the Holy See from the Saracens, and from the nascent feudalism which was represented outside by the dukes of Spoleto and the marquises of Tuscany, and within by a party of Roman nobles. In 875 he agreed to bestow the imperial crown on Charles the Bald. About the time of the death of Charles he was compelled to come to terms with the Saracens, who were only prevented from entering Rome by the promise of an annual tribute. Carloman, the opponent of Charles’s son Louis, then invaded northern Italy, and demanded the imperial crown. John attempted to temporize, but Lambert, duke of Spoleto, a partisan of Carloman, whom sickness had recalled to Germany, entered Rome in 878 with an overwhelming force, and for 30 days virtually held John a prisoner in St. Peter’s. Lambert, however, won no concession from the pope, who after his withdrawal went to France. There he presided at the council of Troyes, which excommunicated the supporters of Carloman—amongst others, Adalbert of Tuscany, Lambert of Spoleto, and Formosus, bishop of Porto, later a pope. In 879 John returned to Italy, accompanied by Boso duke of Provence, whom he adopted as his son. He was compelled to promise his sanction to the claims of Charles the Fat, who received from him the imperial crown in 881. In order to secure the aid of the Greek emperor against the Saracens, he had already agreed to sanction the restoration of Photius to the see of Constantinople, and had withdrawn his consent on finding that he gained nothing from the concession. Charles the Fat also gave him no effectual aid. According to the annalist of Fulda he was murdered in 882 by members of his household. His successor was Marinus I, better known as Martin II.

The last sentence in this paragraph is not in the German edition of the Chronicle.

Martin (Martinus) the Second, a native of Gaul whose father was Palumbus, became pope after John (Ioannem). There are some who call him Marinus. And so this Martin, whose life was rather short, lived as pope for only a short time. There are some who write that Martin through deceit and with such persecutions had so agitated Pope John that when he had been thrown into chains it was necessary for him to escape. And as Martin had attained to the pontificate by evil means, he died shortly, having lived as pope only a year and five months. On account of the shortness of time, he carried out nothing memorable.[Martin II, (sometimes called Marinus I), pope from 882 to 884, son of a Tuscan priest, entered the church at an early age, and became a deacon about 862. Three successive popes sent him as a legate to Constantinople, and he also on behalf of pope John VIII negotiated with Charles the Fat. At the end of 882 he succeeded John VIII. Having secured his pontificate, he restored Formosus, cardinal bishop of Porto, and anathematized Photius. He was on friendly terms with Alfred the Great. Martin died in 884 and was succeeded by Adrian III.]

Pope Adrian (Hadrianus) the Third, a Roman whose father was Benedict, was a man of such temper and keenness that at the inception of his pontificate he insisted, and so advised the Roman senate and the people, that imperial power and confirmation were unnecessary to the elevation and creation of a pope. Such a law is said to have been first pronounced by Pope Nicholas (Nicolai) the First. But this Adrian, in whom, on account of his virtue and pride, the Roman clergy and people had placed great hope, died in the first year and second month of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter accompanied by the tears and lamentations of all since such a father had been taken so suddenly from them at so unjust a time.

Adrian III, pope, a Roman, succeeded Martin II in 884, and died in 885 on a journey to Worms.

The final clause (‘and was buried in the Basilica of Peter accompanied by the tears and lamentations of all since such a father had been taken so suddenly from them at so unjust a time’) is not in the German edition of the Chronicle.

Stephen (Stephanus), the fifth pope of that name, a Roman, secured the pontificate in the time when the Normans with the assistance of the people of Decii, devastated Gaul. This Stephen, during all his life, was greatly troubled and distressed by the attacks of the Normans, Hungarians and Italians; however, during such attacks he found great satisfaction in the piety of the celebrated men who lived during his time, particularly Luitprand, the Pavian deacon; Valdridus, the Bavarian bishop, and Berardus, the bishop of Pictavi.[Poitiers, formerly Limanum, chief city of the Pictavi, a powerful people on the coast of Gallia Aquitanica.] Through their good lives and morale, the Christian faith, at this time, grew so, that many churches and monasteries, in fine style and at great cost were erected in both regions of Gaul. But Stephen died in the 6th year and 11th day of his pontificate. The seat was then vacant for five days.[Steven V, pope from 885 to 891, succeeded Adrian III, and was in turn succeeded by Formosus. In his dealings with Constantinople in the matter of Photius, as also in his relation with the young Slavonic Church, he pursued the policy of Nicholas I.]

The Fifth Council at Constantinople was held at the instance of John VIII. He reunited the Greek and Latin churches with the hope and intent that this measure would be conducive to the expulsion of the Saracens. In this council three hundred eighty-three fathers were present. The books on the canon laws show how useful this Council was in the declaration of the articles of Christian faith. But this accord of the two tongues was not found sufficient to drive off the Saracens; for in the same year they proceeded from the island of Crete and ravaged the regions of Dalmatia, spreading themselves out over land and sea and overrunning peoples cities and country; and they besieged the city of Gradus, but it was rescued by the Venetians, who drove the Saracens across the sea; for the Venetians were concerned lest the Saracens extend their conquests still further if they did not come to the assistance of their neighbors.