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

Pope John (Ioannes) the Ninth, a Roman, was elected pope after Theodore. The greater portion of the Roman populace being opposed to the proceedings against Formosus, John soon brought the entire matter up for reconsideration. The situation had caused such a tumult that it almost resulted in war. John proceeded to Ravenna, assembled 74 bishops, nullified the acts of Pope Stephen, and confirmed those of Formosus. The decree of Stephen that those who had been consecrated and ordained by Formosus should, be re-ordained, was held unlawful. This came about because the popes had departed from the footsteps of Peter, and because the government of the Christian order had fallen into indolence, indifference and neglect. This John died in the second year and 15th day of his pontificate, and left nothing memorable, except that he renewed a number of dissensions which had almost been extinguished.

John IX, a Roman, succeeded Theodore II as pope in 898. He undertook a solemn vindication of Formosus through a council at Rome. Those who had thrown the corpse of Formosus into the Tiber were excommunicated unless they should repent. John supported Lambert in preference to Arnulf, but Lambert’s sudden death shattered the hopes which this alliance seemed to promise. John died in 900.

When the estates of Germany deposed Charles the Fat, followed by his death in 888, a powerful party of nobles was formed in Italy to shake off Franco-German dominion, and Guido, or Guy, duke of Spoleto, was chosen future ruler of Italy. A rival appeared in Berengar, duke of Friuli. A protracted civil war followed. Stephen V, who succeeded to the pontificate in the meantime, was chiefly instrumental in procuring the acknowledgment of Guido as king of Italy, and in 891 he was crowned by the pope. He became so powerful that in 894 he was able to compel Formosus, successor of Stephen V, to secure to his son Lambert the succession to the empire. But Formosus instigated Arnulf, king of Germany, to enter Italy and possess the kingdom which belonged to him. Berengar, in his jealousy of Guido, supported Arnulf, and defeated Lambert in 895, and in the same year Arnulf received the imperial crown from the pope with the consent of the Roman people. Formosus died in 896, and his successor Boniface VI held the pontificate for but fifteen days. The next pope, Stephen VI (or VII) was imprisoned in 897 and strangled. His successor, Romanus, held office for four months, and was followed by Theodore II, whose pontificate lasted only twenty days. In 898 John IX assumed the pontificate after gaining the upper hand over his rival Sergius. The restored German dominion over Italy lasted only until Arnulf returned to Germany, and in 897 Lambert again became emperor and was recognized by the pope; but his death in 898 led to a new change. Berengar again put forth his claims, but his enemies called in Louis, king of Burgundy, who defeated him and compelled him to flee to Germany. The imperial crown now went to Louis. In 905 Berengar returned with a strong force from Germany, compelling Louis to retire to Ravenna, while he himself not only remained in Italy, but received the imperial crown from Pope John X in 916.

Pope Benedict (Benedictus) the Fourth, a Roman, was elected pope for his goodness and mildness; and in spite of the disordered morals of the popes who preceded him, he lived a stable and praiseworthy life without blame or a single calumny. However, he accomplished nothing praiseworthy, for in these disastrous times all morals in the head and in the members (of the body) were consumed by the neglect and indolence of the people. He died in the third year and fourth month of his pontificate. The seat was then vacant for six days.[Benedict IV, pope from 900 to 903 was a Roman of noble birth, and the chronicler assures us that in spite of the loose morals of his predecessors he lived a stable and commendable life without a single blemish.]

Pope Leo the Fifth (the land of whose origin historians do not mention) was apprehended and thrown into prison by Christopher, his attendant, who aspired to the pontificate, but did not attain it without a great tumult and the destruction of many people. He encumbered the papal see for 40 days of Leo’s pontificate. When Leo saw himself robbed of his office by a servant whom he had shown much kindness, he soon died of grief.[Leo V succeeded Benedict IV in 903. At the end of two months a presbyter, named Christopher, took him prisoner and possessed himself of the papal chair. Christopher himself, in turn, was expelled in the following year by Sergius III.]

Pope Christopher (Cristoferus), whose surname and place of origin are unknown because of his ignoble birth, secured the pontificate by evil arts and cunning means after the ejection of Leo; and by the same evil methods he again lost it. For he was deservedly deprived of it seven months later, and forced into a monastery. Later Sergius, his successor, took him out of the monastery and imprisoned him. Before long he was subjected to severer punishment by being placed in harder confinement, where he finally died in wretchedness.[Christopher (Christophorus), pope or anti-pope, was elected in 903 against Leo V, whom he imprisoned. In January 904 he was treated in the same manner by his rival, Sergius III, who had him strangled.]

Michael (Michaelis), the archangel, appeared in these times at Apuleia, on Mount Gargano, near the city of Sypontum. In commemoration of this a city, with a temple and other beautiful structures, was built there. Even unto the present many people from all Christian lands make pilgrimages to this place.

In these times fiery brands appeared in the heavens; and intermingling stars of unusual brilliance were seen. Soon afterwards a famine occurred in Italy, and many great battles on both sides. A comet of unusual brilliance appeared. It was followed by a great flood, particularly in Saxony.

Sergius, the third pope of this name, a Roman, during his pontificate, caused the Lateran Basilica, which had fallen into disrepair, to be restored. While still a deacon he employed his zeal to prevent Formosus from becoming pope. For this Formosus persecuted him, and upon his election Sergius went to Gaul. By the good will and grace of Lothair he returned to Italy, and seized and imprisoned Christopher, the successor to the see; and he nullified the acts of Formosus so that it became necessary to reconsecrate those whom Formosus had regarded worthy of priestly consecration; and in revenge he caused his corpse to be drawn from the grave and to be decapitated as though Formosus were living, and the body thrown into the Tiber as unworthy of interment and human respect.[Sergius III, elected pope by one of the factions of Rome in 898, simultaneously with John IX, was expelled from the city by his adversaries. He reappeared in 904, seized the two claimants, Leo V and Christopher, who were disputing the succession of Benedict IV, and then strangled them. His adherents rallied round the sacristan Theophylact, a powerful Roman functionary, and his wife Theodora, with whose daughter Marozia, Sergius lived in concubinage, and by whom he is said to have had a son who became pope as John XI. Sergius did not hesitate to yield all the treasures of the Roman church as plunder to his party. All posts of influence were occupied by his preachers. The fortress of St. Angelo (Casta Sant’Angelo) was placed in his hands. He was hostile to the memory of Formosus, and refused to recognize any of the ordinances made by him, thus causing grave disorders. He also affected to consider as anti-popes, not only John IX, but also his successors to and including Christopher. He restored the Lateran Basilica that had fallen down in 897. He died in 911, and by the influence of his party he was succeeded by Anastasius III; and when the latter died in 903 they caused Landus to be nominated as his successor. In 914 Leo X, the favorite of Theodora, was elevated to the see by the influence of his mistress.]