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

Mary, most glorious and eternal virgin and chaste Mother of God, after the ascension of the Lord Jesus (as Luke states in the Gospels), lived a human life in communion with the apostles until they were filled with the spirit of the Holy Spirit. But after the descent of the Holy Spirit and the dispersion of the apostles (as St. Jerome says), the archangel Gabriel, as a celestial emissary, preserved this Holy Virgin untouched in mind and body; while John the Evangelist (commended to her by her Son from the cross),[] was kind to her and dutifully protected this Virgin, the patroness of all virgins, to the end of her life, as her adopted son; and thus she was given an opportunity of seeing all the places where her Son had suffered. On Mount Zion is shown a cave where she lived and where John read the Mass. Although Christ is to be loved by all the people, he was more intensely loved by her whose Lord and Son he was. She was downcast with much sorrow; and after his ascension, as she quietly and alone contemplated what she had heard, seen and experienced, the intensity of her love for her Son increased. Finally, full of grace, and enlightened by all the virtues, she went to rest in peace in the sixty-third year of her age, and forty-nine years after the birth of Jesus Christ her Son. She had abundantly earned for herself the grace of eternal purity; and this was fully bestowed upon her by her Son, Jesus Christ. According to the pious writers, all the apostles were present at her burial, according to the will of God; and it is to be believed that our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the entire heavenly host, came forth in jubilation to meet her, and with joy of soul and body took her up into heaven and seated her beside his throne. She lived sixteen years after her Son’s death, at which time she was forty-seven years of age. No one should doubt that the entire heavenly Jerusalem exulted in unspeakable joy and with immeasurable love upon her worthy reception and coronation. This should not be a matter of amazement, for out of her was born the one whom all the orders in heaven honor and worship. And she was elevated above them into the seat of the majesty of the Lord. Thus the chaste Mother and Virgin was led forth to the throne on high, and with sublime glory was seated next to Christ on the throne of the kingdom.

Peter, the first pope, prince of the apostles, by birth a Galilean of Bethsaida, a son of John,[John, or Jonas, a fisherman.] and a brother of Andrew the apostle, occupied the bishop’s chair in the city of Antioch for the first time seven years after the Lord’s ascension. This is the Peter to whom the Lord said: Blessed are you, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood have not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. And I will give to you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and also the power to bind and to loose.[Matthew 16:17-19.] Now after Peter with all zeal had sufficiently established the church in Asia, and had overcome the errors of those who held to the rite of circumcision, and had preached the abolition of the rite in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, and was released from Herod’s prison, he came to Italy and established and held the first see in the second year of Claudius at Rome, taking into consideration that Rome was the capital city of the world, and as such would also be suitable as the proper place for the bishop’s chair; and on it he sat for 25 years and 7 months.[This is the assertion of papal writers, but the evidence is strongly against this assertion. There is no evidence in the Bible that Peter had any supremacy over the other apostles, or any successor in that influence naturally accorded to him as one of the oldest, most active, and most faithful of those who "had seen the Lord."] Now Peter at that time came to Rome, because he understood that Simon the sorcerer, a Samaritan, was there, and with his sorceries was now leading the Roman people into error; for they believed him to be a god; for at Rome a memorial plaque was dedicated to him and placed between two bridges, on written was written in Latin letters ‘Simon the Holy God.’ While in Samaria, Simon maintained his faith in Christ until he was baptized by Philip the deacon; but afterwards he made misuse of his baptism, causing much heresy in conjunction with Helena (Selene), an unchaste woman who was associated with him in evil. This evil man confronted Peter by a miracle, causing a dead child to appear to move as a consequence of his sorceries; but the child nevertheless remained dead until, at the command of Peter, in the name of Jesus, it arose. This enraged Simon and he promised the people that in their presence he would fly from the Capitoline to the Aventine Hill; and when Simon thus flew, he fell down, in accordance with Peter’s prayers, and broke a leg; and of this injury he died at Arezzo not long afterwards. From him came the Simonian heretics who pretended to purchase and sell the gift of the Holy Spirit, etc.

Cf. Acts 8:9-20:

And there was a certain man called Simon, who formerly in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that he himself was some great one. To him they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard because for a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed as well; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs that were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who, when they had come down, prayed for them in order that they might receive the Holy Spirit. (For as yet he had fallen upon none of them—they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, Let your money perish with you, because you have thought the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Simon Magus holds the unique position of being branded the one outstanding heretic in the New Testament. Later centuries used the word simony to indicate the crime of procuring a spiritual office by purchase. Justin Martyr states that Gitta, a village in Samaria, was his birthplace, and speaks of him as visiting Rome and being so successful in his impostures as to have secured for himself worship as God, and to have been honored with a statue inscribed Simoni Deo Sancto (‘to Simon the Holy God’). He also adds that Helena, a fallen woman who accompanied him, was ‘the first idea generated by him.’ The story that he broke a leg during flight, pursuant to the prayers of Peter, is purely traditional, and is not the only tradition as to how he met death.

After that Peter instituted the fast of forty days, and wrote two epistles called Canonicas. And as there were many things to which he could not attend, confining himself to prayers and sermons, he ordained two bishops, Linus and Cletus, who performed the priestly office among the Romans and other people.


This series of woodcuts would appear to be a continuation of those found at Folio XCV verso:


Mary reclines on a bed, propped up against a pillow. Her head is surrounded by a simple nimbus, and she already holds a sceptre in anticipation of her reception in heaven. The hard square bed would appear to be out in the open. The apostles are gathered about Mary according to the text of the Chronicle. One of them, a rather diminutive figure, is seated on the floor in the foreground, with book in hand and apparently meditating on the Scriptures. The youthful figure beside Mary is probably John; next is Andrew, of the long flowing beard; then Peter, with rounded beard and bald except for the usual forelock. The woodcut is inscribed, "The Assumption of Mary, Mother of God."


The crowning of Mary is in progress. The Lord is seated on his throne, and Mary kneels beside him, about to receive the crown upon her head. Above and between them is the symbolic dove, with wings outspread, attesting the presence of the Holy Spirit. The woodcut is inscribed, "The Coronation of the Glorious Virgin Mary in Heaven."


Peter, in full pontificals, as Rome’s first pope, is seated in a narrow gothic chamber. He wears the triple crown and holds a crozier in his right hand. On his lap is an open book, and his look is one of meditation. The woodcut is inscribed, "In the year of the World 7223," and "In the Year of Christ, 34."