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

Berengar (Berengarius), the first of that name, a Roman, duke of Friuli, born of royal Lombard lineage, and highly informed in matters of war and martial transactions, after defeating the aforesaid Louis (Ludovico), secured the sovereignty of Italy, and reigned for 4 years. But in his elevation the Italians were not unanimous, for some chose Guido, duke of Spoleto, as king of Italy. Under these newly elected princes a revolt occurred which was followed by war. In the first onslaught Guido defeated Berengar; but Berengar, being a magnanimous man and well versed in military matters, regained the field in a short time, forcing Guido to remain in his duchy. Thus he also treated Ambrosius, the count of Bergamo. And after both these warriors were slain Berengar fought the Romans. In this period a serious controversy arose between the Germans, Italians and French for the possession of the empire. This was followed by a severe war, resulting in great property damage and loss of life before it ceased. The Romans and Italians, however, managed to retain the sovereignty in their country. Some say that Berengar was crowned as emperor by Pope Lando.[Berengar I, king of Italy, was the son of Eberhard, margrave of Friuli and Gisela, daughter of emperor Louis the Pious. Between 871 and 875 he succeeded his brother in the March of Friuli, and after the deposition of Charles III, he assumed the throne as grand-nephew of Charles the Great. In 888 he was crowned as king of Italy at Pavia, but found a dangerous rival in Guido the duke of Spoleto, who, after a decisive victory on the Trebbia, in 889, likewise assumed the kingship and attained to the imperial crown at Rome in 891. Berengar and Pope Formosus called upon the German king Arnulf for help against Guido. Arnulf came and occupied Lombardy in 894, but soon returned to Germany. During Arnulf’s second invasion of Italy in 896 Berengar opened negotiations with Lambert, son of Guido, and after the retirement of the Germans, entered into a treaty with Lambert by which he secured northeastern Italy as far as Adda. On Lambert’s death in 898, Berengar aspired to the entire empire. However, about 899, he was defeated by the Magyars on the Brenta, and after 902 was attacked by Louis of Burgundy, who assumed the Italian throne and the imperial purple. In 905 Berengar surprised Louis at Verona, and blinded him, and in 915 Berengar was crowned as emperor by Pope John X. Berengar maintained himself in office for 8 years, but not without continued warfare with the nobles, who finally offered the Italian crown to king Rudolph II of Upper Burgundy. On July 17, 923, Rudolph decisively defeated Berengar, who then called upon the Hungarians for assistance, thereby estranging the few who were still faithful to him. At Verona, which had always been loyal to him, a sworn confederacy was organized, in consequence of which Berengar lost his life on April 7, 924.]

Hugh (Hugo), count of Arles, ruled in Italy for ten years after Berengar. He was elected in opposition to Rudolph, the Burgundian, who had robbed Berengar of his empire. Rudolph abandoned the controversy and returned to Burgundy. Now this Hugh, having been warned by Rudolph, entertained mistrust and hatred against those who had elected him; and accordingly, he ordered one of his generals to take charge of the army while he sent the rest into exile. But the exiles, as well as other Italians at home, incited Arnold, duke of Bavaria, to come to Italy against Hugh with a well organized army. Hugh took up arms and defeated him. Not long afterwards he died.

Hugh (Hugo), king of Italy, son of Thietbald, duke of Provence, and Bertha, daughter of Lothair II, king of Lorraine, maintained a position of leadership in Lower Burgundy, even while the blinded emperor Louis III, its king, was still living; and answering a call for assistance from the enemies of king Rudolph in Italy, Hugh was elevated to the kingship of Italy at Pavia in July 926. After the death of Louis, in 928, Hugh secured his supremacy in Lower Burgundy still further. However, in 933, he ceded that country to Rudolph, who in turn gave up his claims to Italy. In Italy Hugh ruled with great vigor, and with harshness and cruelty. Spiritual and temporal offices he gave to his bastards and Burgundian favorites.

In the last years of the emperor Lambert a coalition had been formed among the Roman nobles. At its head stood Adelbert, count of Tuscany, supported by the influence and intrigues of the notorious Theodora, who was connected with some of the most powerful families of Rome, and who by means of her infamous daughters, Theodora the younger and Marozia, drew an additional number to the party. Marozia was notorious as the mistress of one pope, the mother of a second, and the grandmother of a third. The account of her career constitutes the most morally problematic page in the history of the papacy. On the death of Berengar Marozia sought to strengthen herself by marrying Hugh, whom her son, Pope John XI, had recognized as king of Italy. But the alliance proved of no avail to either party. Marozia introduced Hugh into the Castle Angelo; but the Romans under the leadership of Alberic, Marozia’s illegitimate son, refused to permit Hugh to enter Rome, and confined him to the Castle from which he was soon driven by Alberic. Marozia was cast into prison, and the pope restricted to his spiritual functions.

Equally unsuccessful were Hugh’s efforts to deprive Rudolph’s son Conrad of Burgundy, even though Hugh and married Rudolph’s widow Bertha with that in view. He meditated a scheme to imprison and to blind Berengar, margrave of Ivrea, but in this project he worked his own downfall. Berengar made a timely escape, taking refuge with Otto I, emperor of Germany. In 945 Berengar returned to Italy with a small army raised in Germany, and in a brief time won over the discontented nobles and assumed the sovereignty. Hugo and his son Lothair, whom he had made co-ruler, retained but the shadow of sovereignty, while Berengar exercised all the authority. Dissatisfied with this situation, Hugh returned to Provence in 946, and died at Arles in 947. When he left Italy his son Lothair remained as the reigning king.

Berengar (Berengarius) the Second reigned after Hugh (Ugonem) for 7 years. He so confounded the Hungarians that they retired to Etruria; and after they had devastated its cities they carried off a great amount of plunder. And while Berengar was considering how the Italian sovereignty might be restored by common consent, the Italian tyrants who feared his power and might, sought to prevent this; and they requested Rudolph, the Burgundian king to march into Italy. Rudolph came and drove out Berengar, and reigned there three years. But vengeance was not withheld from the Italians for long, for the Hungarians to whom Berengar had fled, came into Italy under the leadership of Salardus, and ravaged everything on the way. They besieged and captured Pavia, consuming everything with fire and sword. Finally this Berengar died in Hungary, or (as some historians state) in Bavaria.

Berengar II. According to reliable sources the margrave of Friuli who became king of Italy as Berengar I and was assassinated in 924, and the margrave of Ivrea, who assumed the sovereignty as Berengar II, and was deposed by Otto I, the German emperor in 966, are the only two kings of that name who entered upon the sovereignty of Italy. Berengar II was a grandson of Berengar I through the latter’s daughter Gisela. The person here referred to as Berengar II is neither of these.

Further confusion arises in the Chronicle by the introduction of a third Berengar; but what has been noted as to the second is equally true of the third. That the chronicler himself was confused in these matters becomes still more apparent from Folio CLXXVII recto, where “Berengar IV” is introduced, whose biography there corresponds to that of the real Berengar II (margrave of Ivrea), upon whose career a historical note will be found there. Schedel admits the confusion but blames it upon the uncertainty of his authority. It will be noted that in introducing “Berengar II,” at Folio CLXXVI recto, Schedel assigns no parentage and no place of birth to this sovereign; nor does he specify the date of his death, nor his place of death with certainty. He introduces “Berengar III” as the grandson of Berengar I, but does not know how he came to Italy, whether with an army, with the help of the Italians, or through the assistance of others, and adds that no one has explained the matter. He cautiously states that ‘some write’ that he reigned eight years. It is difficult to even speculate upon the matter.

It is difficult to even speculate upon the matter. Different sources may have presented varying accounts, resulting in duplication, and giving the impression that there were four Italian kings of this name instead of two.

Berengar (Berengarius) the Third, grandson of Berengar I, came into Italy, and in the year of the Lord 935, secured the sovereignty. Whether he came there with a large army, or with the help of the Italians, or through the assistance of others, no one has written. But it is known that he came to Italy in the time of Pope Stephen VII. In the meantime the Saracens living about Mount Garganum overran the people of Apuleia and Calabria in a new revolt; and they besieged the city of Beneventum, captured and plundered it, and set it on fire. And as the Roman provinces had not yet been attacked by them, the Romans and Italians hurriedly collected an army under Count Guido as general. With this army he proceeded against the enemy, compelling the enemy to retreat. This Berengar made peace and entered into an alliance with the Hungarians, so that they directed against other peoples the raging madness which they had for ever so long practiced against the Italians. Some write that this Berengar reigned for eight years.[See note to “Berengar II,” above.]