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

Lothair (Lotharius), the second of that name, son of the aforesaid Hugh (Hugonis), received the kingdom upon the death of his father, and reigned 2 years. Afterwards Berengar III enlisted many foreign peoples and with these he invaded Italy. And when the news reached Italy numerous opponents sprang up in many places. When Hugh saw that he could not overcome Berengar by force, he tried negotiation; and he sent an emissary to the enemy, and a treaty was made to the effect that his son Lothair and Berenger should share the sovereignty, with equal rights. This joint rule lasted for several years, but in name only; for Berengar, a sharp-witted man, ignored Lothair, who maintained himself and his wife Adelaide (Alunda) at Pavia, enduring Berengar’s scorn and tyranny. In the meantime Hugh died. Lothair, a friend of the Romans, entered upon a desperate war with Otto, the son of Henry (Heinrici); for when Otto began his march against Rome, Lothair resisted him, and in consequence many great battles were fought and much blood was spilled.[Lothair, king of Italy, was son of Hugh, king of Italy, and was co-ruler with him subsequent to 931. In 937 he married Adelaide, daughter of Rudolph II of Bavaria. In 947, upon the death of his father, he became sole ruler of Italy. But his sovereignty was only nominal, for after 945 the government was actually in the hands of Berengar, margrave of Ivrea. Lothair died in 950, poisoned by Berengar, as is generally surmised.]

Rudolph (Rudolphus), who defeated Berengar at Verona, was a duke of Burgundy. He had previously relinquished his sovereignty in Italy to Hugh (Hugoni), the Count of Arles; and in turn afterwards became king of France. He reigned two years.[Rudolph II, king of Burgundy (apparently the person here referred to), succeeded his father Rudolph I in 912. He conducted endless warfare to enlarge his dominions. He was raised to the Italian throne in 921 by Adelbert of Ivrea, and in 923 defeated his rival Berengar. He left Italy in 925. In 933 he relinquished his sovereignty in Italy in return for that of Burgundy. He died in 937.]

Lack of historians in this period accounts for our want of knowledge as to the dealings of Berengar and Lothair (Lotharii). We do not know whether there were three or four Berengar’s, which is not a great surprise, the references to them being obscure. The historians are confused; some say that Berengar I reigned four years and that Berengar II reigned 12; and that the reign of Lothair and Berenger lasted 13 years. And so, as Ptolemy de Lucca writes, five Italian emperors, including kings and tyrants, reigned in Italy over a period of thirty-two years. Many historians neither give the length of the reigns of these emperors, kings and tyrants, nor distinguish between them. It is apparent that about fifty years elapsed between the inception of the reign of Berengar I and the coronation of Otto I as German emperor by Pope John the Twelfth. Otto I afterwards sent into exile the Berengar who first reigned in Lombardy.[See notes to Berengar I, II and III, Folio CLXVI recto.]

Berengar the Fourth, whom some call the third, entered upon the sovereignty of the empire with his son Adelbert after the death of Lothair (Lothario); and they reigned 11 years. Berengar was an honorable, candid, and distinguished man; for when Henry (Heinricum), the duke of Bavaria, defeated the Hungarians in Italy, and ravaged and plundered the richest regions lying between Aquileia and Pavia, Berengar speedily raised an army and proceeded against him. When Duke Henry learned of this, he departed from there to Austria. After this Berengar conquered all Italy, assumed the imperial title, and named his son Adelbert king. But Berengar ruled his subjects with tyrannic severity. He imprisoned his spouse Adelaide (Alundam); and by such conduct the Italians, through Pope Agapetus, were moved to call upon Otto to make himself king of Italy. And he came into Italy and avenged them, and espoused Adelaide.

Berengar II (here called Berengar IV), son of Adelbert, margrave of Ivrea, and of Gisela, daughter of Berengar I, was one of the mightiest Italian princes of his time. In 940 he fled before Hugh, the tyrannical king of Italy (whose niece Willa he had married) to Otto, king of Germany, to whom he did homage. In 945 he returned with a small army and was greeted by the nobles and the cities as a liberator. Although Hugh and his son Lothair had retained the royal title, Berengar alone exercised the authority. When Lothair died unexpectedly at Turin in 950, Berengar called a council of Italian nobles at Pavia, and caused himself and his son Adelbert to be elected kings of Italy. Berengar ruled with great severity and cruelty, and in their despair the people turned to the beautiful and pious Adelaide, widow of Lothair and daughter of Rudolph of Burgundy. She had made a large number of adherents in Burgundy and Italy, causing Berengar so much concern that he requested her to marry his son Adelbert, although her period of mourning had not yet expired. Rejecting this proposal she found herself exposed to the persecution and abuse of Berengar, who made her a prisoner at Como. She was later given over to one of Berengar’s nobles, who was charged to keep her securely in his castle at Lake Garda. She escaped to the castle of Canossa where she availed herself of the protection of Bishop Adelhard of Reggio. Her fate aroused the sympathy of King Otto, who became her avenger and at the same time availed himself of the occasion to seize Italy and to unite the imperial crown of Rome with that of Germany. Fearing that as a stranger in Italy he could not hope for support, and now being a widower, he offered to marry Adelaide, thus uniting their interests and acquiring a powerful ally in Italy.

In 951 Otto marched into Italy. Berengar, finding himself deserted by his vassals, as well as by the bishops whom he had sorely oppressed, fled to one of his castles. In a brief time Otto made himself lord of Upper Italy, and without election by the nobility, styled himself “King of the Lombards,” or “King of Italy.” Adelaide was brought to Pavia and the marriage was celebrated. In 952 Otto returned to Germany with his bride. Thus Italy was annexed to the Germano-Roman Empire.

Otto left his brother-in-law, Duke Conrad of Lorraine, in charge of Lombardy. But Berengar again became unruly. Through Conrad a conference was arranged between Berengar and Otto in Germany, and at the Reichstag of Augsburg, in 952, Otto restored the Lombard kingdom to Berengar and his son Adelbert, but only as vassals, and both were obliged to swear allegiance to Otto and to obligate themselves to pay tribute.

After his restoration Berengar ruled with cruelty and despotism; for which reason Otto, in 956, sent his son Liudolf to Italy. Although victorious, Liudolf died the following year.

But Berengar’s ambition remained unappeased, and he made a further attempt to free himself from Otto. In response to fresh appeals from the Italians and the pope, Otto crossed the Alps a second time and reconquered Italy. He entered Rome in triumph, and then pursued Adelbert who fled to the Arabs in Corsica. Berengar himself, and his wife, Willa, fled to the mountain fastness of Saint Leo, or Montefeltro (near San Mareno). There Berengar was forced to surrender to Otto and was exiled to Bamberg, where he died in 966. His wife Willa entered a monastery, and his son died in exile.

Adelbert (Albertus), son of the said Berengar, living at Ravenna, burdened the Venetian merchants with many mischiefs; for in the vicinity of a certain city he had the shipping within his power, and on the sea there he legalized piracy. But the Venetians, determined to no longer endure this, surprised the city in ships and captured the citizens there and obligated them under oath not to permit such piracy in the future. Afterwards Otto proceeded into Italy against Berengar, fought him and brought him into his power, and soon afterwards he exiled one to Constantinople and the other to Germany; and both died in exile.