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

Otto the First, an emperor of the Germans, heir to King Henry (Heinrici) and successor to his kingdom, was declared emperor by the pope in the Year of Salvation 962, after he had reigned in Germany for eighteen years. He had been crowned previously at Aix by Hildebert, the archbishop of Mainz; and he ruled the empire for 12 years. This was a very Christian man, and a lover and earnest defender of the Roman Church. He subdued Boleslas, the Bohemian duke, and after the deliverance of King Louis (Ludovicum) of France, gave peace to the kingdom. During the same time Hugh (Ugo) the Great, a Parisian count, who had Otto’s sister to wife, carried a grudge against King Louis of France. In consequence Emperor Otto once again marched into France and compelled Hugh to obey Louis.[Louis IV (921-954), king of France, surnamed “d’Outremer” (Transmarinus, ‘Across the Sea’), was the son of Charles the Simple. On his father’s imprisonment in 922 his mother fled with him to England—a circumstance to which he owes his surname. But after the death of the usurper Rudolph (Raoul), Ralph of Burgundy, Hugh the Great, count of Paris, and other French nobles chose Louis for their king, and the young man was consecrated in 936. His reign was marked by rebellions of the French nobles, who refused to recognize his authority, and by an irruption of the Hungarians into Burgundy and Aquitaine in 937. Backed by the Pope, Louis showed great zeal in quelling these revolts, and by an alliance with Otto the Great, formerly one of his most determined enemies, he gained a temporary success. The powerful vassal, Hugh the Great, was in 949 forced to make submission and to restore Laon to his sovereign; but the last years of the reign were troubled with fresh difficulties with Hugh the Great and by an irruption of the Hungarians in the south of France. Louis died September 10, 954, and was succeeded by his son, Lothair.] Duke Giselbert (Gisilbertus), who had espoused King Otto’s sister, opened hostilities against the French, proceeding as far as Andernach, where he was defeated, and while in flight was drowned in the Rhine. And so the king acquired the entire region of the Netherlands by surrender. Afterwards King Louis took the widow of Giselbert in marriage. Now at this time the Hungarians overran Germany; and they settled down at the city of Augsburg on the river Loch. And although Emperor Otto, pursuant to an appeal from the very holy Ulrich (Udalrici), the bishop there, armed against the Hungarians and attacked them with his forces and defeated them, he suffered great bloodshed and loss among his own men. For in the battle, which lasted a number of days, letting up only at night, there fell Conrad, the son-in-law of the emperor, and also the Duke of Worms. And so all the Hungarians were slain and exterminated, and they were so reduced and exhausted in possessions and strength that they were compelled to remain at home for a long time. Three Hungarian petty kings were taken prisoner in the same battle, and having been brought before King Otto, were hanged by the Germans to the dismay of the Hungarians. When the praise and renown of these mighty and victorious battles of Emperor Otto against the enemies of Rome reached the Romans and the Italians, they appealed to him to relieve them of the tyranny of Berengar and his son Adelbert, and that of other tyrants. So after having crowned at Aix his seven year old son, born to him by Adelaide (Alunda) and also called Otto, as king of Germany, Otto proceeded to Rome with great honor and there he received the imperial crown from Pope John the Twelfth (although some say from Leo the Eighth); and he admonished Pope John to lead a better life. Pursuant to a request by the people that Otto designate a worthy pope, he ordered the election of Pope Leo, whom he confirmed. After silencing matters at Rome, he proceeded to Spoleto; and he defeated the Greeks at Apuleia and Calabria; and thus he acquired for Germany the imperial sovereignty of Rome. At Gazlar (Goslaria) in Saxony, he discovered a silver mine. He endowed the city of Magdeburg with many treasures and made it an archiepiscopal see. He also minted coins, which in Italy were called Ottolini. Being a good and particularly kind man, he performed many praiseworthy deeds, and made his son co-ruler of the empire. He died of old age, and his body was taken to Magdeburg and buried in the Church of Saint Maurice, which he had built at very great expense.

Otto I, the Great (912-973), Roman emperor, eldest son of King Henry I, the Fowler, was chosen German king in 936, and was crowned by Hildebert, archbishop of Mainz. He was not content with nominal supremacy. In 937 he punished Eberhard, duke of Franconia, for an alleged infringement of royal authority, and in 938 deposed Eberhard, duke of Bavaria. Trouble soon arose in Saxony, probably through Otto’s refusal to give certain lands to his half-brother, Thankmar, who, although the king’s senior, had been passed over in the succession as illegitimate; but Thankmar was defeated by the king and was killed while taking sanctuary. In 939 a fresh revolt broke out under Otto’s brother Henry, and Giselbert, duke of Lorraine. Otto gained a victory near Xanten, which was followed by a surrender of the fortresses held by his brother’s adherents in Saxony; but the rebels, joined by Eberhard of Franconia, and archbishop Frederick of Mainz, continued to struggle, and Giselbert of Lorraine transferred his allegiance to Louis IV, king of France. Otto’s precarious position was saved by a victory near Andernach, when Eberhard was slain, and Giselbert was drowned in the subsequent flight. Henry took refuge with Louis of France, but was soon restored to favor and entrusted with the duchy of Lorraine, where, however, he was unable to restore order. Otto therefore crossed the Rhine and deprived his brother of authority.

The deaths of Giselbert of Lorraine and of Everhard of Franconia quickly followed by those of two other dukes, enabled Otto to unite the stem-duchies more closely with the royal house. During these years the tribes living between the Elbe and the Oder were made tributary, bishoprics were founded in this district, and in 950 Otto marched against the Bohemians and reduced them to dependence. Strife between Otto and Louis IV had arisen when the French king sought authority over Lorriane, and aided the German rebels in 939; but after the German king had undertaken and expedition into France, peace was made in 942. Later, when Louis became a prisoner in the hands of Hugh the Great, duke of France, Otto attacked the duke, who, like the king, was his brother-in-law, captured Rheims and negotiated a peace between the two princes. In subsequent struggles between them, his authority was several times invoked.

In 945 Berengar, margrave of Ivrea, left the court of Otto and returned to Italy, mastering that country. When Lothair, king of Italy, died in 950, Berengar sought the hand of his widow Adelaide for his son Adelbert. Adelaide appealed to Otto, who crossed the Alps in 951, assumed the title of king of the Lombards, and married Adelaide. He returned to Germany in 952, followed by Beranger, who did homage for Italy at Augsburg.

In 955, at Lechfeld, Otto defeated the Magyars, who had invaded his dominions, and in the same year defeated the Slavs who had ravaged the Saxon frontier.

About this time Otto perceived the necessity of ruling in close union with the church. Lands and privileges were granted to prelates. Additional bishoprics were founded, and some years later Magdeburg was made an arch-Episcopal seat. In 960 Otto was invited to Italy by Pope John XII, who had been pressed by Berengar, and he began preparations for the journey. His son Ludolf having died in 957, and Otto, his only son by Adelaide, having been chosen king at Worms, the government was entrusted to Bruno of Cologne and archbishop William of Mainz, a natural son of the king. Reaching Pavia at Christmas, 961, the king promised to defend and respect the church. He then proceeded to Rome where he was crowned in 962. The Romans promised obedience, and Pope John took an oath of fidelity to the emperor. But as he did not long observe his oath, he was deposed by a synod held in St. Peter’s after Otto had compelled the Romans to swear they would elect no pope without the imperial consent; and a nominee of the emperor, who took the name of Leo VIII, was chosen in his stead. In 965 a pestilence drove Otto to Germany, and finding the Romans again in revolt in 966, he allowed Rome to be sacked and the leaders of the rebellion severely punished. He next moved against the Greeks and Saracens of southern Italy. By 972 peace had been restored in Italy, and Otto returned to Germany where he received the homage of the rulers of Poland, Bohemia and Denmark. Otto I died suddenly at Memleben on May 7, 973.

They report that great omens appeared in Italy in these times. For a huge stone fell from the heavens during a great wind and rain; and bloody signs of the cross appeared on the clothing of many people.

The tenth and eleventh schisms occurred in the time of Emperor Otto, between John (Ioanne), Leo, and Benedict, and were of the nature and based upon the causes heretofore stated.

The sun suffered a dreadful eclipse in the third hour on Friday in Spain when Adamarus (Addamaram), the king of the Saracens, was defeated in war by Radamirus, the most Christian king of Galicia.

A miraculously large comet, presaging a famine, appeared in Italy. So king Otto brought the remains of Saint Innocent to Magdeburg. In Otto’s 32nd year one of his counts became possessed of the Devil, who caused him to tear himself with his teeth. He was brought to Pope John XIII to have the chains of Saint Peter placed about his neck. But as the wrong chain was at first placed upon him, and he was not relieved, the true chain with which Saint Peter had been bound was then placed about his neck. Immediately, then, he was relieved of the Devil who burst forth and fled with a shriek. Then Theodoric, the bishop of Mainz, seized the chains, saying he would rather lose a hand than the chains. So the emperor decided that the pope should give the bishop a link of the said chains.