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

Ratherius (Racherius), a bishop of Verona, and formerly a monk, and a highly learned man, wrote on many subjects, and uprooted the so-called Anthropomorphic heresies. Through boorish ignorance those heretics held that God has human attributes, being ignorant of the words of the Lord that the Holy Spirit is an incorporeal God.

Dunstan, bishop of Canterbury, was illustrious at this time for his piety and great miracles, and founded many monasteries. In the days of his approaching death he learned from the angels the antiphon, King of Nations and Ruler of Them.[Dunstan (909-988), English archbishop and son of a noble, was born near Glastonbury. He entered the household of King Aethelstan, but his love of books and of song, and his mechanical skill soon excited the dislike of his kinsfolk at the court. Accused of practicing the black arts, he took refuge with his kinsman, Alphege, bishop of Winchester, whose persuasion, seconded by a serious illness, induced him to become a monk. Dunstan then lived as a hermit near the old church of St. Mary until Aethelstan’s successor, Edmund, recalled him as one of his counselors. His enemies again procured his expulsion; but about 943 Edmund revoked the sentence and made Dunstan abbot of Glastonbury. Under him the abbey became a famous school, monastic life was revived, and St. Peter’s re-erected, and the administration of the realm was largely in the control of Dunstan, who sought to establish royal authority, to conciliate the secular clergy and the laity. In 960, after having been the bishop of London, he became archbishop of Canterbury. In the same year Edgar became sole king of England. When Edgar died in 975, Dunstan secured the crown for Edgar’s elder son Edward, who was murdered three years later. On the accession of Aethelred, Dunstan’s public career ended. He died at Canterbury in 988.]

Edgar (Etgarius), an English king and a very Christian man, ruled over the English for 9 years after his father Aethelstan (Echelstanum). Of him we read that among other works he built a monastery nearly every year.[Edgar, English king (944-975), was the younger son of Edmund the Magnificent. When he became king he immediately recalled Dunstan from exile and made him first bishop of Worcester, and then of London. In 960, Dunstan was translated to Canterbury, and throughout Edgar’s reign he was his adviser, and to him must be attributed much of the peace and prosperity of this time. Edgar and Dunstan were alike determined to reform the great monastic houses, to restore them to their true owners and to remove them from the lax discipline of the secular priests. The coronation of Edgar was delayed for 7 years because he had violated a nun, and he was not crowned until 973. He died in 975, after a vigorous rule and the pursuit of a statesmanlike policy.]

Adeobald (Adeobaldus), bishop of Utrecht, was also renowned in these times for his skill and his pious life. He wrote much in praise of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Cross.

Theodoric, seventh bishop of Metz, was a holy man, and ordered many relics to be brought to him from Italy. After concluding a holy life, he finally went to his rest.

Hatto, archbishop of Mainz, and formerly an abbot at Fulda, is said to have been consumed by mice on the Rhine, because in a time of famine he assembled a great number of the poor in a stable or barn, as though he were about to give them alms, but ordered them to be burned. The mice also gnawed his name from the walls and the tapestries.[ Hatto. For Hatto I, see Folio CLXXIV recto. The text here, however, probably refers to Archbishop Hatto II of Mainz (968-970). However, the old legend of the Mouse-tower on the Rhine is told of both bishops. The most common version, found in Wikipedia (as of August 2008), is as follows:]

Odo, bishop of Canterbury, was also celebrated at this time for his holy life. Likewise Anfridus (Aufridus) of Utrecht, and Gerhard (Gerhardus), bishop of Camera.

The following abbots all flourished in virtue and piety at this time: William (Guilhelmus), Richard, Popo, Ostertus and Berno.

In Vasconia appeared a miraculous creature, with two heads, the body divided from the navel up. It also had two chests; and when one head ate, the other slept.[Vasconia. See note on Folio CLXVIII recto.]

Hugh (Hugo) the Great, surnamed Capet, upon the death of King Louis (Ludovico) of France, received the kingdom through the same lineage. He and his spouse reigned together for four years. Some say he was a count or duke of Paris, and that his father was a butcher. But in his time France was not in the ascendancy, as when Pepin and the other kings reigned; for formerly all of Gaul beyond the mountains, Austrasia, and a large part of Germany belonged to France. But when the sovereignty devolved upon the Saxons, not only Germany and Switzerland, but also a large part of the Netherlands, and Burgundy also, became part of the empire.

Hugh Capet (c. 938-996), king of France and founder of the Capetian dynasty, was the oldest son of Hugh the Great. When his father died in 956, he succeeded to his numerous fiefs around Paris and Orleans, and his cousin, the Frankish king Lothair, recognized him somewhat reluctantly as duke of the Franks. Many of the counts of northern France did homage to him as overlord, and Richard I, duke of Normandy, was both his vassal and his brother-in-law. Hugh supported his royal suzerain when Lothair and the emperor Otto II fought for the possession of Lorraine; but chagrined at the king’s conduct in making peace in 980, he went to Rome to conclude an alliance with Otto. Laying more stress upon independence than upon loyalty, Hugh appears to have acted in a haughty manner towards Lothair, and also toward his son and successor, Louis V; but neither king was strong enough to punish this powerful vassal. When Louis V died childless in 987, Hugh and the late king’s uncle Charles, duke of Lower Lorraine, were candidates for the vacant throne, and in this contest Hugh was victorious. He was crowned in the same year.

The authority of the new king was quickly recognized in his kingdom, but he was compelled to purchase the allegiance of some of the great nobles by grants of royal lands, and he was hardly more powerful as king than he had been as duke. Moreover, Charles of Lorraine was not prepared to bow before his successful rival, and before Hugh had secured the coronation of his son Robert as his colleague and successor, he had found allies and attacked the king. But through treachery Charles was seized and handed over to the king. This virtually ended the war; but one of the side issues was a quarrel between Hugh and Pope John XV, who was supported by the empire, then under the rule of the empress Adelaide and Theophano as regents for the young emperor Otto III. In 987 the king appointed to the vacant archbishopric of Reims a certain Arnulf, who at once proved himself a traitor to Hugh and a friend of Charles of Lorraine. In 991, at the instance of the king, the French bishops deposed Arnulf and elected Gerbert in his stead, a proceeding which was displeasing to the pope, who excommunicated the new bishop and his partisans. Hugh and his bishops remained firm, and the dispute was still in progress when the king died at Paris in 996.

Hugh was a devoted son of the Church to which he owed his throne. The origin of Hugh’s surname of Capet, which was also applied to his father, is undoubtedly derived from the Latin capa, cappa, or caps, but whether Hugh received it from the cape which he wore as abbot of St. Martin’s of Tours, or from his youthful and playful habit of seizing caps, or some other cause, is uncertain.


Hatto (II), archbishop of Mainz, in Episcopal vestments; seven black mice scamper over his mitre, crozier and body.


“Celebrated abbots” (Abbates Insignes), portrait of a single abbot which does service for a number briefly mentioned in the text.


Monster in Vasconia (Monstrum in Vasconia); Siamese twins, each drinking from a cup.