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

Year of the World 6203

Year of Christ 1004

Pope John (Ioannes) the Nineteenth, a Roman, came to the pontificate through neglectfulness; and he did nothing memorable. He died in the fourth year and fourth month of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. The seat was then vacant for nineteen days. The injection of John XIX at this point is an error; for at Folio CLXXI verso the Lineage of the Popes was brought down to and including John XVIII. Here the chronicler resumes with John XIX, although John XVIII was succeeded by Sergius IV. The correct succession is as follows:

1004-1009John XVIII
1009-1012Sergius IV
1012-1024Benedict VIII
1024-1033John XIX
1033-1044Benedict IX

Sergius, the fourth pope of this name, a Roman, was elected pope after the aforesaid John (Ioannem), led a holy life, and was amiable in his dealings before as well as during his pontificate. He was kind to the poor and gracious to his friends and servants; clement to the guilty, and considerate of the disobedient. He was so wise and employed so much prudence that nothing occurred during his pontificate for which he could be held culpable or charged with neglect. He turned his whole mind to God, as all bishops properly should. He duly considered all things in advance, and transacted his affairs according to his inherent ability and good sense. Pursuant to the counsel and admonition of this pope the Italians at this time formed an alliance among themselves; and by their united strength they soon drove the Saracens out of Sicily. While these things transpired in Italy and Apuleia, and a famine occurred in Italy and over almost the entire world, this holy Sergius died in the second year and fifteenth day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. The seat was then vacant for eight days.[Sergius IV, son of a priest, was a Roman by birth. Plautinus and Ciaconius represent him as a man of great piety and exemplary morals; charitable to the poor, clement to the guilty, of perfect goodness, and extreme prudence. He turned all his thoughts toward heaven, and governed the church with integrity and wisdom. According to some he was the only priest of his time worthy of the papal chair, while according to others he was the mere tool of the nobility. He conceived a plan for driving the Arabs out of Sicily, but the short duration of his pontificate did not permit him to carry it out. He died in 1012.]

Year of the World 6213

Year of Christ 1014

Pope Benedict the Eighth, of Tusculum, when entering upon the pontificate, conferred the imperial crown on Henry the Second according to the statutes of Gregory the Fifth; and afterwards availed himself of the protection of the emperor in all things. But when his protector died, he was deposed, and another was ordered to replace him. Nevertheless he was friendly with his opponents, and when their pope was driven out, Benedict was reinstated. Not long thereafter he died in the eleventh year, first month, and 13th day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Peter. Some say (and particularly Damian, the teacher) that one day a bishop saw Benedict in a hermitage, seated on a black horse; and the bishop asked him why he was riding a black horse. And Benedict told the bishop how he came to be so severely punished. And he showed the bishop a place where he had hidden some money, and requested him to give the money to the poor in his name; for the money that he had previously given to the poor as alms, having been procured by theft, could not be of credit to him. This advice the bishop followed, and soon after this he left his bishopric and retired into a monastery.[Benedict VIII, pope from 1012 to 1024, was originally called Theophylactus. He was a layman and a member of the family of the Count of Tusculum, and was opposed by an anti-pope named Gregory, but whom he defeated with the aid of King Henry II of Saxony, whom he crowned emperor in 1014. In his pontificate the Saracens began to attack the southern coasts of Europe and to effect a settlement in Sardinia. The Normans also then began to settle in Italy, but their relations with Benedict were friendly. In Italy Benedict supported the policy of Henry II, and at the Council of Pavia he exerted himself in favor of ecclesiastical discipline. A number of authors gravely relate the numerous apparitions of Benedict VIII. Platinus assures us that a prelate saw his ghost, robed in his pontifical vestments, and mounted on a black horse. The bishop having asked the phantom which way he was going, the pontiff seized him forcibly by the arm, and lifting him from the earth, bore him to a place in which were concealed treasures, which he ordered him to distribute to the poor, to allay the sufferings he was enduing in another life as a punishment for his rapine.]

John (Ioannes), the twentieth pope of this name, a Roman whose father was Gregory, was pope when Conrad was elected to succeed the deceased emperor Henry (Heinrici); and from John he later received the imperial crown. Afterwards John was attacked by the Romans through revolt and open war, but was relieved through the might and power of the emperor Conrad, who threatened the Romans with death and extermination should they persist in distressing the pope. John died in the eleventh year and ninth day of his pontificate. The seat was then vacant for eight days.[John XIX, here called XX (Romanus, Count of Tusculum) although a layman, was elected to the papacy to succeed his brother Benedict VIII. He took orders to enable him to ascend the papal chair, and held the pontificate from 1024 to 1033. On payment of a large bribe, he agreed to grant the patriarch of Constantinople the title of ecumenical bishop, but the general indignation compelled him to withdraw form this agreement. On the death of the emperor, Henry II, in 1024, he supported Conrad II whom he crowned at St. Peter’s in Easter of 1027. His debauchery, extractions, and tyranny rendered him odious to the Romans, who conspired against his life and resolved to take up arms. But John escaped them and took refuge in German with Conrad II, who in the end re-established him as pope by force of arms, and punished the seditious.]

Year of the World 6223

Year of Christ 1024

Benedict, the ninth pope of this name (and, as some will have it, a nephew of Benedict the Eighth), of Tusculum whose father was Alberic, being an incompetent, unworthy, and witless man, was thrown out of the papal chair by the Romans, and John (Joannem), a bishop of Sabine, was put in his place as Sylvester the Third. But after the expiration of 49 days Sylvester was deposed and Benedict reinstated. However, a few days later, Benedict still mindful of the dangers of the former occasion, voluntarily surrendered the pontificate to an archdeacon named John; or, as some say, sold it to him. For this reason this Benedict was justly condemned by all men and by the judgment of God. After his death he appeared to a number of persons in gruesome and frightful form, lamenting his evil deeds. And in this manner also occurred the 14th schism, fraught with shame and anger engendered between this Benedict and others.[Benedict IX, pope from 1033 to 1056, son of Alberic, count of Tusculum, and nephew of Benedict VIII, was, like the latter, also called Theophylactus. Intrigues, bribes, and threats procured his election when he was but 12 years of age. His misconduct and debaucheries, although tolerated by the emperors Conrad II and Henry III, disgusted the Romans, and Cardinal Benno accuses him of witchcraft, enchantments, and the use of love-philters and of sacrificing to demons and participating in magical rites. In 1044, the Romans drove him out and appointed Sylvester III as his successor; but the latter remained in office but a few days, for the people of Tusculum soon recovered their influence and reinstated their pope. Benedict, however, sold his rights to his godfather, the priest John Gradianus, who in 10445 was installed as Gregory VI. The following year, at the Council of Sutri, Henry III obtained the deposition of the three competing popes, replacing them by Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, who took the name of Clement II. But before the close of 1047, Clement died, and Benedict was reinstated a third time. At last, after a pontificate of 12 years, the marquis of Tuscany drove Benedict from Rome and he was never seen there again.]