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

Henry (Heinricus), the second emperor of this name, a duke of Bavaria, was elected Caesar upon the death of Otto, in the Year of the Lord one thousand and one, or, as others will have it, around the year one thousand and three, by the German electors, who on this occasion for the first time exercised the electoral rights which had been conferred upon them. He reigned 22 years. Although some historians reckon him as Henry the First, in some of his writings and letters seen at Bamberg, he describes himself as Henry the Second. In addition, several historians call him Henry the Second, and to this we will adhere in the following narrative. Because of the numerous wars he fought with the Gauls and those of Metz, his sojourn in Italy extended itself over a period of 12 years. Afterwards he was anointed emperor by Willigis the bishop of Mainz. He made the Wends tributary to himself, later received the imperial crown from Benedict the Eighth, and conducted his first expedition to Capua, where he drove out the Saracens. He captured the city of Troy in the vicinity of Apuleia from its citizens, received hostages for it, and returned to Rome. This one was a very Christian prince and a very holy man. He lived in a state of virginity or heavenly chastity with his wife Kunigunde (Kunegunda). Pursuant to the advice and encouragement of both, King Stephen of Hungary and his subjects were converted to the Christian faith. He espoused his sister to the same king. Henry lived with his wife in such a state of chastity and holiness that both were illustrious in miracles after death; for during their lives they neglected nothing that appertained to the honor of God; and they founded the Bamberg bishopric, and endowed with many estates and treasures. He also restored the episcopal foundations of Hildesheim (where he was reared and educated from childhood), Magdeburg, Strasbourg, Meissen, and Merseburg, which had been ruined by the Wends during their occupation. Finally, after many wars in Bohemia, Germany, and Italy, he died, illustrious for many miracles that occurred after his death.

Henry II, surnamed the Saint, Roman emperor, was the son of Henry II, the Quarrelsome, duke of Bavaria, and Gisela, daughter of Conrad, king of Burgundy, or Arles, (who died in 993), and great grandson of the German king Henry I. Henry II, the emperor, was born May 6th, 973, and educated at Hildesheim and at Regensburg. He became duke of Bavaria on the death of his father in 995, and about 1001 married one Kunigunde (or Cunigunda), daughter of Siegfried, count of Luxemburg. When Otto died childless in 1002, Henry was chosen king by the Franks and Bavarians, and was crowned by Willigis, archbishop of Mainz. He purchased the allegiance of the Thüringians and Saxons; and when shortly afterwards the nobles of Lorraine did homage and Hermann of Swabia, his rival, submitted, he was generally recognized as king. Henry conducted an expedition into Italy, where Arduin, margrave of Ivrea, had been elected king. Meeting no resistance from the latter, Henry was crowned king of the Lombards at Pavia in 1004. He then freed Bohemia from the Poles, and in 1005 compelled the Polish king to sue for peace. In 1013, Henry went to Rome, recognized Benedict VIII as the rightful pope, and was crowned emperor by him in 1014. In 1021 he crossed the Alps for a third time at the request of Pope Benedict, who was calling for assistance against the Greeks of southern Italy. With the aid of the Normans, Henry crippled the Greeks, but a pestilence compelled him to return to Germany in 1022.

Henry was enthusiastic for church reform, held numerous diets, and issued frequent proclamations for peace; but feuds among the nobles were common, and the frontiers of the empire were insecure. Henry was the first to use the title King of the Romans.

In 1006 Henry resolved to found a new bishopric in Germany. He selected Bamberg for the purpose, perhaps because as some expiation for the wrongs done by his ancestors to Adelbert of Babenburg, who had by them been despoiled of his life and lands. And although the plan did not materialize at the time, the cathedral church of Bamberg was dedicated in 1012. Henry also richly endowed the Episcopal sees of Hildesheim Magdeburg, Strasbourg, Meissen, and Merseburg.

Having nominated as his successor Conrad, duke of Franconia and Swabia, Henry died in 1024, and was buried at Bamberg. It is said that on his deathbed, calling together the surrounding abbots and bishops and the kinsmen of Kunigunde, he said to them, “Receive back again your virgin whom you gave to me.” On the authority of this remark, and the fact of their having had no children, it is said that the loss of Henry to Kunigunde was rather that of a brother to a sister, than that of a man to his wife; an opinion stated with certainty in the bull of the canonization by Pope Eugenius III, and in that of Kunigunde by Pope Innocent III two hundred years later. It is, however, probable that Henry only meant that he was childless, for, as has been observed, the word virgo, had that significance as well as the one usually attributed to it.

Conrad the Second, of Swabian origin, or (as others will have it) a Frenchman by birth, and through his mother descended from the first French kings, who came from Troy, was chosen by the electors in Germany after the death of the emperor Henry (Heinrico). He had been a chief among emperor Henry’s knights. King Conrad spent three years in Italy. In the meantime the Italian princes and the people entered into an alliance to drive Conrad out of Italy by force of arms; but when news of this reached him he led a large army into Italy. Encountering resistance at Milan, he devastated the countryside and besieged the city, threatening not to withdraw until he had burned and leveled it to the ground. But when on holy Whitsuntide the archbishop of Cologne was performing the office of the holy mass in a church near the city, he appeared to Conrad as a spirit, and told him that Saint Ambrose, the patron there, had threatened the Germans with death or extermination if they would not withdraw. In consequence of this Conrad and his army struck camp and went to Rome where he was endowed by John (Ioanne) the Twentieth with the gold crown and the titles of the Empire while standing between Eudone, the English king, and Rudolph, king of Burgundy. Leaving Italy at peace, he marched against the Wends and Hungarians and defeated them. He finally died in Lower Utrecht in the 17th year of his reign.[Conrad II. Upon the death of Henry II in 1024, Duke Conrad of Franconia was chosen king of Germany as Conrad II. He was the first of the four Frankish kings who in succession occupied the throne of Germany from 1024 to 1125. He was descended from Conrad, who had married the daughter of Otto the Great, being thus related to the Saxon line that ended with his predecessor. His reign was marked by firmness and wisdom. He was a friend of the citizen class, and by favoring the cities he won the support of the citizens against the nobles. He was crowned King of Italy in 1026, and emperor in the following year. In 1026, Conrad became king of Burgundy, the crown having been bequeathed to him by Rudolph III, whose niece, Gisela, was Conrad’s wife. Conrad’s reign was marked by many wars. He crushed several rebellions in Bohemia, repulsed a Polish invasion, and conquered the Slavonic tribes on the Oder and lower Elbe. He founded the cathedral of Spire, where he and his successor were buried. He died in 1039 and was succeeded by his son Henry III.]

A dreadful comet, flaming back and forth and scattering about, appeared in the third year of Henry’s (reign), dispersing flames here and there. Likewise, in the seventh year of the (same) year of this (emperor) there was an eclipse of the sun, the moon appeared bloody, and a great earthquake occurred. A burning torch or shaft resembling a tower descended from the sky with a great roar. So also in Lorraine, a spring turned to blood, foretelling famine and death. And such a famine and pestilence occurred throughout the world that in Italy more people succumbed to death than remained alive.

Lineage of the Emperors (resumed from Folio CLXXXII recto):

Henry II and Kunigunde, in regal robes, mitered crowns and scepters. Between them they hold a model of the cathedral church at Bamberg founded by Henry, where he and his wife lie buried.