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

Silvester (Sylvester), the third pope of this name, a Roman whose father was Lawrence (Laurentio), was installed as pope in the place of the deposed Pope Benedict. But like the other popes just mentioned, he did not remain in the pontificate very long; for at this time the papacy had come to this, that those who attained to the pontifical office were not the pious, virtuous and highly learned, but the mighty, powerful, and such as had bribes and gifts to offer for it. Would to God that such a custom had not endured to our own time.[Silvester III. When Benedict IX was driven from Rome in 1044, John, bishop of Sabina, was elected in his stead, taking the name Silvester III. Within three months Benedict returned and expelled his rival. Nearly three months later the council of Sutri deprived him of his bishopric and priesthood. He was sent to a monastery where he is said to have died.]

Year of the World 6233

Year of Christ 1034

Pope Gregory (Gregorius) the Sixth received the pontificate from Benedict, as previously stated. When this became known to Henry (Heinricus) the Third he was displeased, and justly so. He went to Rome with a large army to quiet these spiritual controversies and to establish peace. A council was held, consisting of many fathers summoned there for the purpose. In this council Benedict the Ninth, Silvester the Third and Gregory were condemned; and so these three monsters were relieved of their authority while Suidger (Syndegerum), bishop of Bamberg, later called Clement the Second, was elected pope. However, Gilbert, the historian, states that Gregory had demeaned himself worthily toward the church of God, reviving the dignity of the papal office by his great intelligence, and by doing away with the robbers and murderers who preyed on those wishing to come to Rome for devotional purposes. For this reason evilly disposed persons called him a bloody slayer; and thus he was also spoken of by the cardinals. While suffering from an illness, of which he later died, he summoned the cardinals and reprimanded them because they had blamed him for what he had justly done. And he said, When I am dead, lay my corpse before the church door, and securely lock the door. When this had been done as he desired, the door was suddenly opened by a strong wind, and the corpse was carried in as evidence of his great piety, to the astonishment of all the people.[Gregory VI, pope from 1045 to 1046, as John Gratianus, had earned a reputation for learning and probity. In 1045 he bought the pontificate from his godson Benedict IX. At the council of Sutri held by Henry III in 1046, he was accused of simony, and was deposed and banished to Germany.]

Clement, the second of this name, who had been a bishop of Bamberg and had been called Suidger (Syndegerus), was elected pope in council through the instigation or management of Henry (Heinrico) the Third; while the same Henry was crowned emperor in the presence of the council. A great number write that Clement, to prevent such errors in the future, under obligation of an oath forbade the Romans to elect a pope, except when, at the command of the emperor himself they were authorized to do so. He died in the 9th year of his pontificate, as some say, by poison.[Clement II (Suidger) became pope in 1046. He belonged to a noble Saxon family, was bishop of Bamberg, and chancellor to Henry III, who elevated him to the papacy. He was the first pope placed on the throne through the power of the German emperors. His short pontificate was noted only by the convocation of a council that enacted decrees against simony. He died in 1047.]

Damasus the Second, a native of Bavaria, previously called Stephen (Stephanus), succeeded to the pontificate after Clement. Some say Clement was poisoned at his instigation; and this they believe because soon after Clement’s death Damasus undertook to secure the pontificate by force. But Damasus lived only 23 days after this event. Those practices had so gained the upper hand that every vainglorious person undertook to attack and seize Peter’s chair. But God, the Avenger, opposed this Damasus and cut short his life as a fearful example and warning to others.[Damasus II, pope from July 17th to August 9th, 1048, succeeded Clement II. His original name was Poppo, and he was bishop of Brixen, when Henry III raised him to the papacy.]

Leo the Ninth, a German (Alemannus), in the Year of the Lord 1049, came into the pontificate in this manner: While the chair rested the Romans went to Emperor Henry (Heinricum), in Saxony, asking him to provide them a pope. Henry recommended Bruno, a bishop, and an evil, simple-minded man. Now when this Bruno was proceeding to Rome in his papal vestments, and passing through Vesuncium,[Vesuncium, probably Vesunna, an ancient capital of Aquitania. Its position is Perigueux, where many old Roman ruins are still to be found.] two monks prevailed upon him to take off his papal attire; and he proceeded to Rome in the dress of a pilgrim. And there, on the last day of the sixth month from the time the chair became vacant, he was regularly accepted, and called Leo the Ninth. He was a good, kind man, and so diligently devoted to the giving of alms that his house was always open to the poor. Once he found a leper before his door and invited him to lie down in his bed. When they searched for the man in the morning and he could not be found anywhere, it was believed that this had been Christ instead of a poor man. Leo died in the fifth year, 2nd month, and 6th day of his pontificate.[Leo IX, pope from 1049 to 1054, a native of Upper Alsace, was originally named Bruno. Through his father he was related to Emperor Conrad II. He was educated at Toul where he successively became canon and bishop. With concurrence of the emperor and the Roman delegation assembled at Worms, he was elected pope on the death of Damasus II in 1048. He stipulated, however, that he should first proceed to Rome for canonical election by the voice of the clergy and the people. On his way to Rome he met Abbot Hugo Cluny at Besancon, where he was joined by the young monk Hildebrand, afterwards Gregory VIII. He arrived in pilgrim’s garb, and at his consecration assumed the name of Leo IX. He held a number of councils at various places. In 1053, he set out against the Normans in the south, with an army of Italian and German volunteers, but was defeated. He died in 1054 and was succeeded by Victor II.]