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

Pope Victor the Second, formerly called Gebhard, a Bavarian by birth, and seventeenth bishop of Eichstadt, secured the papal office after Leo; but rather by the grace of Henry (Heinrici) than a free election; for the Roman clergy and people feared the might of Henry. Now after this Victor was confirmed in the papal see by common consent of the people, he held a great council at Florence, and there he deposed many bishops from their bishoprics for simony and wantonness, admonishing the clergy what was becoming to them, and reminding them of the pains and penalties prescribed by ecclesiastical law for such violations. This Victor died in the second year, third month, and fourteenth day of his pontificate. The seat was then vacant for 11 days.[Victor II, successor to Leo IX, was the son of a Swabian baron, and his baptismal name was Gebhard. While still a young man, he was appointed to the see of Eichstädt, and he soon became the chief advisor of Emperor Henry III. Henry nominated him to the papacy at the instance of a Roman deputation headed by Hildebrand. In 1035, Victor met the emperor at Florence, and held a council, which condemned once again clerical marriages, simony, and the alienation of the estates of the church. In 1056, Emperor Henry died, and Victor, having become guardian of his infant son, and adviser of the empress Agnes, now wielded enormous power which he used for the maintenance of peace, the strengthening of the papacy, and the checking the aggressions of the barons. He died in 1057 and was succeeded by Stephen IX.]

Pope Stephen (Stephanus) the Ninth, formerly called Frederick, a native of Lorraine, was regularly elected pope after the death of Victor. As soon as he had entered upon his pontificate he diligently directed his attention to securing recognition of the supremacy of the Roman church on the part of the church of Milan, which for nearly two hundred years had remained severed from it. When this pope learned that practically all Italy and Burgundy were tainted with simony, he sent Hildebrand, the arch-deacon, there to cleanse them of that evil. He planned to hold a council at Florence, but died in the eighth month and eighth day (of his pontificate), and was buried in the cathedral church at Florence.[Stephen IX, pope from August 1057 to March 1058, succeeded Victor II. His baptismal name was Frederick, and he was a younger brother of Godfrey, duke of Upper Lorraine. Frederick, who had been raised to cardinal by Leo IX, acted for some time as papal legate at Constantinople, and was with Leo in his unlucky expedition against the Normans. He shared his brother’s fortunes, and at one time had to take refuge from Henry III in Monte Cassino. Five days after the death of Victor II he was chosen to succeed him. He died in 1058.]

Benedict the Tenth, a native of Campania who was first called Mincius (Nuncius), was named pope by the powerful Roman nobles contrary to the wishes of the cardinals and entire clergy of Rome. Now when this Nuncius, a bishop of Velletri, had been forced into the pontificate as Benedict the Tenth, and no orderly election could be held at Rome, Hildebrand, the cardinals, bishops, and other members of the clergy proceeded to Siena and elected Gerard, while Benedict was driven out in the ninth month and tenth day of his pontificate.[Benedict X (Johannes ‘Mincius,’ that is, the ‘lout’ or ‘dolt,’ bishop of Velletri) was pope form 1058 to 1059, having been elected to succeed Stephen IX through the influence of the Roman barons, who, however, had pledged themselves to take no action without Hildebrand, who was then absent from Rome. Hildebrand put forward an opposition pope in the person of Gerard, bishop of Florence (pope as Nicholas II) whom he supported against the Roman aristocracy, with the help of the Normans Hildebrand seized the castle of Galeria, where Benedict had taken refuge, and degraded him to the rank of a simple priest.]

Pope Nicholas the Second, a native of Burgundy (Allobrogus), formerly a bishop of Florence, and called Gerard, was elected pope at Siena because of his virtue and extraordinary intelligence, after the deposition of the irregularly elected Benedict. This highly wise and prudent pope, in the same council, prescribed the form and manner in which the popes should be elected by the cardinals, which ordinance was then incorporated into the ecclesiastical laws. A council was held at Sutrium in the Year of the Lord one thousand fifty-nine, at which the bishops and nobility were present. Some write that in this council Berengarius was recalled from his errors. Some say that Henry (Heinricum) the Fourth received his imperial crown from this Nicholas the Second. Nicholas died in the third year, 6th month and 26th day of his pontificate. The seat then was vacant for 12 days.[Nicholas II, pope from 1058 to 1061, was a Burgundian named Gerard, who at the time of his election was bishop of Florence. He was opposed in the candidacy by Benedict X, the nominee of the Roman nobles, and was crowned after the latter’s expulsion in 1059. He entered into relation with the Normans, now firmly established in southern Italy. He continued the reforms of Hildebrand, sharpening the discipline of the clergy and regulating future elections to the Holy See. The emperor’s traditional rights in the matter of papal elections were completely ignored. Stephen, cardinal priest of St. Chrysogonus, was sent to the German court to attempt to allay the consequent ill feeling, but was not received. Pope Nicholas, moreover, had offended the German bishops by what they regarded as arbitrary interference with their rights; and they retaliated in a synod held in 1061, by declaring the new electoral law annulled, and the pope himself deposed. But party strife in Germany enabled the pope to ignore these proceedings. He died in July 1061.]

Alexander the Second, previously called Anselm (Anshelmus), a native of Milan, and a bishop of Lucca, was in his absence, and because of his graciousness, goodness, mildness and learning, elected pope after the death of Nicholas; and as such he came to Rome in pontifical vestments. However, the bishops on this side of the mountains, considered it fitting that one of their own country, and among their own number should be elected. Through Gibertus of Parma, they secured from Emperor Henry (Heinrico), contrary to the wishes of his mother Agnes (Agnete), authority to elect another as pope. For this reason the devilish bishops proceeded to Lombardy, and elected Cadalus of Parma as antipope. Cadalus proceeded to Rome, became involved in a battle in the field of Nero, and was driven from Rome. He was subservient to those beyond the mountains. Afterwards, through the son of Cincius, the governor at Rome, he was taken to the Castle Angelo. But when Emperor Henry realized his mistake, he reinstated Alexander, who died in the 11th year and 6th month of his pontificate, and was buried in the Lateran Basilica.[Alexander II (Anselmo Baggio), pope from 1061 to 1073, was a native of Milan. As bishop of Lucca, he seconded the efforts of Hildebrand (afterwards Gregory VII) for the suppression of simony and enforcement of the celibacy of the clergy. By Hildebrand’s influence he was elected pope, but the German court nominated Cadalus, bishop of Parma, who was proclaimed at the council of Basel as Honorius II, and marched to Rome. Alexander’s ultimate victory over his rival was due to Hildebrand.]