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

The Order Of Grandmont had its origin under Father Stephen (Stephano) in the Year of the Lord 1076. This same Stephen, son of a nobleman of Auvergne, was taken to Benevento during his childhood by his father; and there for 12 years he was brought up in learning and a good virtuous life by Saint Milo, the archbishop. Afterwards he wandered forth through many wildernesses and hermitages, acquainting himself with the life and manners of many spiritual people. Finally, through divine guidance, he came to a wooded mountain in Aquitaine. There he found a spring, sharp crags, wastes, and a perilous terrain. But Stephen was happy, and promised God to serve him there for all time. At the age of thirty he began life as a hermit, constantly fasting, watching, and praying in the service of God. His food was bread and water, and at times a crumb of wheat bran. When the number of his disciples increased, he showed himself the least among them. During his last illness he addressed his brethren thus: I leave you only God the Creator of all things. If you will always remain devoted to poverty, he will, through the prudence with which he rules all things, provide you with all that you shall need. He died in blessedness in his 80th year. And the brethren elected Peter of Limoges as prior. Now, the Augustinian monks thought that the region where Stephen’s brethren had resided belonged to them. Therefore the brethren decided to leave the region and prayed God to indicate to them a convenient place for their future residence, when the Agnus Dei had been sung three times, a voice was heard from heaven, thrice repeating, In Grandmont. This was heard by the prior and some of the brethren. On conclusion of the mass they came upon the location thus revealed, not far from their former residence. There they built a church and houses; and they carried the holy remains from there and buried them before the altar. This very few people knew. There a man afflicted with the gout was healed, a blind man’s sight restored, and many other miracles occurred. But the prior ordered these to be kept secret, so that no commotion or concourse of the people would take place.

Stephen of Grandmont was born in 1046, in the castle of Thiers, in Auvergne, belonging to his father, the Viscount de Thiers. At the early age of 12 his father took him on a pilgrimage to Italy. On his return the lad fell ill at Benevento, and the father was obliged to leave him under the charge of Milo, archbishop of that city. This prelate reared young Stephen with great care in all holy lore, and he afterwards became deacon. When the bishop died, Stephen, now 24, went to Rome and remained there four years. He resolved to live in great holiness, like the monks of Calabria. In 1076, he retired to a mountain near Limoges, where, among the rocks and trees he built a small cabin and took a vow to serve God in this hermitage. There he passed 46 years in prayer, and the practice of such austerities as almost surpassed the strength of a human body. He lived at first on wild herbs and roots. In the second summer certain shepherds discovered him and brought him a little coarse bread; which some country people from then on continued to do as long as he lived. He also wore next to his skin a hair-cloth with iron plates and hoops studded with sharp spikes, over which his only garment, made of the coarsest stuff, was the same both in summer and winter. When overcome by sleep he took a short rest on rough boards, laid in the form of a coffin. By degrees, disciples gathered about him, and placed themselves under his rule. He would not suffer them to call him abbot or master, but only corrector. To them he was ever compassionate, urging them not to discipline their bodies by excessive fasting; but with himself he was never lenient.

When his end drew near he called his disciples about him saying, “My sons, I leave you only God, to whom all things belong, and for whom you have renounced all things, and your own selves. If you love poverty, and cling to God constantly, He will give you all things that you shall need.” Five days after he was carried into the chapel, where, having heard mass and received extreme unction and the Holy Viaticum, he died on Friday, February 8th, 1124, at the age of almost 80 years.

Peter Damiani, a doctor and cardinal, highly informed in the Holy Scriptures, was, at this time, on account of these things, held in great esteem; and he wrote many excellent, praise-worthy and valiant things, particularly a book against the Jews; and also giving instances of things that occurred in his time. He was renowned for his piety, humility and wisdom. In order that he might be more free to serve God in humbleness he renounced his career as a bishop. As Dominicus(?) states, he wore iron armor against his bare body, and two iron belts about the same; also two iron bands about his arms.[Peter Damiani was born about the year 988, in Ravenna, of a good family, the Onesti, that was considerably reduced in circumstances. He was the youngest of many children, losing father and mother at an early age. He was left in the hands of a married brother, in whose house he was treated more as a slave than a relative; and when grown up, he was sent to keep swine. He had another brother called Damian, who was an arch-priest of Ravenna, and afterwards he made such progress that he was soon able to teach others. To arm himself against pleasure and the artifices of the devil, he began to wear a rough hair-shirt under his clothes, and to inure himself to fasting, watching, and prayer. He was generous to the poor, taking pleasure in serving them with his own hands. At a distance from is own country he embraced the monastic life, at a hermitage of the Benedictines, belonging to Font-Avellano, a desert at the foot of the Apennines in Umbria. He gave a considerable time to the sacred studies and became well versed in the Scriptures. His abbot, with the unanimous consent of the hermitage, commanded him to take over the government of the desert after his death; and this he did in 1041. He founded five other hermitages, in which he placed priors subject to his jurisdiction. He wrote much against the practices prevailing in the church and upon the decay of primitive discipline. At Font-Avellano he lived in a cell, fasted, and allowed himself no other subsistence than coarse bread, bran, herbs, and water. He tortured his body with iron girdles and with frequent disciplines to render it more obedient to the spirit. A mat spread on the floor was his bed. He was frequently called from his refuge by the pope to settle controversies in the church, and between the church and others. He died at the age of 83 on February 22nd, 1072, and is honored as patron at Faenza and Font-Avellano on the 23rd of the same month.]

John (Ioannes) the physician, surnamed Serapion, was renowned at this time for his skill and medical knowledge. He made a number of experiments, and compiled them in a book.[Serapion is the name of two Syriac-Arabian physicians of the Middle Ages (about the 10th or 11th century), whose works were published in Latin.]

Isaac Benimiram, a highly renowned physician, son of Salomon, the physician, wrote many things in the field of medicine in these times.[I have not been able to find any information on Isaac Benimiram.]

Seno, bishop of Trier, was taken prisoner by Theodoric, the count of Trier, thrown from a cliff three times, and finally slain with the sword.

Arnulf (Arnulphus) was illustrious for his miracles and virtues, principally in Saint Medard’s monastery. He became abbot there, and was finally elevated by the pope to bishop of Lyons.


Monastery of Grandmont is depicted as a walled institution. There are a number of buildings in the enclosure, chiefly a small Gothic church. The background shows a hilly country, with but little vegetation.