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

Year of the World 6273

Year of Christ 1074

Gregory (Gregorius), the seventh pope of this name, a Tuscan (Hetruscus) from Soana whose father was Bonicio(?), was formerly called Hildebrand (Yldebrandus) the monk. He was acclaimed pope by the multitude while the clergy and the people were attending the funeral of the deceased pope. He said he was chosen to the office by the Blessed Peter. Pursuant to popular clamor the cardinals met in council and regularly elected said Hildebrand, and named him Gregory the Seventh. This was the eighteenth year of the reign of Emperor Henry (Heinrici) the Fourth, at which time this same emperor was heavily encumbered by war with the Saxons. This pope was acceptable to God and man, intelligent, prudent, righteous, kind, a father to widows and orphans, and an earnest and strong warder and protector of the Roman church. He was opposed to heresy and impiety, and resisted the power of the evil princes who attacked the estates of the church. This pope warned Emperor Henry that in the future he should not confer a bishopric or benefice upon anyone through simony, avarice, gift or bribe. This pope later deprived bishop Hermann of Bamberg and the bishop of Constance of their offices on account of simony. The following Lent Gregory held a council at Rome, at which were present Guibert (Guibercus) the bishop of Ravenna and a great number of the Lombardian bishops. Influenced by Guibert, Henry would not obey the warning of Gregory; and Guibert, being a combative man, incited the son of the governor of Rome against Gregory; and when Gregory was holding mass on Christmas Eve, the son of the governor took him prisoner; but the Romans released him and destroyed the house of the governor’s son. He fled to Henry, and the pope placed him and all his accomplices under the ban; then the council made Guibert pope, as has already been stated in the history of Henry. Afterwards Gregory died, holy and piously, in the twelfth year, first month, and third day of his pontificate.

Gregory VII (Hildebrand), pope from 1073 to 1085, was born of humble parents in Tuscany, educated in a convent, and became a Benedictine. As chaplain to the exiled Gregory VI, he lived for a year at Cologne, acquiring an intimate knowledge of political and ecclesiastical conditions in Germany. He returned to Rome with Bishop Bruno of Toul, who became Pope Leo IX. Under him Hildebrand became a cardinal and held other church offices. On the death of Leo IX he acted as envoy of the Romans to the German court, to conduct the negotiations with regard to a successor. The emperor pronounced in favor of Bishop Gebhard of Eichstädt, who as Victor II employed Hildebrand as his legate to France. Stephen IX succeeded Victor II and was followed by Nicholas II, both through the influence of Hildebrand. It was during the latter’s pontificate that the papal election was transferred to the College of Cardinals. At the same time Hildebrand became the soul of the Curial policy, and sagaciously utilized the general political conditions, especially in Germany, during the succeeding pontificate of Alexander II.

On Alexander’s death, Hildebrand became Pope Gregory VII. Although the circumstances of his election invited assault, no attempt was made to set up a rival pontiff at first. When, however, the opposition against him developed a pretender his long and undisputed possession tended to prove the original legality of his papacy. He finally received sacerdotal ordination and Episcopal consecration. The story of his conflict with Emperor Henry IV has already been told (see Henry IV, Folio CXCII recto, and note).

The pontificate of Gregory VII came to a melancholy close, for he died an exile in Salerno on May 25th, 1085. Too much the politician, too rough in his methods, too exclusively the representative of the Roman see, he had made more enemies than friends. He took the first step towards the codification of the ecclesiastical law, and educated the clergy and the lay world to obey Rome. It was due to his efforts that the celibacy of the clergy became customary in Catholic Christianity.

Pope Victor the Third, previously called Desiderius, and formerly abbot of Monte Cassino, as soon as he secured the pontificate, undertook to protect those who had favored Gregory, his predecessor; and for this reason he made an enemy of Emperor Henry (Heinricum). In the first year and fourth month of his pontificate, through Henry’s cunning (as Martinus the historian states) this pope, while holding mass, was assassinated by means of poison placed into the chalice.

Victor II, pope from 1086 to 1087, succeeded Gregory VII. After studying in various monasteries he became provost of St. Benedict at Capua. In 1055 he entered the cloister of Monte Cassino. In 1057 he became abbot, and his rule marks the golden age of the celebrated monastery. He promoted literary activity and established an important school of music. As papal vicar in southern Italy he conducted frequent negotiations between the Normans and the pope. On the death of Gregory VII he declined the papal tiara, and the year 1085 passed without an election. In 1086 the cardinals proclaimed him pope against his will, but he was driven from Rome by the imperialists before his consecration was complete. Laying aside the papal insignia at Terracina, he retired to his monastery. As vicar of the Holy See he convened a synod at Capua in 1087, resumed the papal insignia two weeks later, and received tardy consecration at Rome on May 9th, 1087.

Owing to the presence of the anti-pope, Clement III, who had powerful partisans, his stay at Rome was brief. He sent an army to Tunis, which defeated the Saracens and compelled the Sultan to pay tribute to the Papal See. In 1087 he held a synod at Benevento which renewed the ex-communication of the anti-pope; banned archbishop Hugh of Lyons, and abbot Richard of Marseilles, as schismatics; and confirmed the prohibition of lay investiture. Falling ill at the synod, Victor returned to Monte Cassino, where he died on September 16th, 1087. He was succeeded by Urban II.

Victors’ original name was Dauferius Epifani. He was the son of Landolfo V, prince of Benevento. When he entered Monte Cassino he changed his name to Desiderius.

Year of the World 6283

Year of Christ 1084

Urban, the second of this name, previously called Otto or Oddo, first a monk, and later a cardinal, was elected pope five months after the death of Victor. He was worthy of the papal dignity in view of his Scriptural learning and pious life. He wrote many excellent letters to the Countess Matilda (Mathildim). Having but small faith in Roman dealings, as a measure of precaution he decided to hold a council at Melphi. But when he observed that he could not hold a council in peace in any city of Italy, he called one at Placentia[Now Piancenza, about 42 miles southeast of Milan, and formerly in Cisalpine Gaul.]; and there he marvelously silenced the undertakings of some of the clergy. Afterwards he proceeded into Gaul and there held a council in which he admonished the Gallic princes to rescue the city of Jerusalem which was being withheld by the Saracens. One reads that in the Year of Christian Salvation one thousand ninety-four he made an elegant and daring speech before the same council, at which were present those summoned from all Christendom, and that he incited three hundred thousand people to rescue Jerusalem and the Promised Land. After this he returned to Rome to arouse the Italians to join the crusade as soon as matters were settled in Italy. But he was pursued with such enmity by one John (Ioanne), an evil pagan, that for two years he remained in seclusion in the house of a mighty citizen. But when this tyrant died Urban undertook to settle the affairs of the church. Finally, after suffering many persecutions, and burdened with care and labor, he died in the twelfth year, fourth month, and nineteenth day of his pontificate.[Urban II (also called Oddo or Otho), pope from 1088 to 1099, was born near Reims, became archdeacon of Auxerre, and later joined the congregation of Cluny, when he became sub-prior. He was created cardinal-bishop of Ostia in 1078 by Gregory VII, to whom he was so loyal, especially as a papal legate in Germany, that he was imprisoned for a time by Henry IV. He was elected pope by an assembly of cardinals and others at Terracina in 1088, and throughout the major part of his pontificate he had to reckon with the presence of the powerful antipope, Clement III. He maintained an alliance with the Norman Duke Roger, Robert Guiscard’s son and successor, and united the German with the Italian opposition to the emperor by promoting the marriage of the Countess Matilda with young Welf of Bavaria. He aided Prince Conrad in his rebellion against his father and crowned him king of the Romans at Milan in 1093. Invited to Tuscany by the Countess Matilda, he convoked a council at Piacenza in March 1095, attended by so vast a number of prelates and laymen that its sessions were held in open air, and addressed by ambassadors of Alexius, the Byzantine emperor, who sought aid against the Muslims. Urban crossed the Alps in the summer, and remained over a year in France and Burgundy. He held a largely attended council at Clermont in 1095, where he preached the First Crusade. Crusaders on their way through Italy in the year 1097 finally drove the antipope from Rome, and firmly established Urban in the papal see. With a view to facilitating the crusade, a council was held at Bari, in 1098, at which religious differences were debated. Urban died suddenly at Rome in 1099, fourteen days after the capture of Jerusalem, but before tidings of that event had reached Italy. His successor was Paschal II.]