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

paces of Jerusalem, and the city became visible before the dawn. Then a great miracle occurred; for there was a great shout in heaven, accompanied by joy, jubilation and exaltation; and when this ceased tears flowed down the cheeks (of the Crusaders), and they knelt down in devotion and humility. Thus the Christians greeted the Holy City of Jerusalem, and the revered Holy Sepulchre. This city is situated in the Palestinian region of Syria on a high elevation, and is surrounded by hills. It has neither a river nor a spring within or near it, except the creek of Siloah, which contains water in the rainy season, but is dry in summer. It has its source in Mount Zion, and passes through the middle of the valley of Jehosaphat. But within and without are numberless cisterns for the collection of rainwater. The region belongs to many peoples, enemies of the Christian name. To the east are the Arabs, Moabites, and Amonites; to the south the Sedumei (Edomites?), Egyptians and Philistines; to the west the maritime cities of Ptolemais[Ptolemais, also called Acco; now the port of Akka, called in the West since the Crusades, Acre or St. Jean d’Acre. Acre is a harbor town or city of Palestine. From the third century BC it was known as Ptolemais, perpetuating perhaps the name of Ptolemy II (Philadelphus). The name of St. Jean d’Acre dates from the time when it was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitallers.], Tyre, and Tripoli[Tripoli, an important maritime town of Phoenicia. As its name signifies, it was the metropolis of three confederate towns, Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus.]; and to the north Tiberias[Tiberias, principal town of Galilee on the sea of Tiberias or Gennesareth. The modern name is Tabarieh.], Caesarea[Caesarea, a seaport in Palestine, taken in 1101 by Baldwin I, on which occasion the “Holy Grail” was discovered.], Decapolis[Decapolis, originally a league of ten Greek cities for mutual defense against the Semitic tribes. The region of Decapolis is the territory in which these cities were situated—the country southeast of the Sea of Galilee.], and Damascus, reaching into the confines of Jerusalem. When the Christians arrived before the walls and gates of the city, they were eager to surround it. They stormed it from four points, finally taking it by force. In the capture of this city Godfrey (Gothifredi) secured special honor, for at the point allotted to him and his brothers for assault he was the first to scale the wall, and with the help of his brother Baldwin (Balduino) he descended into the city and opened the gates to the Christians. As they crowded their way into the city, there occurred such a slaughter, particularly in the temple, that the blood of the slain ran ankle-deep. If night had not intervened they would have taken the temple. On the following day they proceeded to capture the temple, and when all preparations had been made to take its upper reaches, the citizens cried out, begging for mercy; and they were promised their lives. In this manner the city of Jerusalem was won by the Christians on the Ides of July in the Year of Salvation one thousand ninety-nine, after having been in the possession of the Saracens during the reign of the emperor Heraclius. Then the captains removed their armor, and after ordering the Saracens to cleanse the temple, they humbly went forth to the Holy Sepulchre; and so did all the rest of the Christians.[From the victory of Antioch the Crusaders proceeded to Jerusalem; and when they came in sight of the city, they fell down on their knees and offered thanks to God. It is said they wept and shouted with joy; but their joy was succeeded by rage at beholding the Holy City in the possession of the Muslims. They besieged it and finally took it by storm in July 1099 after a siege of nearly six months. Thousands of Jews and Muslims were sacrificed to the fanaticism of the Crusaders. After this atrocity, the Crusaders proceeded with hymns of praise to the Hill of Calvary, and kissed the stone that reputedly covered the body of Jesus, offering thanks to God for the success of their undertaking. Then they established the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem which endured for nearly a century. Godfrey was made ruler, but was too pious to assume the title of “King,” calling himself “Defender of the Sepulchre.” It is said that he wore a crown of thorns instead of one of gold. He gained a victory over the sultan of Egypt at Ascalon in 1099, and died in the following year. He was succeeded by his brother, Baldwin.]

Having thus celebrated, and performed their devotions for eight days, they gave consideration to the appointment of a king for the city; and Godfrey (Gotfredum) was acclaimed king by the leaders and all the people. The leaders carried him on their shoulders to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord, and after performance of the office of the holy mass, he was named king of Jerusalem. Although he assumed the burdens and cares of government, he declined the title of king and the crown of the kingdom, saying that it was not fitting that an insignificant little sinner should place a crown of gold upon his head in a city in which the Savior of the World, and Eternal King, wore a crown of thorns drenched in his most holy blood[See Godfrey of Bouillon, note to Folios CXCIIII verso and CXCV recto, above.]. Afterwards Arnulf the priest was elected patriarch there. But in human affairs nothing pertaining to blessedness endures for long, and one year after the capture of the city of Jerusalem this Godfrey, the ruler there, was afflicted with a fever and died.[After the recovery of Jerusalem, its future government raised the eternal problem of the relations of Church and State. The pope had made a churchman, Bishop Adehemar, the leader of the holy war, and it might seem natural that he should be appointed to govern the Holy City. But Adehemar had died in August 1098, and there were left no churchmen of sufficient dignity for such a position. When the crusaders met on July 22nd, a few voices were raised in support of a “spiritual vicar,” to be chosen in the place of the late patriarch of Jerusalem (who had just died in Cyprus), before the election of any lay ruler was taken in hand. But the princes ignored the suggestion. Raymond of Provence refused the nomination on pious grounds, though one may suspect that his first ambition was the establishment of a principality in Tripoli, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. His refusal meant the choice of Godfrey. A few days later Arnulf, chaplain of Robert of Normandy, and one of the skeptics in the matter of the Holy Lance, became “vicar” of the vacant patriarchate. At the end of the same year Bohemund and Godfrey together became Dagobert’s vassals, and in the spring Godfrey even seems to have entered into an agreement with the patriarch to cede Jerusalem into his hands in the event of his dying without direct heirs. When Godfrey died in 1100, it might seem as if a theocracy was, after all, to be established in Jerusalem.]

Baldwin (Baldvinus) was elected king of Jerusalem upon the death of his brother Godfrey (Gotfredus), by the consent of all the Christians residing in the Holy Land, not merely as a governor, like his brother, but as a real king. This happened in that Year of Christian Salvation one thousand and one, the year in which Urban the Second (who started the movement for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre) died. Baldwin reigned 18 years. The Saracens collected a great army in order to recover the city of Jerusalem from the Christians. But Baldwin enlisted the aid of the Genoese and Venetians, captured the city of Ptolemais, defeated the Saracens, and in another battle defeated the Egyptians and slew the caliph, their king.[The theocracy contemplated by Godfrey and the patriarch Dagobert did not materialize, for the former’s brother succeeded him and became the first King of Jerusalem in fact and in name, as Baldwin I. See Baldwin I, note to Folios CXCIV verso and CXCV recto.]

In this year an unusual star was seen toward the south and west at vespers on Friday of the first week of Lent. It shone for 25 days, always at the same hour; and a great beam was seen coming from the east. Afterwards, on Maundy Thursday, the day of the Lord’s Supper, two moons appeared in the morning, one in the east, the other in the west. Before long a comet with long flaming streamers appeared; and to it a monk said, Have you come as the mother of lamentations? I have seen you for some time; but now I look upon you as one who threatens the destruction of this fatherland.