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

Conrad, the third of this name, grandson of Henry (Heinrici) the Fifth, and a native of Swabia, was elected Roman king at Coblentz after the death of Lothair (Lothario) the emperor, by the electors in the presence of Theodoric, a papal legate. He was afterwards crowned with the royal crown by the same legate at Aix-la-Chapelle; and he reigned 15 years. But the Saxons and Duke Henry the Proud of Bavaria were antagonistic to him. Afterwards a session of the princes was held at Bamberg; and there the king was moved to peace and mercy toward the Saxons and the widow of the emperor Lothair. But Duke Henry coveted the Roman kingship, and withheld the imperial jewels and sacred objects in the castle at Nuremberg; but he was later forced to give up the holy cross and spear. Pursuant to a decision of the princes he was exiled to Saxony by the king, and accompanied by four knights; and there he died. Now when King Conrad had made peace throughout Germany, he, together with kings Louis (Ludovico) of France, Alphonso of Spain, and Henry of England, and many other princes, undertook a crusade against the Saracens at the behest of Saint Bernard; and with a mighty army he proceeded to Constantinople. There he was received in a deceiving manner by Emmanuel (Hemanuel), the Greek emperor, and was soon prevailed upon to move against the city of Iconium under promise that he would be provided with everything that was necessary for his army. After this well fortified city had been besieged for some time, great sickness and death came upon his army, because the bread that was furnished him by the Greeks had been mixed with lime. And so King Conrad was obliged to retreat to Thrace. King Conrad and King Louis (Lodovicus) wrote to Baldwin (Baldvino), the king of Jerusalem for assistance, and decided to move the army to Damascus. And they came to Jerusalem. A papal legate had followed King Louis there. Then those three Christian kings were about to encamp before Damascus. They took with them in their train the papal legate and the patriarch of Jerusalem and many bishops, and they began a mighty siege of the city that the servants of Abraham had built. The city lies in a naturally dry plain, but by artificial means and industry it is rendered fertile; for in this region is a small river from which many ditches are run into the fields; and for that reason the soil is moistened and rendered very fertile. There the army encamped, so that it was an easy matter for it to withhold water from the inhabitants of the city. Upon the advice of an Assyrian (whom Baldwin greatly trusted), the Christians, together with their wagon-forts and camp, moved to another region, where the people of Damascus were able to prevent water from reaching the army. And famine and thirst followed, the army was obliged to break up, and Kings Conrad and Louis led their armies homeward to Europe. In the meantime Roger was elevated to king by the pope. He incited Welf (Guelfonem), the aforesaid Henry’s brother, to make war upon Conrad; but Welf was defeated at the castle of Winszberg. Finally King Conrad died at Bamberg in the Year of the Lord 1153[The chronicler (or his source) is here incorrect, for Conrad III died in 1152, not 1153.] without having received the imperial crown.

Conrad III (1093-1152), German king, second son of Frederick I, duke of Swabia, and Agnes, daughter of the emperor Henry IV, was the first king of the Hohenstaufen family. His father died in 1105, and in 1115, his uncle, the emperor Henry V, appointed him duke of Fanconia. In 1116, together with his elder brother, Frederick II, duke of Swabia, he was left by Henry as regent of Germany, and when the emperor died in 1125, he became titular king of Burgundy, or Arles. In 1126, he took part in the war between his brother Frederick and the new king, Lothair the Saxon, and was chosen king in opposition to Lothair in 1127. Hastening across the Alps, he was crowned king of Italy at Monza in 1128, and, in spite of the papal ban, was generally acknowledged in northern Italy. The rival popes both declared against him, and the Romans repudiated him. After failing to seize the extensive possessions left by Matilda, marchioness of Tuscany, he returned to Germany in 1132. He continued to struggle against Lothair, but finally submitted. Lothair died in 1137, and some of the princes met at Coblenz and chose Conrad for a second time as German king, in the presence of the papal legate. He was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle; but his position was jeopardized by Henry the Proud, the powerful duke of Bavaria and Saxony, who refused him allegiance. A war followed, in which Conrad was unable to make much headway in spite of the death of Duke Henry. Peace was made in 1142, when Henry the Lion, son of Henry the Proud, was confirmed in the duchy of Saxony, while Bavaria was given to Conrad’s step brother, Henry Jasomirgott, who married Gertrude, the widow of Henry the Proud.

Roger I, king of Sicily, having won considerable authority on the mainland, refused to recognize the German king, whose help Pope Lucius II implored against the rebellious Romans. But disorder was rampant in Saxony, Bavaria, and Burgundy; and, in 1146, war broke out between the Bavarians and the Hungarians; but the preaching of Bernard of Clairvaux caused many of the turbulent nobles to depart in the Crusades. In December 1146 the king himself took the cross, and with a large army marched through Hungary and reached Asia Minor, where his forces were decimated by disease and by the sword. Having shared in the fruitless attack on Damascus, he left Palestine in 1148 and passed the ensuing winter at Constantinople, where he made fresh plans for an attack on Roger of Sicily. The news that Roger had allied himself with Louis VII, king of France and his old opponent Welf of Bavaria, compelled him to return hastily to Germany. Conrad died on February 15th, 1152, at Bamberg, where he was buried.

Many believe that from this Welf (Guelffone), duke of Bavaria, the Guelfs derived their name. As a disturber of the peace in Italy, he secured control. But why some are called Guelfs and others Ghibellines, will be told later.[Guelphs and Ghibellines are names originally applied to two German parties formed in the 12th century around the families to which respectively belonged the dukes of Saxony and Bavaria and the lords of Hohenstaufen. The rivalry between these two families determined much of the history of Germany in the 12th century, and the names were employed at an early date in Italy where the Ghibellines formed the party of the emperor Frederick I, and the Guelphs formed the party opposed to him. In the next century, the terms acquired a wider sense; the Ghibellines still formed the Imperialist party, but the term Guelph lost all trace of its original association with dynastic rivalries in Germany and became applied to the supporters of the papacy in its struggle against the empire. Long after this struggle had become a matter of history, these ancient names survived in Italian civic politics, often noting factions whose origin had no real connection with the rivalry of empire and papacy in an earlier age. Of the terms themselves, Guelph represents the Old German personal name Hwelp, originally perhaps a nickname (for it corresponds to the English word “whelp”), but borne by many persons of rank, notably Welf, duke of Bavaria, in the 11th century. Ghibelline is a form of the place-name Waiblingen, an ancient possession of the lords Hohenstaufen, and not far from the castle of that name.]

Louis (Ludovicus), King of France, son of King Louis, reigned 48 years. He was a magnanimous and virtuous man; and in the fourteenth year of his reign, together with a great body of men and with the Roman king Conrad, proceeded against the Turks. When he approached Jerusalem, the Roman king there sent the patriarch to meet him. Louis was escorted through the city and shown all the venerated places; and he and his spouse remained in Jerusalem an entire year. Finally he and the princes returned to France.

From this time forth, and from day to day, the Oriental countries belonging to the Latins declined and fell upon evil ways, although up to this point the Latins had thrown fear into all the enemies of the Christian faith; but now they fell into such disrepute that the enemy no longer feared them; and thus the power and strength of the Christians were extinguished. In consequence, Noradinus began to trouble the region of Antioch.

Louis VII (c. 1121-1180), king of France, son of Louis VI, the Fat, was associated with his father and anointed by Innocent II in 1131. In 1137 he succeeded his father, and in the same year married Eleanor, heiress of William II, duke of Aquitaine. In the first part of his reign he was vigorous and jealous of his prerogatives, but after his crusade his religiosity developed to such an extent as to make him utterly inefficient. His accession was marked by no serious disturbances, save the risings of the burgesses of Orleans and of Poitiers, but he came into violent conflict with Pope Innocent II. The archbishopric of Bourges became vacant, and the king supported as candidate the chancellor Cadurc, against the pope’s nominee Pierre de la Chatre, swearing upon relics the pope’s nominee Pierre should never enter Bourges. This brought the interdict upon the king’s lands. He became involved in a war with Theobald, count of Champagne, which lasted two years (1142-44). The royal army occupied Champagne, and captured Vitry, where many persons perished in the burning of the church. Geoffrey the Handsome, count of Anjou, by his conquest of Normandy threatened the royal domains, and Louis VII by a clever maneuver threw his army on the Norman frontier and gained Cisors, one of the keys of Normandy.

At his court, which met in Bourges, Louis declared on Christmas Day, 1145, his intention of going on a crusade. Bernard preached the crusade at Vezelay (Easter 1146), and Louis set out from Metz in June 1147, on the overland route to Syria. The expedition was disastrous, and he regained France in 1149, overcome by humiliation. He caused a council at Beaugency (on March 21st, 1152) to annul his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine, under pretext of kinship. Eleanor married Henry II of England in the following May, and brought him the duchy of Aquitaine. Louis VII led a half-hearted war against Henry, but in August 1154, gave up his rights over Aquitaine and contented himself with an indemnity. In 1154, Louis married Constance, daughter of the king of Castile, and their daughter Marguerite he affianced imprudently by the treaty of Gisore (1158), to Henry, eldest son of the king of England, promising as dowry the Vexin and Gisors. After the death of Constance (1160), Louis VII married Adele of Champagne. Louis VII gave little sign of understanding the danger of the growing Angevin power, though in 1159 he aided Raymond V, count of Toulouse, against Henry II. At the same time the emperor Frederick I in the east was making good the imperial claims on Arles. When the schism broke out, Louis took the part of the pope Alexander III. He supported Henry’s rebellious sons, but acted slowly and feebly, and so contributed to the break-up of the coalition (1173-74).

Finally, in 1177, the pope intervened to bring the two kings to terms at Vitry. By his third wife, Adele, Louis had an heir, the future Philip Augustus, born on the 21st of August 1165. He had him crowned at Reims in 1179, and died on the 18th of September 1180.