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

Year of the World 6353

Year of Christ 1154

Adrian (Hadrianus) the Fourth was a native of England. While he was bishop of Albans, he was sent to Norway as a cardinal by Eugenius the Third; and he converted the people there to the Christian faith. Upon the death of Anastasius he was elected pope, and soon after the Romans by petition and threats urged him to leave the care and government of the city in the hands of a Roman senator, he himself to retire to the Lateran to perform consecrations. But as he was opposed to this, a governor named Arnold, whom Eugenius had excommunicated and driven from the city, was appointed. A cardinal was beaten on his way to the pope; for this reason the pope stopped singing and reading for a time (probably the last weeks of Lent), so that the people might be impressed with the circumstances. Afterwards several senators were deposed and the said governor driven out; the office of Easter was performed by the pope in the Lateran; and William (Guilhelmum), the king of Sicily, was severely cursed because he had appropriated many church estates. Frederick the First received the imperial crown from this pope. This pope was the first to establish his residence in the Old City, because it was more residential and livable. But when, pursuant to the solicitation of the Romans, he returned to the city, he was attacked by the Roman senators who had demanded that he free the city. Then the pope went to Anagnia (Arggnanum), where he soon died, in the fourth year and fifth month of his pontificate. His body was carried to Rome and buried in the Basilica of Peter not far from the sepulcher of Pope Eugenius.

Adrian IV was an Englishman by birth, named Nicholas Breakspear, the son of a village clerk, who was so poor that, having no means of living after the death of his wife, he had been obliged to serve as a domestic in the kitchen of the convent of St. Albans. The young Nicholas who was born before 1100 at Langley, near St. Albans, in Hertfordshire, was abandoned by his father, and lived by alms until he had attained the age of manhood. He then crossed the sea and went to France to seek a change in his life. Coming to Paris, he became a monk of the cloister of St. Rufus, near Arles, a chapter of regular canons. He rose to prior, and in 1137 was unanimously elected abbot. Eugenius III created him cardinal bishop of Albano. From 1152 to 1154 Nicholas was in Scandinavia as legate, organizing the affairs of the new Norwegian bishopric of Trondhjem, and arranging for the recognition of Uppsala as a metropolitan see in 1164. He had returned to Italy and been there but eight days when Anastasius IV died. On the day following the funeral the cardinals assembled in the palace of the Lateran and proclaimed Nicholas pope as Adrian IV.

The partisans of religious reforms, who had concurred in the election of Adrian, hoped that out of gratitude he would restore to the Roman people the rights of which they had been despoiled during the pontificate of Eugenius. But their hopes were dashed by Adrian, who refused their demands and drove away the Roman senators; after which he retired to the Vatican beyond the reach of the rage of the people. He at once compassed the overthrow of Arnold of Brescia, the leader of anti-papal sentiment in Rome, who sought to free the city of priestly domination. Rome was seething with revolt, but no excesses were committed by the insurgents, except against Gerard, a cardinal priest, who was discovered to be a spy of the pope. He was met in the streets by a party of rebels, who beat him and left him for dead; but he survived.

Alarmed by this tumult, Adrian, shortly before Palm Sunday, 1155, put Rome under an interdict, causing divine service and sacrament to be intermitted everywhere. Then superstitious fear of the consequences conquered the patriotism of the people, and the Romans sought the pope’s pardon, pledging themselves to drive Arnold out of the city with his followers. The pontiff received this oath, promising to raise the interdict as soon as the promise was fulfilled. Arnold was compelled to quit the city at the very moment when the pope sallied forth in triumph from the city Leonine, to go to the palace of the Lateran, where he solemnly celebrated divine service.

In the meantime, Frederick Barbarossa had invaded Italy and was laying siege to some of the cities that had refused to recognize his authority. Fearing that the emperor’s journey would have a hostile conclusion, the pope sent three cardinals to the emperor to confer with him regarding his coronation and his intentions toward the holy see. The emperor received them with due honor, promised entire submission to the holy see, and even had the meanness to surrender Arnold of Brescia, the champion of liberty in Rome. He was at once loaded with chains and sent to Rome, where the cardinals ordered him burnt alive. The sentence was executed on the same day.

In 1155, Adrian crowned Frederick I Barbarossa as emperor; but this so incensed the Romans that the pope was compelled to flee from the city and to absent himself for several months. Then the emperor and the pope became involved in another controversy, and Adrian was about to excommunicate the emperor, when he, Adrian, died at Anagnia, the present Anagni, September 1st, 1159.

Conrad of Ursperg relates that on the day Adrian wrote the bull of excommunication against the emperor, he drank a cup of water from a fountain, in which, unbeknown to him, was an insect that fastened on his throat and ate the esophagus, not withstanding all the aid of skilled physicians. Others attribute his death to quinsy.

Year of the World 6359

Year of Christ 1160

Pope Alexander the Third, a native of Siena, was elected pope after the death of Adrian by the vote of twenty-two cardinals. Although regularly elected, he suffered many and various attacks. The opposition began with Octavian, a Roman cardinal, who was also elected, but by only three votes; and he was named Victor. This Victor attached himself to the Roman emperor, while Alexander took refuge with King Philip of France. Alexander held a council at Claremont in which he excommunicated the emperor as well as Octavian. Afterwards Frederick appointed three successive popes in opposition to Alexander. However, the Roman senators were favorable to Alexander, and requested him to return to Rome. In the meantime some of the Italian people, cherishing the hope and confidence of acquiring their freedom, took up arms against Emperor Frederick; at this the emperor assembled an army and proceeded into Italy as far as Rome. There the gates and doors were opened to the grim and angry emperor, and he was admitted. The pope so feared him that he and his household fled by night from Rome to Beneventum; and from there the pope, in the garments of his cook, secretly fled to Venice. But when his presence became known there he was received with due solemnity, and the duke and the people were blessed by him. But when the emperor learned that the pope was in Venice, he sent his son Otto there by sea with an army to demand his surrender. But Sebastian, duke of Venice, opposed and defeated him, took Otto prisoner, and brought him to Venice. In consequence peace was made between the pope and the emperor. On the following day the emperor accepted the terms, agreeing not to molest in the future what belonged to the church. And the pope ordered the emperor to prostrate himself publicly at the entrance of the Church of Saint Mark, and there to ask pardon. And the pope placed his foot on the emperor’s neck, and said: It is written, ‘upon the snake and the basilisk you shall walk, and tread upon the lion and the dragon.’ Then the emperor said, I am not subservient to you, but to Peter, whose successor you are. And so peace was made between the pope and the emperor. The pope came to Rome a third time; and he held a council in which much was ordered for the common good of the church. Finally, after many cares and much labor, he died at Rome in the 21st year and 19th day of his pontificate.

Alexander III (Orlando Bandinelli) pope from 1159 to 1181, was a Siennese, and teacher of canon law in Bologna, and author of the Stroma, or Summa Magistri Rolandi, one of the earliest commentaries of the Decretum Gratiani, and of Sentences, based on the Introductio ad Theologiam of Abelard. In 1153 he became papal chancellor, and was the leader of the cardinals who were opposed to Frederick Barbarossa. In 1159 he was chosen to succeed Adrian IV; a minority of the cardinals, however, electing the cardinal priest Octavian as Victor IV. The antipope, and his successors, Paschal III (1164-68) and Calixtus III (1168-78) had the imperial support; but after the defeat of Legnano, Barbarossa finally (in the peace of Venice, 1177) recognized Alexander as pope. In 1178, Alexander returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice, from 1162 to 1165, and again in 1167. The first period he spent in France, the latter chiefly in Gaeta, Beneventum, Anagni, and Venice. In 1179 Alexander held the third Lateran synod, reckoned by the Roman Catholic Church as the 11th ecumenical council; its acts embody among them the present law for the election of a pope by a two-thirds vote of the cardinals. This synod marks the summit of Alexander’s power. Besides checkmating Barbarossa, he had humbled Henry II of England in the matter of Thomas Becket, and, even as a fugitive, had enjoyed the favor of Louis VII of France. Nevertheless, soon after the close of the synod, the Roman Republic forced Alexander to leave the city, which he never re-entered; and on September 29th, 1179, some nobles set up Innocent III as antipope. By the judicious use of money, however, Alexander got him into his power, so that he was deposed in 1180. In 1181, Alexander excommunicated William the Lion of Scotland, and put the Kingdom under the interdict. Alexander died in 1181.

Fortunatus Ulmus relates the humiliating ceremony to which Frederick Barbarossa was obliged to submit at the hands of the pope. “When the emperor arrived in the presence of the pope, he laid aside his imperial mantle, and knelt on both knees with his breast to the earth; Alexander advanced and placed his foot on his neck, whilst the cardinals thundered forth in loud tones, ‘Thou shalt tread upon the cockatrice, and crush the lion and the dragon.’ Frederick explained, ‘Pontiff, this prediction was made of St. Peter, and not of thee!’ ‘Thou liest,’ replied Alexander; ‘it is written of the apostle and of me;’ and bearing all the weight of his body on the neck of the prince, he compelled him to silence; he then permitted him to rise, and gave him his blessing, after which the whole assembly thundered forth the Te Deum.”