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

Frederick (Fridericus) the First, surnamed Barbarossa, a native of Swabia, son of Duke Frederick of Swabia (a brother of King Conrad), was born of the illustrious line of Charles the Great. He was elected to succeed King Conrad at Frankfurt, in the Year of the Lord 1153, at a general election held by the electors; and he reigned 33[The Latin edition of the concerning the reign of Frederick Barbarossa is incorrect. The German edition corrects the mistake and prints 38 years.] years. After he settled all controversies and restored peace in Germany, he proceeded to Lombardy with a large army, appearing before the city of Tortona (Terdonam)[Tortona (ancient Dertona) is a town and Episcopal see of Piedmont, Italy, and on the main line from Milan to Genoa. Dertona is spoken of by Strabo as one of the most important towns of Liguria, and the local museum contains Roman antiquities found there. In the Middle Ages Tortona was zealously attached to the Guelphs, on which account it was twice laid waste by Frederick Barbarossa in 1155 and 1163. In 1176 it made a treaty with Barbarossa and the people of Pavia, and was taken back into favor by Henry VI in 1193.]. Having taken that city he proceeded to Rome with such speed that the pope with his cardinals fled in fear to the Old City[This probably refers to Leonine city, the so called Civitas Leonina, a part of Rome built by Leo IV (847-855) on the right bank of the Tiber. It now includes the Borgo, the castle of St. Angelo, St. Peter’s and the Vatican.]. But after the exchange of many messages King Frederick came to the pope with due respect and humility, assured the pope of safety, and received of him the imperial crown. At the same time the Romans kept the gates of the city of Rome closed, and afterwards with a large force fell upon the Germans who remained outside. Many were slain on both sides. This enraged the emperor, but the pope pacified him, and the emperor returned to Germany. On the ground of consanguinity he divorced his wife, the daughter of Margrave Diepold of Voburg, and espoused Beatrice, daughter of the count of Burgundy. Simultaneously he made the duke of Bohemia a king, and made a duchy of the Austrian margraviate. But after Pope Adrian’s death the emperor became antagonistic to Alexander, his successor; and he besieged the wealthy city of Crema[Crema, a town and Episcopal se of Lombardy, in the Italian province of Cremona, and 26 miles northeast of the town of Cremona. In the 12th century Cremona attacked it and Milan sided with it. Barbarossa sacked it in 1160, but it was rebuilt in 1186. It fell under the Visconti in 1338, joined the Lombard republic in 1447, and was taken by Venice in 1449.], in Lombardy, and attacked the estates and territories of the Roman Church at the same time. He also plundered the city of Tortona, leveled Milan to the ground, and forced the inhabitants to take up their abode at a distance of ten miles. He also caused the city of Tortona much distress. These proceedings so touched the hearts of the rest of the Italian people that those of Verona, Padua, and Vicenza formed an alliance against the emperor. When news of this reached the emperor, he called together all of his Germans, and with the assistance of those of Pavia and Cremona, proceeded to Verona. But since the emperor feared the power of the pope, he craftily negotiated with the pope. When the emperor’s son Otto was taken prisoner at Venice, and Frederick secured pardon and absolution through the diligence of the Venetians, as stated above, he made gifts to Duke Sebastian and his successors, and endowed the senate of Venice with privileges and treasures. Now when Emperor Frederick was at last reconciled to the pope in the matter of his dealings against the church, he held a session of the princes at Nuremberg; and there he confirmed the peace treaty and published it throughout Germany. Then he took up the Cross against the infidels, and with eleven wagon-forts proceeded through Hungary, Bulgaria, and Thrace to Constantinople. From there he was assisted to the Bosphorus by Isaac, the Greek emperor. He took the city of Philomenia from the Turks, and then appeared before Iconium, plundering and burning it and the adjacent country. He then proceeded to Lesser Armenia, where he subjugated everything, so much so that Saladin, the Turkish sultan, was never before nor at any time since more worried about his extinction. But an unhallowed hour undermined the hopes of the Christians; for one day when the emperor was heated and covered with sweat he accidentally or thoughtlessly went into a stream of water to bathe; and he was drowned. This emperor was a magnanimous, shrewd, mild, strong and righteous man; and, except for his persecutions of the church, so highly esteemed, that in greatness of accomplishment the like of him is hardly to be found in history after Charles the Great.

Frederick I (c. 1123-1190), Holy Roman emperor called “Barbarossa” or “Red Beard” by the Italians, was the son of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, and Judith, daughter of the Welf Henry IX, duke of Bavaria. When his father died in 1147, Frederick became duke of Swabia, and immediately afterward accompanied his uncle, the German king Conrad III, on his disastrous crusade. In 1152 the dying king advised the princes to choose Frederick as his successor to the exclusion of his own young son. Frederick was chosen German king at Frankfort in 152, and crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle. He owed his election party to his personal qualities, and partly to the fact that the united in himself the blood of the rival families of Welf and Waiblingen.

Frederick’s first concern was to establish peace at home. For this purpose he issued a general order, and was prodigal in his concessions to the nobles. He divorced his wife Adelheid on the ground of consanguinity. In 1153, he concluded a treaty with the pope by which Frederick, in return for his coronation, promised to make no peace with Roger I, king of Sicily, or with the rebellious Romans, without the consent of Eugenius, and generally to help and defend the papacy. In 1154, he made the first of six expeditions into Italy, during which the subjugation of the peninsula was the central aim of his policy. He was crowned emperor at Rome in 1155. But disorders were again rampant in Germany, especially in Bavaria. Frederick restored peace by vigorous measures; Bavaria was transferred from Henry II Jasomirgott, margrave of Austria, to Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony; and the former was pacified by the erection of his margraviate into a duchy, while Frederick’s stepbrother Conrad was invested with the Palatinate of the Rhine. In 1156, the king married Beatrix, daughter and heiress of the dead count of Upper Burgundy. An expedition into Poland reduced Duke Boleslaus IV to submission, after which Frederick received the homage of the Burgundian nobles.

In 1158, Frederick sent out his second Italian expedition, during which imperial officers called ‘podestas’ in the cities of northern Italy, captured Milan (which had revolted), and the long struggle began with Pope Alexander III, who excommunicated the emperor in 1160. During this visit, Frederick summoned the doctors of Bologna to Roncaglia in 1158, and, as a result of their inquiries into the rights belonging to the kingdom of Italy, he obtained a large amount of wealth. In 1163, his plans for the conquest of Sicily were checked by a powerful league against him, provoked by the exactions of the podestas and the enforcement of the rights declared by the doctors of Bologna. Frederick had supported an antipope, Victor IV, against Alexander, and, on Victor’s death, a new antipope, Paschal III, was chosen to succeed him.

In 1166, he made his fourth journey to Italy. Having captured Ancona, he marched to Rome, stormed the Leonine city, and procured the enthronement of Paschal, and the coronation of his wife Beatrix; but the sudden outbreak of a pestilence destroyed the German army and drove the emperor to Germany. During the next six years, the imperial authority was asserted over Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary. Friendly relations were entered into with the emperor Manuel, and a better understanding was sought with Henry II, king of England, and Louis VII, king of France.

In 1174, Frederick made his fifth expedition to Italy. The campaign was a complete failure. The refusal of Henry the Lion to bring help into Italy resulted in the defeat of the emperor at Legnano in 1176, when he was wounded and believed to be dead. He concluded with Alexander the treaty of Venice (1177), and at the same time a truce with the Lombard league was arranged for six years. Set free from the papal ban, he recognized Alexander, and, in 1177, knelt before him and kissed his feet. Henry the Lion was deprived of his duchy, and sent into exile. Frederick’s son was betrothed to the daughter of Roger I of Sicily. The question of Matilda’s estates was left undecided, and Pope Lucius III, whom Frederick met at Verona to establish friendly relations, was reticent because the betrothal of Frederick’s son Henry to the daughter of Roger I of Sicily threatened to unite Sicily with the empire. Lucius refused to crown Henry or to recognize the German clergy who had been ordained during the schism. Frederick then formed an alliance with Milan, where the emperor, who had been crowned king of Burgundy, or Arles, at Arles in 1178, had this ceremony repeated in 1186; while his son was crowned king of Italy, and married to Constance, daughter of Roger I, king of Sicily, who was crowned queen of Germany.

The quarrel with the papacy was continued with the new pope Urban III, and open warfare was begun. But Frederick was recalled to Germany by the news of a revolt raised by Philip of Heinsberg, archbishop of Cologne, and instigated by the pope. Hostilities were checked by the death of Urban and the election of a new pope as Gregory VIII. In 1188, Philip submitted, and immediately afterward Frederick joined the Third Crusade with a splendid army. Having overcome the hostility of the Eastern Roman emperor Isaac Angelus, he marched into Asia Minor. On June 10th, 1190, Frederick was either bathing or crossing the river Calcycadnus (Geuksu) near Seleucia (Selefke) in Cilicia, when he was drowned. The place of his burial is unknown, and the legend which says that he still is in a cavern in the Kyffhaeuser mountain in Thüringia waiting till the need of his country shall call him, is now thought to refer at least in its earlier form, to his grandson, the emperor Frederick II. He left by his wife Beatrix five sons, of whom the eldest became emperor as Henry VI.

The Heresy of the Waldensians or Poor of Lyons, had its inception at this time through one Waldo (Vualdo), a citizen of Lyons. He was rich and caused his estate to be distributed to the poor. Through diabolical instigation he undertook to observe in its entirety the poverty of the evangelists. But as he was an uneducated man, he caused some books to be written for himself, containing sayings of the German saints, or to be translated into his language; and prompted by an inflated spirit, he dared to preach, although he did not understand the text. He collected many disciples and sowed much injurious seed, ignoring the prelates and the clergy. When after many warnings he persisted in his ignorance, he was excommunicated as a heretic, and driven from the country.[Waldensian is a name given to the members of a Christian sect which arose in the south of France about 1170 as a protest against the system of a rich, powerful, and worldly church, with Rome for its capital, which had its inception when Pope Sylvester gained the first temporal possession for the papacy. Against this secularized church a body of witnesses silently protested; they were always persecuted, but always survived, till in the 13th century a desperate attempt was made by Innocent III to root them out from their stronghold in southern France. It was in the year 1170 that a rich merchant of Lyons, Peter Waldo, sold his goods and gave the proceeds to the poor; then he went forth as a preacher of voluntary poverty. His followers, the Waldensian, or poor men of Lyons, were moved by a religious feeling which could find no satisfaction within the actual system of the church as they saw it before them. Waldo had a translation of the made into Provencal, and his preachers explained the Scriptures. Pope Alexander III, who had approved of the poverty of the Waldensians, prohibited them from preaching without the permission of the bishops (1179). Waldo answered that he must obey God rather than man, and was excommunicated by Lucius III in 1184, and his followers persecuted from place to place. In 1487, Innocent VIII issued a bull for the extermination of the Waldensians, who had taken refuge in the retired valleys of the Alps. Little settlements of heretics dispersed throughout Italy and Provence looked to the valleys as a place of refuge, tacitly regarding them as the center of their faith. Under the bull of the pope they were attacked in Dauphine and Piedmont at the same time, and were sorely reduced by the onslaught. They finally became absorbed in the general movement of Protestantism. The Waldensians, the Wycliffites, and the Lutherans were very similar in their reforms.]