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

Year of the World 6413

Year of Christ 1214

Pope Honorius the Third, a Roman whose father, Almeric, was a Roman citizen, was elected pope by the cardinals at Perugia. It was decided to have such election take place more speedily than in previous cases; for the citizens of Perugia, considering the distress and complaints of the Holy Land, which had been lost, and the war in Italy, locked up the assembly of the cardinals and decreased their food from day to day to hasten the election, so that consideration of peace and of matters concerning Christianity might be accelerated. After receiving the pontificate and being inducted into office, this pope undertook, through emissaries and legates, to carry out the transactions begun by his predecessors; and in these actions he was also urged by Peter, emperor of Constantinople, who, together with his spouse Yolande (Iolem), was not long afterwards invested with the imperial crown in the Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the city of Rome. Soon afterwards the pope appointed the cardinal, John (Ioannem) of the Pillars, legate of the papal see, to manage the affairs of the Christians. This pope gave Frederick the Second the imperial title, but afterwards deposed him for misconduct in office. He received the king of Jerusalem, who had come to Rome, very kindly. He also enacted many ecclesiastical laws, and made costly additions to the churches. Finally he died in the tenth year, seventh month, and 13th day of his pontificate, and was buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore at the manger.

Honorius III (Cencio Savelli), pope from 1216 to 1227, highly educated, and a pious Roman, after holding various church offices, succeeded Innocent III as pope. He made peace with the emperor Frederick II. He was eager to carry out the decrees of the Lateran Council of 1215 against the Albigensians, and to further the crusade proclaimed by his predecessor. He crowned Peter of Courtenay emperor of Byzantium, in April 1217; espoused the cause of Henry III of England against the barons; accepted the Isle of Man as a perpetual fief; and made special ecclesiastical regulations for the Scandinavian St. Dominick papal major-domo in 1218. In 1223, he approved the San Franciscan Order, and authorized many of the tertiary orders. He was succeeded by Gregory IX.

The manger is, purportedly, the remains of the actual manger in which Jesus slept after his birth. The architect Domenico Fontana was called to design the chapel to house the presumptive relics of the Nativity manger. The original Nativity Oratory, with the presepe (‘manger’ or ‘crib’) built in the 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio, is below the chapel.

Pope Gregory the Ninth, a Hernicus by birth from the region of Anagni, was from a family of counts and the nephew of Innocent the Third. And he, when he was elected pope, reminded Frederick of his vow to undertake a crusade to the Holy Land, and threatened to confirm and enforce anew the ban of excommunication pronounced by his predecessors against Frederick, unless Frederick would appear at once. For that reason Frederick promised to undertake the matter, and a day was fixed for a meeting at Brindisi (Brundisii). To that place came a large number of people, and particularly from Germany, the landgrave of Hesse, who died there with a large number of his knights. In the meantime Frederick remained in Sicily, feigning illness. But when Frederick was informed of the landgrave’s death, be sailed to Brindisi in great haste, and took possession of all the property and treasures left by the landgrave. When Pope Gregory became aware of the cunning of Frederick, he confirmed the former judgment of excommunication and deposition of his predecessors against Frederick. During the course of these events, and while the pope was away from Rome, the Roman senate took measures against the statutes of the Church, and to secede from it. Hannibal, one of the members of the Senate, was favorable to a heresy into which many priests had fallen. They feared the pope’s return, and so caused a revolt. But divine vengeance soon silenced them; the Tiber became so swollen that it caused much damage; and this was followed by such a plague that hardly one person out of every ten survived. The pope privately and openly bestowed many alms; and he also made a great number of improvements, constructing buildings and taking other protective measures in Rome. After he had suffered much distress and worry through Frederick, he called a general council of the Christians on the advice of the kings of France and England. But Frederick barred access to it by land and sea, and the cardinals were imprisoned by the Pisan fleet. Thus the council was prevented. Finally this pope died in the Year of Salvation twelve hundred and fofty-one in the fourteenth year and third month of his pontificate.[Gregory IX (Ugolino Conti de Segni), pope from 1227 to 1241, was a nobleman of Anagni, and probably a nephew of Innocent III. He studied at Paris and held a number of ecclesiastical offices before he became pope. In 1227, he excommunicated the emperor Frederick II, for continual neglect of his vows and refusal to undertake the crusade. When Frederick finally set out in the following June, without making submission to the pope, Gregory raised an insurrection against him in Germany, forcing him to beg absolution. The Romans, however, disapproved of the temporal power and exiled the pope in the following year. Hardly had this controversy been brought to an end, favorable to the papacy, when Gregory again came into conflict with Frederick (1235). He again excommunicated the emperor and released his subjects from allegiance (1239). Frederick invaded the Papal States and prevented the assembling of a general council convoked for Easter (1241). Gregory systematized the Inquisition and entrusted it to the Dominicans. He died in 1241 while Frederick II was advancing against him.]

Celestine the Fourth, of Milan, formerly a Sabinian bishop, a man of virtue and learning, but old and feeble, was elected pope to succeed Gregory. He sent emissaries to Frederick who was besieging the city of Faenzia, and attempted to mollify him with numerous promises; but before Frederick could reply, Celestine died on the eighteenth day of his pontificate. At that time the papal see was vacant for twenty-one months, for the cardinals were in prison, as previously stated, protesting and attesting that without them no papal election could take place. At this time all of Italy was so oppressed with turmoil by the aforesaid Frederick that his capture of Rome became a matter of daily concern.[Celestine IV (Godfrey Castiglione), pope in 1241, was archpriest and chancellor of Milan before he joined the Cistercians. In 1227, he was created cardinal priest, and cardinal bishop of Sabina in 1233. He succeeded Gregory IX in 1241, but died within 16 days (not the 18 as noted in the ) and before his consecration.]