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

In the meantime the affairs of the Christians improved from day to day; and the papal legate, Andrew (Andreas), king of Hungary, and other knights and nobles hoped soon to crush the sultan and his Saracens. By common counsel they decided to proceed to the cities of Cairo and Babylon, into which the sultan, taking with him all removable possessions, ornaments and treasures of the Saracens, had fled. Now the sultan employed such cunning that he caused to be filled up all the channels by which the water of the Nile was conducted into the country, and ordered all fodder to be removed, so that not enough remained to sustain man and beast for three days. In consequence the Christians suffered such great concern that they feared that upon their return to Damietta they would come to grief because of the damming up of the channels. Therefore they sent emissaries to the Sultan; and of him they secured peace upon condition that they surrender the city of Damietta, together with all the possessions in it; and the Sultan agreed to return to them the piece of the cross which was in his possession, and to exchange prisoners. This occurred in the Year of Salvation twelve hundred twenty-one.[The story here told is that of the Fifth Crusade, the last one started in that pontificate of crusades – the pontificate of Innocent. It owed its origin to his feverish zeal for the recovery of Jerusalem, rather than any pressing need in the Holy Land; for here peace had reigned almost unbroken during the forty years following the loss of Jerusalem, and the brother and successor of Saladin had granted the Christians a series of truces (1198-1203, 1204-1210, and 1211-1217). But Innocent could never consent to forget Jerusalem in spite of the tragedies and failures of the past. In the fourth Lateran Council of 1215 he found the opportunity to rekindle the flickering fires. Before this gathering of all Christian Europe he proclaimed a crusade for the year 1217, and it was resolved that a truce of God should reign for the next four years, and for the same period all trade with the Levant should cease. There was to be peace in Europe and a commercial war with Egypt. In Germany, where Frederick II took the cross in this same year, a large body of crusaders gathered together; in 1217, the southeast sent the duke of Austria and the king of Hungary to the Holy Land; while in 1218, an army from the northwest joined at Acre the forces of the previous year. It was resolved to begin the crusade by the siege of Damietta. The original leader of the crusade was John of Brienne, king of Jerusalem, who had succeeded Amalric II; but after the end of 1218, the cardinal legate Pelagius claimed the command. The crusaders captured Damietta, but nothing was done to clinch the advantage. The entire year 1220 was spent by the crusaders in Damietta, partly in consolidating their immediate position, and partly in waiting for the arrival of Frederick II. In 1221, Hermann of Salza, master of the Teutonic Order, along with the duke of Bavaria, appeared in camp before Damietta. Without waiting any longer for Frederick, the cardinal, against the advice of King John, gave the signal for the march on Cairo. The sultan reiterated his former terms of peace – cession of most of the kingdom of Jerusalem, surrender of the cross that had been captured by Saladin in 1187, and the restoration of all prisoners. King John urged acceptance; but the legate insisted on a large indemnity in addition and the sultan prepared for war. The crusaders were driven back toward Damietta, and Pelagius had to make a treaty by which he gained a free retreat and the surrender of the Holy Cross at the price of the restoration of Damietta. The treaty was to last for eight years.]

Elizabeth, daughter of a Hungarian king, and lawful spouse of the landgrave of Hesse, was illustrious in Germany in the Year of the Lord 1230. From youth she was devoted to divine service, and all her deeds were conformable to the will of God. She was an extirpator of vice, an image of patience, and a mirror of innocence. She suffered much persecution and scorn at the hands of her husband and her kin; but the Lord was her secret comforter. Her husband, the landgrave, left her free to practice good works and to serve God; and she devoted herself to those things with all her might until the time of her death. She banished all merriment from her lips, cared for the poor, bathing them and washing their bedding and clothing, and erecting a hospital for them. And now, having set up a treasury of good deeds by her virtuous practices, she veered from communion with her earthly spouse to a communion with Christ, laying aside her worldly attire, and receiving from master Conrad of Marburg a coarse habit; and she scorned the pomp and renown of riches, and disdained the world. On the 14th day of the Kalends of December she journeyed to the Lord. Among other countless miracles which God performed through her are the raising of 16 dead, and the restoration of sight to one born blind. She was enrolled among the saints by Gregory the Ninth, who ordered that her feast day be celebrated on the 13th day of the Kalends of December.[Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-31), daughter of Andrew II, king of Hungary, at the age of 14 married Louis IV, landgrave of Thüringia, and devoted herself to religion and to works of charity. According to legend, Louis at first forbade her unbound gifts to the poor. One day he saw his wife descending from the Warburg with a heavy bundle of bread; but when he sternly asked her to open it, he saw nothing but a mass of roses. The miracle converted him. On the death of Louis “the Saint” in 1227, Elizabeth was deprived of the regency by his brother, Henry Raspe IV, on the pretext that she was wasting the estates by her alms. With her three infants she was driven from her home, but ultimately her maternal uncle, Egbert, bishop of Bamberg, offered her a house, adjoining his palace. Through the intercession of some of the principal barons, the regency was again offered her, but renouncing all power, she chose to live in seclusion at Marburg, doing penance and ministering to the sick. She died there in 1231, and was canonized by Gregory IX in 1235.]

The five books of the canon law, so called in analogy to the five senses, and known as the Decretals, were compiled at this time by Pope Gregory the Ninth through Raymond, and arranged in five parts. In them are comprehended various statutes and ordinances touching upon the Holy Trinity, the Christian faith, the courts, the clergy, marriage, and penalties pertaining thereto, etc.[For Raymond, see the following text and note.]

Raymond, of the Preaching Order, and its third general teacher after Jordanis, its second teacher, was a man at this time holy and conspicuous for his learning and the holiness of his life. He was of assistance and counsel to Pope Gregory the Ninth in the assembling, arrangement, and preparation of the five books of the canon law, called the Decretals. He lectured on the canon law at the university of Bologna; and, as it is said, was illustrious for his miracles.[Raymond of Pennaforte, celebrated jurist in the canon law, was born in 1180 at the castle of Pennaforte, in Catalonia. He studied jurisprudence at Bologna and became a canon at Barcelona. He joined the Dominicans in 1222, and, by his diligence in the service of the Inquisition and in preaching the crusade against the Saracens, he attracted the attention of the papal court. In 1230, Gregory IX named him his confessor and high penitentiary, and engaged him to edit a systematic law book made up chiefly of the earlier Decretals, and which is known under the title , which constitutes the second part of the . He also reduced ecclesiastical jurisprudence into scholastic form by his ; and on his return to Spain was appointed archbishop of Parragona. In 1238, he became general of his Order. He retired to a contemplative life in 1240, and was canonized in 1601.]

Accursius of Florence, a highly learned jurist, lived at this time. On the strength of his knowledge in his field, and his experience in matters of civil government, he wrote a commentary upon the entire body of the civil law.[Franciscus Accursius, Italian jurist, born at Florence in 1182, first practiced law in his native city and was later appointed professor at Bologna. He arranged in one body the countless comments and remarks on the , , and . This compilation, entitled or , but usually known as the “Great Gloss,” though written in barbarous Latin, has more method than that of any previous writer on the subject. His eldest son, Franciscus, (1225-93) also lectured at Bologna, and, on invitation of Edward I, at Oxford.]

Bartholomew of Brescia, highly renowned doctor of the canon law, at this time wrote various annotations upon and a glossary of ecclesiastical law; also a book of letters, and a chronicle of the Italian cities, etc.[Bartholomew of Brescia, instructor in the canon law at Bologna, and a fertile writer, is particularly renowned for his Glossary on the of Gratian.]

Roffredus (Odefredus) of Benevento, a celebrated doctor in both civil and canon law, compiled a very useful book.[Roffredus of Benevento (c. 1170-c. 1244) was a civil lawyer who had worked at the papal court and wrote a summary of canon law in the 1230s.]


Elizabeth of Hungary, portrayed in the act of giving food and drink to an emaciated man, of miniature size, who takes refuge under her cloak.