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

While a dance was proceeding on a bridge over the Meuse, at Utrecht, the most Holy Sacrament was being carried in advance of the dancers to a sick person. Because the dancers showed no respect or honor to the said Sacrament, the bridge broke, and about 200 persons fell into the river Meuse and were drowned as a punishment of their forgetfulness of the gratitude due to God.[See note on , Folio CCLXI recto (Illustration).]

A noble woman, in the bishopric of Constance, had a very unusual birth at this time—a miraculous lion.

In the city of Esslingen, in upper Bavaria (as it is said) a monster was born to a woman. From the navel up it had two breasts and two heads facing each other, and four arms embracing; also two pudenda. The monster died after it was born.

Fifteen Swabian counts formed an alliance against Emperor Rudolf, causing him much distress. The most renowned and distinguished among them were the counts of Montfort, Helffenstein, and from Württemberg and Toggenburg[Toggenburg (here called Tockenburg) is an ancient country in the upper valley of the river Thur, in Switzerland, whose former owners, the counts of Toggenburg, belonged to the wealthiest and most distinguished dynasty of the country. The line became extinct in 1436.]. But he destroyed their possessions and estates and made them forever subject to the empire. Later he destroyed the castles of the robbers in many parts of Germany, and established peace from the mountains of Italy to Britain.

The Venetians and Genoese from time to time up to the present continued the war which they had begun at Ptolemais; and of this we will make some mention. In the twelve hundred sixty-third year the Venetians sent a great and mighty fleet under their general Rainerio (Raynerio) Zeno to the vicinity of Sicily, where they had hoped to find the Genoese fleet. Being disappointed, they sailed to Asia. At Tyre they unexpectedly encountered the Genoese fleet and defeated it. Elated with their triumph, they undertook the capture of the city of Tyre with the assistance of those of Ptolemais and Acco; but the enterprise failed. The Genoese having received information that a number of vessels laden with merchandise were proceeding overseas from Venice, secretly lay in wait for them; but when the Venetians were warned by their spies and messengers, they deposited the cargo of their ships on shore, and lost the empty vessels. Three years later the Venetian ships accidentally encountered Genoese ships at Lilybaeum[Lilybaeum (now Marsala) situated on the promontory of the same name, which forms the extreme west point of Sicily, now called Capo Boeo. It was a city of military and commercial importance in ancient times, and, after the fall of the Roman Empire, continued to be one of the most important cities of Sicily. The people, during the Arabian dominion in Sicily, attached too much value to its port that they called it Marsa Alla – the port of God – from which has come its modern appellation of Marsala. It was not until the 16th century that this celebrated port was blocked up with a mole or mound of sunken stones by order of the Emperor Charles V in order to protect it from attacks of the Barbary corsairs. From that period, Trapani has taken its place as the principal port in the West of Sicily; but Marsala is still a considerable town, and a place of some trade, especially in wine. Lilybaeum was originally founded by the Carthaginians, and continued in their hands until it passed under the domain of Rome.], and captured them. When the news reached Genoa, the Genoese sent a strong fleet in pursuit of the Venetian ships; and the Genoese attacked the Venetians in the straits of Drepanum[Drepanum (now Trapani) is a city and Episcopal see of Sicily, capital of the province of the same name, and situated on the west coast of the island. The ancient Drepanum (Greek for ‘sickle,’ from the shape of the low spit of land on which it stands) was originally the port of Eryx. It is represented by Virgil in the as the scene of the death of Anchises. It was an important Carthaginian naval station in the First Punic War. Under the Norman kings at the time of the first crusade it became a place of importance; it was a residence of the Aragonese kings. Trapani has a harbor of some importance. There are also large salt-pans to the south of the city, extending along the coast as far as Marsala.], and both sides became involved in a great battle. The Genoese sustained heavy damage through the burning and loss of their ships. Because of this defeat Emperor Michael of Constantinople, scorning his association with the Genoese, entered into a five-years’ peace with the Venetians.

The historian Ptolemy Lucensis states that Pope Nicholas (if death had not altered his plans), would have created two kings, one in Lombardy, the other in Etruria, through whom Italy might have protected and defended itself against the Roman and Sicilian kings who had abused their office. The same pope ordained that henceforth no one of royal blood should be elevated to the office of Roman senator.

The Tartars, together with the Armenians, defeated one hundred thousand Babylonians, slaying many, and reducing the rest to flight. In this year also, the island of Sicily seceded from Charles (Carolo), its king; and the count of Apuleia, son of said Charles, was defeated by the son of the king of Aragon in a naval engagement, with the loss of many men, and was taken to Apulia and lodged in prison.


Dance on the bridge at Utrecht, is represented by a fair sized woodcut. The scene is depicted as a very narrow rivulet, over which a miniature corduroy bridge has been constructed. Across this bridge passes a priest with the Holy Sacrament, an acolyte at his side carrying a lantern and bell. They have passed over the bridge, and are followed by a group of dancers, one of them playing on a musical instrument. They are unmindful of the mission of the priest, and of the presence of the Sacrament. The bridge has parted, and a number of them are struggling in the water. But in spite of the cries and commotion made by the submerged ones, the rest of the party is nonchalantly going forward to the same fate. The banner of the resurrection is suspended from the boy carrying staff of the lantern and flutters in the breeze.


A miraculous lion born to a woman in the bishopric of Constance, rests in contentment on a soft cushion ornamented with tassels. Unlike the vague, rather generic description in the Chronicle, this miraculous lion is depicted as having a child’s head and lion’s body.


The subject is one person up to the navel, where it divides into two bodies, chest and head facing each other, arms embracing. The woodcut does not agree with the text in all the details (text = four arms; woodcut = two arms; text = two sets of pudenda; wooduct = one set of pudenda).