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

Pope Martin the Fourth, previously called Simon, a cardinal, and a native of France, was elected pope six months after the death of Pope Nicholas and after a long controversy. This pope made six cardinals on the day of the Resurrection; and he reinstated King Charles (Carolum), who came to him, in the office of senator, from which he had been deposed by Pope Nicholas. At the request of said Charles, and upon his complaint that the Greek emperor Palaeologus had disobeyed arid ignored the decision of the Council at Lyons, this pope, in the first year of his pontificate (in the Year of Salvation twelve hundred eighty-one) excommunicated Palaeologus as well as the Aragonese king for his wanton and violent retention of the kingdom of Sicily. In the beginning of the following year, after the Perugians had overrun the Fulgmates[Probably those of Fulginium (Latin for Foligno).], devastating their country, and besieging their city and taking it by force, the pope placed the Perugians under the ban, subjected them to a heavy money fine, and reconciled them to the Church. This pope also conducted a war against the Forlians, who had seceded from Church, and soon reduced them to obedience. Because of the revolt of the Ghibellines against the Guelphs this pope fled to Paris, where he died of a fever not long after, and was buried in the episcopal basilica there. At his grave many sick persons were restored to health by God in recognition of this saintly pope’s merit.[Martin IV (Simon Mompitie de Brion), pope from 1281 to 1285, should have been named Martin II. He was born about 1210 in Touraine, and became a priest at Rouen and a canon of St. Martin’s at Tours. He was made chancellor of France by Louis IX in 1260 and cardinal-priest of Santa Cecilia by Urban IV in 1261. As papal legate in France he conducted the negotiations for the assumption of the crown of Sicily by Charles of Anjou, through whose influence he succeeded Nicholas III after a six-month struggle between the French and Italian cardinals. The Romans at first declined to receive him, and he was consecrated at Orvieto on March 31st, 1281. His excommunication of the emperor Michael Palaeologus, who stood in the way of the French projects against Greece, weakened the union with Eastern Christians, dating from the Council of Lyons in 1274. Martin unduly favored his own countrymen, and, for three years after the Sicilian Vespers (1282), he employed all the resources of the papacy on behalf of his patron against Peter of Aragon. He was driven from Rome by a popular uprising and died at Perugia. He was succeeded by Honorius IV.]

Year of the World 6484

Year of Christ 1285

Pope Honorius the Fourth, a Roman of the ancient noble family of the Savelli, formerly called Giacomo (Iacobus), a cardinal, was elected pope at Paris without much delay; for with this matter the cardinals concerned themselves as being of first importance. He came to Rome in the one thousand two hundred eighty-fifth Year of the Lord, a time when his brother Pandolfus held the office of senator. At this time law and order prevailed at Rome. This pope was entirely favorable and partial to the conduct of the French king, during his whole life an upright pious man, and a great lover of the Christians and the clergy. He confirmed the Carmelite order which had been attacked by many and not adequately defended at a former council. He was very fond of learned, able, intelligent and worldly-wise people, and showed particular favor to those who were attached to the papal court and defended it. Finally, not long afterwards he died in the second year and first day of his pontificate, and his body was carried from Saint Sabina to the Basilica of Peter in a great funeral procession. And he was buried in marble sepulcher, which is still in existence. The seat then was vacant for 10 months as many cardinals were suffering from a lingering illness.[Honorius IV, formerly Giacomo (James) Savelli, studied in Paris and was made a cardinal in 1261. He was elected pope in 1285 and died in 1287.]

Emperor Rudolf sent his chancellor to Etruria under command and with authority to grant liberty to all who would pay for it and declare their fidelity to the Roman Empire. Those of Lucca gave twelve thousand guilders, and were given their liberty. And so the Florentines established a new and useful form of government by a constitution providing for the order of their rulers, and defining and distinguishing the duties of the various offices.

A number of cities in Upper Swabia, formerly considered villages, were enclosed with walls by the Roman emperor, and endowed with civic rights and privileges, particularly Esslingen, Reutlingen, and Heilbrunn.

In the month of February of this year a sea fish in the form of a lion was caught and brought to Pope Martin in the ancient city. The animal howled, shouted and cried like a human being, and many who heard it were frightened and amazed. And this was a sign of great dissension.

At this time a child, with claws like a bear, was born to the cousin of Martin himself. Of this he was so ashamed that he caused all the pictures of bears in his houses to be scraped from the walls.


A sea lion is caught in a stream by two men with a net. The miracle is not so much the nature of the creature itself (for no doubt this was a common seal), but its presence in Italian waters.


In the bottom margin of the Beloit College copy of the Chronicle a previous owner of the book has added his own illustration of the last paragraph on this page. Hand-drawn illustrations are extremely rare in copies of the Chronicle, and ‘Bear-boy’ is the only example of an owner illustrating a text that was not assigned an illustration by the publisher in Beloit’s copy.