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

Charles (Carolus) the Second, son of the king of Sicily, as a youth attained to the sovereignty after the death of his father in this year; and he reigned 25 years. He had many battles with Peter, the king of Aragon, finally wounding him so seriously that he died. And now having freed himself of his enemy, he consumed the rest of his days in peace. In the fifth year of Charles’s reign the king of Hungary having died without male issue, his kingdom descended upon Charles by his wife through inheritance, and he bequeathed it to his first born son Charles. Finally, he died at the age of 40, leaving behind nine sons and four daughters by his wife Mary, daughter of the Hungarian king. The most renowned of these were Charles, surnamed Marcellus, king of Hungary; Ludwig, who joined the Barefoot Order; and Robert, who succeeded to the kingdom.[Charles II (1250-1309), king of Naples and Sicily, son of Charles I, had been captured by Ruggiero di Lauria in the naval battle of Naples in 1284, and, when his father died, he was still a prisoner in the hands of Peter of Aragon. In 1288, Charles was liberated with the understanding that he retain Naples alone, Sicily being left to the Aragonese, and induce his cousin Charles of Valois to renounce the kingdom of Aragon, given to him by Martin IV. He went to Rieti where the new pope Nicholas IV immediately absolved him from all the conditions he had sworn to observe, crowned him king of the Sicilies, and excommunicated Alphonso, while Charles of Valois, in alliance with Castile, prepared to take Aragon. Alphonso III, the Aragonese king, being hard pressed, promised to withdraw the troops he had sent to help his brother James in Sicily, to renounce all rights there, and pay tribute to the Holy See. Alphonso died childless in 1291 before the treaty could be carried out, and James took possession of Aragon, leaving the government of Sicily to the third brother, Frederick. The new pope, Boniface VII, elected in 1294, under the auspices of King Charles, mediated between the latter and James, and a most dishonorable treaty was signed. An attempt was made to bribe Frederick into consenting to the arrangement, but being backed by his people, he refused, and was later crowned king of Sicily. Peace was made in 1302, Charles giving up Sicily and agreeing to the marriage of his daughter Leonora to King Frederick; the treaty was ratified by the pope in 1303. Charles died in 1309, and was succeeded by his son, Robert.]

Wenceslaus, the second of this name, sixth king of Bohemia, who was eight years of age when his father Ottacar was slain, was taken to Franconia by Otto, the margrave of Brandenburg, who acted as his regent in Bohemia for five years; after which Wenceslaus himself assumed the sovereignty. This Wenceslaus rebuilt the city of Prague so handsomely after it had been destroyed by fire that the fire was regarded as a blessing. Afterwards his spouse Gutta, daughter of Emperor Rudolf, judged the war between Albert her brother, and her husband. It is said that during his coronation a remarkable number of travelers on horseback were seen at the royal court at Prague, and also a countless number on foot. He subjugated the Poles and received the royal crown at their hands. To the Hungarians, he gave, at their request, as king, his 13-year old son Wenceslaus. Later, at the request of the Hungarians he recalled and took back home Charles the son of the king of Sicily, whom Pope Boniface had sent to them. Wenceslaus died at the age of 30, leaving his son Wenceslaus as successor to the kingdom.

Thaddeus of Florence, an excellent physician, at this time lectured and taught medicine at Bologna. He also wrote many commendable works on medicine, as well as commentaries on the works of other physicians. He died at Bologna at the age of eighty years, leaving countless riches that he had amassed by virtue of his great renown and the practice of his art; for when he was engaged by the Italian princes he charged them one hundred gold coins per day. When Pope Honorius asked him to attend him, he refused to come until he had been promised one hundred gold coins for each day’s attendance; but when the pope was cured of his illness and well again, he gave Thaddeus ten thousand ducats.[Thaddeus Alderotti (Thaddeus of Florence, also called Taddeo Florentino), was, during his lifetime, considered the most illustrious physician, not only in Bologna, where he taught, but of all Italy. His contemporary Dante refers to him in the as great teacher (Canto XII). He was the real founder of the medical school of Bologna, and the chief apostle of the scholastic or dialectic method in Italy. His commentary on the works of Hippocrates is similar in dialectic method to the commentaries of the lawyers of his time on Justinian. In addition to teaching medicine, he was also a corn chandler in the public granary at Or San Michele. His services were at all times in great demand, and his charges made accordingly. Called to the bedside of Pope Honorius IV, he declared he would not move for less than a hundred ducats a day. In Florence he maintained a sumptuous villa. Many of his pupils became famous men, including Gentile da Foligno and the two brothers, del Garbo. Taddeo was the originator of the so-called , records of actual interesting cases. This style of medieval literature became the vogue at the end of the 17th century. Taddeo died in 1270.]

Philip, king of France, surnamed the Fair, son of King Philip, began to rule over France upon the death of his father; and he reigned 29 years. He conducted a serious war against Edward (Edouardum), the king of England, who sustained heavy losses. He caused Pope Boniface the Eighth to be imprisoned for his haughtiness. Having determined to extirpate the Templars, he caused their grand master to be burned, ordering the rest cruelly put to death. The remainder fled from the kingdom in fear. For their greed and misdeeds he deprived the Jews of their possessions and estates and drove them out of the kingdom.

Philip IV (1268-1314), called ‘the Fair,’ king of France, was the son of Philip III and his wife, Isabella of Aragon. His reign began in October 1285 and is one of the most momentous in the history of medieval Europe. Little is known of the part Philip personally played in these events. Contemporary writers characterize him as a handsome, lethargic nonentity, although some paint him as a master of statecraft. Yet this was the king who brought the papacy under his yoke, carried out the destruction of the powerful order of the Temple, and laid the foundations of the national monarchy of France. He was one of the few monarchs who have left to their successors reasoned programs of state reform. The greatest event of this reign was the struggle with Pope Boniface VIII, who went so far, in 1296, as to forbid any lay authority to demand taxes from the clergy without his consent. When Philip retaliated by a decree forbidding the exportation of any coin from France, Boniface gave way to save the papal dues, and the bulls issued by him in 1297 were a decided victory for the French king. There was a truce until 1301, when the arrest of a bishop by Philip’s orders resulted in the renewal of the quarrel. To insure the support of his people, the king had called in assembly the three estates of his kingdom at Paris in 1302; in the following year, Guillaume de Nogaret seized the pope at Anagni, an event immortalized by Dante. Boniface escaped from his captors only to die, but the short pontificate of his saintly successor, Benedict XI, was occupied in a vain effort to restore harmony to the church. The issue of the conclave that met at Perugia on his death was ultimately determined by the diplomacy and gold of Philip’s agents, and the new pope, Clement V, was the weak-willed creature of the French king. When, in 1309, the pope installed himself at Avignon, the new relation of the papacy and the French monarchy was patent. It was the beginning of the ‘Babylonian captivity’ of the popes. The most notable of its first fruits was the hideous persecution of the Templars, which began with the sudden arrest of the members of the order in France in 1307, and ended with the suppression of the order by Pope Clement at the council at Vienne in 1313.

In 1294, Philip IV attacked Edward I of England, then engaged in the Scottish war, and seized Guienne. In 1297, Edward was obliged to make peace. Then the Flemish cities rose against the French royal officers, and utterly defeated the French army at Courtrai in 1302. The reign closed with the French position not much improved in Flanders. Philip died November 29th, 1314.

Aegidius of Rome, a general of the Augustinian order, archbishop of Bourges (Bituricensis), and an Aquitanian primate, was at this time, for his great ingenuity, called the prince of teachers of the Holy Scriptures. He was a noble Roman of the family of Colonna. By reason of his learning and scriptural wisdom, he enlightened his order and the entire Christian Church, and defended the teachings and writings of his master Thomas Aquinas. He was illustrious for his miracles, and lived to a blessed end.[Aegidius a Columnis (Egideo de Colona, called Aegidius Romanus, after Rome, his birthplace, and sometimes called Giles of Rome in English) (c. 1243-1316), a scholastic, and called, because of his deep learning, Doctor Fundatissimus (‘Best-Grounded Teacher’) was a student of Thomas Aquinas, and later preceptor of Philip the Fair, of France. In 1296, he was bishop of Bourges. He died in 1316. He became an Augustinian monk early in life, was one of the most important realists, and sought to treat the Augustinian teachings in a scholastic manner. Among his numerous works is the book (‘On the Guidance of Princes’) written for Philip IV, the royal ward under his tutelage.]


Aegidius of Rome, an Augustinian monk and scholar, portrayed in his habit, open book in hand.