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

Year of the World 648

Year of Christ 1288

Pope Nicholas the Fourth, a Pisan of Ascoli, formerly called Jerome (Hieronimus), a brother of the Barefoot Order, and afterward a cardinal, was elected pope ten months after the death of Pope Honorius and placed in the Chair of Saint Peter himself. With the papal court he soon journeyed to the city of Reate[Rieti, anciently Reate, a city and episcopal see of Italy, capital of the province of Rieti, in Italy. It is situated on the right bank of the Belino (a torrent subtributary to the Tiber), which at this point issues from the limestone plateau; the old town occupies the slope and the new town spreads out on the level. In 1149 Reate was besieged and captured by Roger I of Sicily. In the struggle between church and empire, it always held with the church; and it defied the forces of Frederick II and Otto IV. Pope Nicholas IV long resided at Rieti, and it was there that he crowned Charles II of Anjou king of the Two Sicilies. In the 14th century, Robert, and afterwards Joanna of Naples, managed to keep possession for many years, but it returned to the Sates of the Church under Gregory IX. About the year 1500, the liberties of the town, long defended against the encroachments of the popes, were entirely abolished. An earthquake in 1785 was followed in 1799 by the pillage of Rieti by the Neapolitans.]; but at the end of the year he returned to Rome and held his court there. He made cardinals from most of the clerical orders, for he loved them all alike, and didn’t feel more indebted to his kin and near relatives than to any other good person. Although this Nicholas was a pious man, yet many detrimental and unhallowed things occurred in the realm of Christianity during his pontificate. In his time the kings of Aragon and France made peace; but it did not last long. Considerable turmoil, discord, arson, and murder occurred in various forms in the city of Rome. In the second year of his pontificate the city of Tripoli was ravaged with slaughter and fire by the sultan, although the pope, at his own expense, sent many warriors to its rescue and undertook to send other crusaders. But after the affairs of Christendom became more difficult in the course of his pontificate, this pope (as some maintain) fell into a state of melancholy; and he died in the fourth year, first month and 8th day of his pontificate, and was buried in Santa Maria Maggiore at the head of the basilica. The seat then was vacant for almost three years through dissension among the cardinals.[Nicholas IV (Girolamo Masci), pope from 1288 to 1292, a native of Ascoli and a Franciscan monk, succeeded Bonaventura as general of his order in 1274, was made cardinal-priest of Saint Prassede and Latin patriarch of Constantinople by Nicholas III, cardinal-bishop of Palestrina by Marin IV, and succeeded Honorius IV after a ten-months’ vacancy in the papacy. He was a pious, peace-loving monk with no ambition save for the church, the crusades, and the extirpation of heresy. He steered a middle course between the factions at Rome, and sought a settlement of the Sicilian question. In May 1289, he crowned Charles II, king of Naples and Sicily, after the latter had expressly recognized papal suzerainty, and, in February 1291, concluded a treaty with Alphonso III of Aragon and Philip IV of France, looking toward the expulsion of James of Aragon from Sicily. The loss of Ptolemais in 1291 stirred the pope to renewed enthusiasm for a crusade. He sent the celebrated Franciscan missionary, John of Monte Corvino with some companions to labor among the Tartars and Chinese. He issued an important constitution in 1289 granting the cardinals one-half of all income accruing to the Roman See, and a share in the financial management; and thereby he paved the way for that independence of the college of cardinals, which, in the following century was to be detrimental to the papacy. Nicholas was succeeded by Celestine V.]

Pope Celestine the Fifth, previously called Peter of Morrone, a clerical monk, was elected pope at the request of King Charles (Carolo) and cardinal Latinus. Although not highly educated in the Scriptures, he was a pious man. After unwillingly accepting the pontificate he went to Aquileia, and summoned the cardinals to join him there. There also he made twelve new cardinals, and himself received the papal crown. At his coronation there were present two hundred thousand persons, who came there in consequence of the long delayed election and to marvel at the piety of this man, who although a hermit and separated from the world, had come into such a high office. But Celestine did not alter the strictness of his former life. However, as he was not a man of worldly discernment, and therefore not regarded as qualified to administer the papal office and the common welfare, men began to consider his deposition. Then this came to the notice of King Charles, he took the pope to Naples with him, and in various ways exhorted him not to resign the pontificate, nor to leave the Church that he had governed so well. But Benedict, the cardinal, a sly and enterprising person, learned in the written law, showed the pope that unless he acknowledged himself unqualified, and abdicated, he would seriously and in many respects sin against the canon law. And to that end he caused a statute to be passed making it proper for a pope to abdicate. Not long afterwards Celestine gave up the papacy, leaving the cardinals the power and privilege of electing another pope. Accordingly the cardinals before long elected Benedict Gaetano. But after Peter of Morrone had abdicated, and while he was returning to his hermitage, he was taken prisoner by order of Benedict, who had been elected pope and was called Boniface the Eighth. Celestine was taken to the castle of Fumone, and there held in such close confinement that he soon died; for Boniface feared that as long as Celestine lived the people might love this holy man more than they would a man like himself, inflated with his own ability, and would nevertheless follow Celestine. This Celestine was enrolled among the saints by Clement the Fifth, and his feast day is observed on the 14th day of the Kalends of July.[Celestine V (born Pietro da Morrone, ‘Peter of Morrone’), pope in 1294, was born of poor parents at Isernia about 1215, ad became a Benedictine. Living as a hermit, he attracted other ascetics, whom he organized into a congregation of Benedictines, which was later called the Celestines. A fight between the Colonna and the Orsini, as well as dissensions among the cardinals, prevented a papal election for over two years after the death of Nicholas IV. Finally, in 1294, Celestine was elected. Multitudes came to his coronation and he began his reign as the idol of visionaries, of extremists, and of the populace. But the pope was in the power of Charles II of Naples, and became his tool against Aragon. When he wished to abdicate, Benedict (Benedetto) Gaetano, destined to succeed him as Boniface VIII, removed all scruples against this unheard of procedure by finding a precedent in the case of Clement I. Celestine abdicated in 1294, and died in a monastic cell in the castle of Fumone in 1296. He was canonized by Clement V in 1313.]

Ugolino, of the Augustinian order, an illustrious teacher of the Holy Scriptures, first a bishop of Armenia, and then a patriarch of Constantinople, was held in great esteem at Paris at this time, and occupied the highest chair of learning. In addition to his scriptural wisdom he was a man of good morals, and consequently very useful, helpful and beneficial to the churches of God at this time. He wrote many commendable things, and his works are not unknown to the learned.

Ugo Boliomus, of the Preaching Order, a renowned doctor and cardinal, was illustrious at this time for his piety and writings. John (Jo.) of Parma, of the Barefoot Order, an excellent master of the Holy Scriptures, was likewise.[]