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

Year of the World 6516

Year of Christ 1316

Pope John (Iohannes) the Twenty-Second, previously called Jacques (Jacobus) of Cahors, a bishop of Porto, was elected pope in the cloister of the brethren of the Preaching Order at Lyons in the Year of Salvation thirteen hundred sixteen after a long period of dissension on the part of twenty-three cardinals, and after the cardinals of the Roman church, in order to secure an election, had been locked up together at Lyons by the ardor of Philip, count of Picardy. Before this the papal chair had been vacant for two years. This pope received the crown of the papal see in the cathedral church at Lyons, and from there he proceeded to Avignon. There he made eight cardinals, one of whom was his kinsman, Jacques of Cahors, and another, John Gaetano (Iahannes Caiectani) of the Orsini family. He refused to confirm the election of Duke Louis (Ludovicum) of Bavaria as Roman emperor, because Louis assumed more power as a Roman emperor than was proper. This pope was a highly learned man, endowed with great wisdom, and a lover of the learned. He made an archbishopric of the church of Toulouse, and cities of six of its castles. He was so inclined to innovations that he divided, several bishoprics, and made a bishopric of each division. He also converted a number of abbeys into bishoprics, and bishoprics into abbeys. He confirmed the book of the canon law, called the Clementarium, and brought into better form and condition the Order of Grandmont (which through the misdeeds of a number of irreligious persons had declined), deposing a number of the order for their evil conduct, and making additional regulations for the advancement and promotion of the order. This pope also elevated to a bishopric the Church of Caesar Augustus, which he exceedingly loved, and dedicated to it five other episcopal churches. He also founded a new order of knighthood. After having prudently managed many matters pertaining to the church, this pope in the seventh year of his pontificate enrolled Thomas, the bishop of Erfurt, and Thomas Aquinas of the Preaching Order among the number of the holy confessors of Christ. Later he repealed and annulled the election of King Louis, excommunicating him as a schismatic and enemy of the church; and he condemned many heretics. Finally he died at the age of ninety years in the nineteenth year and fourth month of his pontificate; and he left a great fortune, the like of which no pope before had left.

John XXII, pope from 1316 to 1334, was born at Cahors, France, in 1249. His original name was Jacques Duèse. After studying with the Dominicans at Cahors, he studied law at Montpelier, and law and medicine in Paris, and finally taught at Cahors and Toulouse. At Toulouse he became intimate with the bishop of Louis, son of Charles II of Naples. In 1300, he was elevated to the Episcopal see of Fréjus by Pope Boniface VII at the insistence of the king of Naples, and, in 1308, was made chancellor of Naples by Charles, retaining this office under Charles’ successor, Robert of Anjou. It was he who, in 1310, advised Clement V to suppress the Templars, but rendered an opinion against the condemnation of Boniface as a religious affront to the church and a monstrous abuse of the lay power. In 1312, Clement appointed him cardinal-bishop of Porto. Clement died in 1314, but the cardinals assembled at Carpentras in 1316, and, after deliberating for more than a month, they elected Robert of Anjou’s candidate, Jacques Duèse, who arrived at Avignon in the same year, and remained there for the rest of his life.

John’s pontificate was continually disturbed by his conflict with Louis of Bavaria and by the theological revolt of the Spiritual Franciscans. In October 1314, Louis of Bavaria and Frederick of Austria had each been elected German king by the divided electors. John affected to ignore the successes of Louis, and in 1323 forbade his recognition as king of the Romans. Louis appealed to a general council at Nuremberg, where his position was sustained by the jurists and theologians. In 1324, Louis was excommunicated, and again appealed to a general council, accusing John of being an enemy of peace and law, stigmatizing him as a heretic on the grounds that he opposed the principle of evangelical poverty and professed by the strict Franciscans. In 1324, the pope interdicted the places where Louis or his adherents resided, but this bull had no effect in Germany.

Louis penetrated into Italy and seized Rome in 1328 with the help of the Roman Ghibellines led by Sciarra Colonna. Louis had himself crowned by the deputies of the Roman people, instituted proceedings for the deposition of John, whom the Roman people declared to have forfeited the pontificate (1328) and finally caused a Minorite friar, Pietro Rainalucci da Corvara, to be elected pope as Nicholas V. But after Louis left Rome and Italy the antipope was abandoned by the Romans and handed over to John, who forced him to make a solemn submission with a halter round his neck. Nicholas was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and died in obscurity at Avignon; while the Roman people submitted to King Robert, who governed the church through his vicars.

John kindled very keen animosity, not only among the upholders of the independence of the lay power, but also among the upholders of absolute religious poverty, the exalted Franciscans. He condemned the protests of the Spirituals, and four Spirituals were burned shortly thereafter at Marseilles. These were immediately hailed as martyrs, while the exalted Franciscans at Naples and in Sicily and the south of France regarded the pope as the antichrist. By another bull, John excommunicated them and condemned their position, based upon the fact hat Christ and the apostles possessed no property, personal or common. The minister general of the order, Michael of Cesena, though opposed to some of what he believed were the more extreme beliefs of the Spirituals, joined with them in protesting against the condemnation of the fundamental principle of evangelical property. The pope cited Michael to appear at Avignon with two other members of the order. All three fled to the court of Louis of Bavaria, while the majority of the order made submission and elected a general entirely devoted to the pope. The pope next launched a terrible bull against Louis, calling the people to arms, and promising indulgences to all who should take the cross against the heretic, Louis of Bavaria. Louis, in turn, convened a grand assembly of the clergy, nobility, and people, in the public square of the Church of Saint Peter, condemning the pope and ordering his possessions confiscated. Before his death, John was accused of heresy by the monks. He died on December 4th, 1334.

Year of the World 6534

Year of Christ 1335

Pope Benedict the Twelfth, of Toulouse, and of the Cistercian Order, formerly called Jacques (Jacobus), was elected pope at Avignon sixteen days after the death of John (Iohannes), his predecessor. He confirmed the excommunication formerly pronounced by John against Louis (Ludovicum) the duke of Bavaria. And as Pope John had died, and all the Italian princes and the people were unanimous on the question of war, and Bologna had also turned to them, they became so haughty that they avariciously attempted many things; and so they divided among themselves the four cities which John, the king of Bohemia, had held for the honor of the church. Parma fell to the Della Scala; Reggio, to Gonzago; Modena to the Marquises d’Este; Lucca to the Florentines. Fearing that during the vacancy of the imperial throne Italy might be attacked by external enemies, the pontiff, in the exercise of his papal power, placed over the above and other great Italian cities, the aforesaid persons, and also appointed other governors there; and as the cities given the marquises d’Este belonged to the church, he levied on them an annual tribute of ten thousand gold coins payable to the church. This pope made six cardinals, excellent men. He was so firm that he could not be turned from righteousness by force, petition, bribe or gift. He loved the pious and openly persecuted the evil. He made every effort, though without avail, to restore peace between the kings of England and of France. At last he died in the 7th year, 3rd month, and 17th day of his pontificate; and he left a large fortune in gold, not to his kinsmen and friends, but to the Church.[Benedict XII (Jacques Fournier), pope from 1334 to 1342, was born at Saverdun on the Arriege. Entering the Cistercian cloister, Bolbonne, and graduating as doctor of theology at Paris, he became in 1311 abbot of Fontfroide, in 1317, bishop of Pamiers, and, in 1327, of Mirepoix. In 1327, he was created cardinal-priest by his uncle, John XXII, whom he succeeded as pope in 1334. He was careful in his appointments, reformed monastic orders, and consistently opposed nepotism. He was a learned theologian. He died on April 25th, 1342.]