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

Louis (Ludovicus) the Fourth, son of Duke Louis of Bavaria, was chosen by some of the electors in the Year of the Lord 1315; and he reigned 32 years. After the death of Emperor Henry (Heinrico) the electors met at Aix-la-Chapelle, and not being unanimous, elected to the sovereignty two cousins who were antagonistic to each other, namely, Louis of Bavaria and Frederick of Austria. Between them a war occurred which endured for eight years. Finally they and their armies met between Micheldorf and Öttingen and a battle took place. Many men were lost on both sides; but the number of slain was greater in the Austrian army. Duke Frederick was wounded, captured and imprisoned, though later released through the kindness of King Louis, upon condition that from henceforth no duke of Austria should attempt to secure the Roman imperial sovereignty as against the dukes of Bavaria. But Frederick, forgetting his consent, refused to reconcile himself to this condition. And so Louis, taking advantage of his victory, considered himself Roman king; and he decreed and transacted many things proper for a confirmed and crowned king to do, ignoring the advice and judgment of the Roman pope. For while dissension and war in Italy were present, he undertook to employ imperial powers in the Italian cities without regard for papal authority. He so protected Matthew, the viscount, and his sons Galeacius, Mark, Lucinus, John and Stephen, that they shamefully undertook to rule the city of Milan as tyrants. When he was about to proceed to Rome, he secured the friendship of the counts of Milan, so that with their assistance he might more easily secure the Roman imperial title. But Pope John excommunicated the said counts and Louis, who afterwards oppressed the Guelphs. Louis now returned to Germany, and later appeared before Trent with a large German army; and he again proceeded to Milan, where the bishop crowned him with the iron crown. From there he went to Rome; and while at Rome, upon the advent of the nobility and the emissaries of the Italian cities who came there daily, he elevated a member of the Barefoot Order to the papacy upon the advice and suggestion of the Romans; and by him he was crowned as emperor. For this reason Louis was condemned by Pope John with various judgments and penalties. Now this Louis was a prudent intelligent man, and well qualified to rule the Roman Empire; but he did not know the Latin tongue, to his great loss; for it is said that one Ulrich of Augsburg, Louis’ secretary and chancellor, was the cause of the misunderstandings between the king and the pope. For the said chancellor was ill spoken of by King Louis with reference to certain transactions, which he was obliged to justify before fifteen prelates at Nuremberg. Afterwards, in revenge against the king, the chancellor, in writing a letter for the king to the pope, placed in it, without the king’s knowledge, reflections on the pope; as the chancellor in his last illness confessed. Louis died in the Year of the Lord 1347 in a peasant’s home at Fürstenfeld, after drinking from a flask containing two kinds of drinks, offered him by a duchess of Austria, while engaged in a hunt in the forest. He was buried at Munich; and at Landsberg his sons divided the country. Upper Bavaria passed to the elder Duke Louis, and Duke Louis born at home, and Duke Otto the younger. Stephen, William and Albert possessed Lower Bavaria, Hannogau, Holland, Zealand, and Friesland. Emperor Louis had a brother Rudolph, Palsgrave of the Rhine, who gave his vote at the election to the Duke of Austria; for which reason he was driven out. He left three sons, to whom Emperor Louis was very friendly; and from these three sons the palsgraves had their origin.

Louis IV, or V (c. 1287-1347), surnamed “the Bavarian,” Roman emperor and duke of Upper Bavaria, was the second son of Louis II, duke of Upper Bavaria and count palatine of the Rhine, and Matilda, daughter of the German king Rudolf I. At his father’s death in 1294, he inherited (jointly with his elder brother, Rudolf) upper Bavaria and the Palatinate, but passed his time mainly at the court of the Habsburgs in Vienna. In the quarrel with his brother over their joint possessions, Louis was supported by his uncle Albert I, the German king. When Albert was murdered in 1308, Louis became a candidate for the German throne, but his claim was not strongly supported. The new king, Henry VII, was very friendly with Rudolf, and as Louis had not received his share of the paternal inheritance, he demanded a partition of their lands, and received the northwestern portion of Upper Bavaria; but, Rudolf refused to surrender any part of the Palatinate. In 1310, on the death of Stephen I, duke of Lower Bavaria, Louis undertook the guardianship of his two young sons. This led to a war between the brothers, which lasted until June of 1313, when peace was made at Munich. Frederick I (the Fair), duke of Austria, called in by the nobles of Lower Bavaria, was defeated in November 1313.

In August of 1313, the German throne again became vacant and Louis was chosen at Frankfurt in 1314, and crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in the same year. War followed between Louis and the rival candidate, Frederick of Austria. Louis’ embarrassments were complicated by a new dispute with his brother; but in 1317 Rudolf renounced his claims on Upper Bavaria and the Palatinate, in consideration of a yearly subsidy, and Louis was able to give undivided attention to the war with Frederick. In this, Louis was completely victorious. Frederick of Austria was taken prisoner, but the struggle was continued by his brother, Leopold, until the latter’s death in 1326. Supported by Philip V of France in his desire to free Italy entirely from German influence, Pope John XXII refused to recognize either Frederick or Louis, and asserted his own right to administer the empire during a vacancy.

After the battle of Mühldorf, Louis sent an army into Italy which soon compelled the papal troops to raise the siege of Milan. The pope threatened Louis with excommunication unless he resigned his kingdom within three months. The king appealed to a general council, but was placed under the papal ban in 1324, a sentence which he answered by publishing his charges against the pope. In this contest, Louis was helped by the Minorites, who were upholding against John the principle of the clerical poverty. Taking the offensive, Louis met his Ghibelline supporters at Trent and reached Italy in March 1327, receiving the Lombard crown at Milan in the following May. Louis compelled Pisa to surrender, and, in 1328, was crowned emperor in St. Peter’s by Sciarra Colonna, a Roman noble; he answered the continued attacks of Pope John by pronouncing his deposition, and proclaiming Peter of Corvara pope as Nicholas V. He then undertook an expedition against John’s ally, Robert, king of Naples, but was compelled to retire to Rome, and finally to Germany. The struggle with the pope was renewed in Germany, and a formidable league had been formed against Louis. But the pope died in December 1334, and Benedict XII, John’s successor, was prevented from coming to terms by the influence of Philip VI of France. Louis’s position was improved when the electors meeting at Rense in July 1338 banded themselves together to defend their elective rights, and when the diet of Frankfurt confirmed a decree which declared that the German king did not require the papal approbation to make his election valid.

The heiress of Tyrol, Margaret Maultasch, quarreled with her husband, John Henry, margrave of Moravia, and fled to the protection of Louis, who seized the opportunity to declare her marriage void and to unite her, in 1342, with his son, Louis. The emperor also increased his possessions by his own marriage. In the course of a war between Louis and the enemies made by his policy of acquisition which ensued in Germany, he was forced to submit to humiliating terms, though he would not accept the election of Charles, margrave of Moravia (afterward the emperor Charles IV) as German king in 1346. Charles consequently attacked Tyrol; but Louis died suddenly at a bear-hunt in 1347. He had seven sons, three of whom were subsequently electors of Brandenburg, and ten daughters.

As a soldier, Louis possessed skill as well as bravery, but he lacked perseverance and decision in his political relations; and the fact that he remained almost undisturbed in the possession of Germany in spite of the utmost efforts of the popes, is due rather to the political and intellectual tendencies of the time, rather than to his good qualities. He encouraged trade and commerce and gave a new system of laws to the duchy.

A comet was seen for two months during the last year of Emperor Louis (Ludovici) the Fourth.

Also at that time there was a great famine throughout all of Italy in which a multitude of beggars are said to have barely sustained themselves on food not eaten by humans.[This paragraph and the one preceding it are combined as a single paragraph in the German edition of the that reads as follows: “A comet was seen for two months during the last year of this Emperor; and at that time there was a great famine in Italy.”]

Robert, king of Apulia, died with no son surviving him. He gave his granddaughter as wife to Andrew (Andream), the son of his brother Charles (Caroli), and the king of Hungary, and ordered him to rule after him (i.e., Robert). And he reigned for three years.

Robert, king of Naples (also called Robert of Anjou, or Robert the Wise; Italian Roberto d’Angiò, or Roberto il Saggio), was born in 1278 and died Jan. 19, 1343, in Naples. According to (“Robert.”, Robert was an:

Angevin prince and Guelf (papal party) leader who ruled Naples as king for 34 years (1309–43).

Robert’s early years were clouded by the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–88), in which his father, Charles II of Anjou, was taken prisoner by the Aragonese. By the terms of the treaty Charles was freed, and Robert took his place as hostage at the Aragonese court. Taking the title of duke of Calabria (1296), he led an expedition attempting to recover Sicily from the Aragonese prince who ruled it as Frederick III. Robert’s military success produced the Peace of Caltabellotta (1302), by which the Aragonese agreed to return Sicily to the House of Anjou when Frederick died.

On the death of his father in 1309, Robert inherited Naples and extensive territories in northern Italy and southern France. For several years Robert skirmished politically and militarily on the side of the Guelf party in northern Italy against the Ghibelline (pro-imperial) faction led by the Visconti of Milan, whom he defeated at Sesto, west of Genoa, in 1319. His desire to enlist the interest of Pope John XXII in a final defeat of the Ghibellines of northern Italy caused Robert to take up residence at Avignon, the papal seat, but in 1324 the victory of the Visconti over Guelf forces at Vaprio, east of Milan, brought him back to Italy to defend his lands.

Robert remained neutral when the German king Louis the Bavarian marched into Italy, was crowned emperor in Rome as Louis IV (1328), and set up an antipope, Nicholas V. Relations between Robert and John XXII terminated when the Pope allied himself with King John of Bohemia, who invaded northern Italy in 1330. In return for King John’s support, the Pope offered him Robert’s territories in southern France. The Pope’s diplomacy shattered the traditional Guelf–Ghibelline alignments in Italy, and the league that Robert joined, consisting of members of both parties, drove King John out of Italy in 1336. The final years of Robert’s reign were marked by defections of his northern Italian towns, and his failure to regain Sicily after Frederick III’s death in 1337 brought a steady decline of Angevin power and influence.

This paragraph on Robert is not in the German edition of the Chronicle.

Then Andrew, king of Apulia, was killed with a cord with the consent of his children born after their father had made his will who were greedy for his kingdom. After him that kingdom was in arms for seven years under various quarrels of its princes.

In 1343 Robert the Wise was succeeded on the throne of Naples by his granddaughter, Joan I, who was sixteen years old, and married to her cousin Andrew, brother of the King of Hungary. In 1345 Andrew was murdered at Aversa with Joan I’s connivance.

This paragraph, like the one preceding it, is not in the German edition of the Chronicle.