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

Year of the World 6609

Year of Christ 1410

John XXIII, of Naples, a well born man, previously called Baldassare Cossa, a cardinal, was elected pope at Bologna in this year, upon the death of Alexander; and he sat four years and ten months. Some write that he was elected under compulsion; for he was a Bolognese legate and had many armed men in the city and country, and had he not secured the pontificate by election, he might have obtained it by intimidation and force of arms. Many candidates were suggested to him but he accepted none. He said, Give me the mantle of St. Peter, and I will give it to the pope. Thereupon he placed the mantle on his own shoulders, saying, I am the pope. Although this did not please the cardinals, yet it is known that he was created pope, and had sought the pontificate by all means. He was highly informed and educated in the civil and the canon law. He was great in contemporary affairs, but was unskilled in ecclesiastical matters. He was more ingenious in worldly transactions, than endowed with piety of life. After receiving the pontificate he remained at Bologna for several days. Then he went to Rome, and sent a number of men-at-arms against Ladislaus. But in the following year Ladislaus made war against this Pope John. In fear, John left Rome for Florence, and from thence he went to Bologna. Before long he went to Gian Francesco Gonzaga at Mantua. There, and also at Cremona, he had a conference with Emperor Sigismund as to how he might drive off Ladislaus, who was distressing Rome and many other cities of the Church. Thereafter this John, with the consent of all the nations, was summoned to a council called to obviate the schism. He sent two cardinals to Germany, who, together with the princes of Germany and France, were to choose a convenient place for the council. The city of Constance was considered suitable. And they all went to Constance; and John went there also, although some advised him not to go. But when Emperor Sigismund thereafter also came to the council, this pope was charged with many misdeeds. Whereupon the pope, after having been in attendance upon the council for four months, changed his attire, and secretly fled from Constance by night to Schaffhausen, and while hastening toward Burgundy, he was intercepted by order of Duke Frederick and turned over to the emperor. He was confined in a cell in the monastery of St. Mark, convicted and deposed. He was then sent to Duke Louis of Bavaria, and held in confinement at Heidelberg for three years. He was released by Martin, his successor.

Year of the World 6616

Year of Christ 1417

Martin V, a Roman, previously called Otto, and born of the noble Roman family of the Colonna, was at this time, on the day of St. Martin the bishop, elevated from cardinal to pope in the council of Constance by the consent of all the nations and the cardinals; for from youth his parents reared him in good morals and the arts. In the later years of his youth he was well educated in the canonical laws at Paris. From thence he went to Rome, where, because of his virtue and scriptural wisdom, he became referendary to Urban VI, and later a cardinal. Whenever disputes occurred in the council of Constance, he always held to a middle course for the common good; wherefore he was acceptable to Emperor Sigismund and the cardinals. He did not permit his papal off too to fall into desuetude, but labored and acted with solicitude. Although not world-wise, and lacking in initiative, and esteemed for his goodness and gentleness, yet when he became pontiff, he was worldly prudent and not over gentle. At the conclusion of the council he returned to Italy, remained at Florence for two years, and then went to Rome, where the whole city came forth to meet him and received him as its father. Through his efforts, Rome, which in buildings and morals had lost the appearance of a municipality, was restored to civic life. At last he died in the 15th year of his pontificate, at the age of seventy-three years. He was mourned by the Roman people and the clergy as though the churches of God and the city of Rome had been left fatherless by his death.