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

Constance (Kostnitz), a city of Germany, though not very large, is wealthy and well constituted. Beside it the Rhine flows out of the Lake and resumes its course. A bridge from the city gate crosses the Rhine. Beyond the bridge, on the bank of the river, are many buildings. And there is a most pleasing lake, on the shores of which castles and approaches appear everywhere. The water is pure and transparent to its gravelly bottom. It abounds in various kinds of fish, but, taking into consideration the size of the lake, they are not over-abundant. The lake is 22,000 paces in length, its breadth ranging from 10 to 18 paces. The Rhine flows through the Curiensian region, and when it reaches the vicinity of Constance it creates two seas. One of these is called the Bodensee (Lake Constance), and this is the Upper Lake; the other is called the Lower or Cellar Between them lies Constance, on the lower part of the Upper Sea. As an indication of the age and origin or this city one finds there a marble tablet with ancient inscriptions, by which it appears that the city was named after Constantius, father of Constantinus, whom Diocletian and Maximianus named as emperor. Before that time it was called Vitudura. This same tablet very few people of Constance were able to read, and the common people considered it a sacred relic. Maidens and other ignorant people, by touching the tablet with their hands and then rubbing their countenances, have by now completely obliterated the inscription, although the names were not those of Christ’s holy ones, but of persecuters of the Christian faith. Annually there is elected from among the burghers one who exercises supreme authority and power. He does not reside in a public place, but has his own particular residence. When he passes through the city he carries in his hand a disciplinary rod. He has power and authority to punish anyone. In cases of murder, theft, robbery, adultery, and other crimes, there sit with him those whom the city delegates to the purpose. When the accused is brought forth, accuser and defender of the accused are given the privilege of speaking against and for him. After hearing all the evidence judgment is rendered. The art and skill of the orators employed at this point is very remarkable and agreeable. And