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

Frederick III, son of Duke Ernst of Austria, and duke of Austria, Styria and Carinthia, and count of Tyrol, was, upon the demise of King Albert, in A.D. 1440, elected Roman king by unanimous vote. He was crowned in high honor at Aix-la-Chapelle with the crown of the German kingdom, and ruled the Roman Empire for almost fifty three years. When Frederick attained to years of discretion, he soon recognized the duty and obligation due to God; and urged on by his good nature and his heritage of noble blood, he determined to further the service and honor of God above all else; for the princes of the Austrian house (of whom ever so many reigned as kings and emperors), hoped for good fortune as long as they served and honored God. And thus Frederick, following in the footsteps of his ancestors, and while still young, sailed across the sea and visited the city of our salvation; the places where our Saviour was born and where the sacrifice in the Temple was made; and the places of his temptation, Last Supper, trial, crucifixion, burial and ascension; and he kissed the earth where our Saviour had been. He enjoyed a safe return voyage. In the flower of his youth he was a good Christian prince, wise, brave, and full of life. He developed in strength of body, was stern, patient and skilled in his work, of a strong and firm disposition, and loved sobriety. To his credit we may speak of his gentleness, piety, righteousness, and worldly wisdom; as well as of the manner in which he removed from our nation the pernicious schism in the Roman Church, and by great labor, and at still greater expense and zeal, brought the German people to obedience to popes Eugenius and Nicholas; and therefrom originated the unity of the church, which we now enjoy. But we dread to row upon a great sea in a small boat. For who, in so short a history as this one is, can adequately speak of the majesty, glory, power, nobility, and virtue of such a great and mighty prince? I opine it were better to remain silent than to remember such a prince’s majesty, esteem, praise, and renown, in a brief notation. But as it is impossible for us to speak but briefly of the praiseworthy and memorable history and accomplishments of this most illustrious prince as ruler of the Roman Empire for a period of fifty-three years, we are obliged to forego a complete account; and we will therefore scan the life of Frederick as an example of virtue and piety. Because of the schism the imperial coronation of Frederick was delayed until the time of Pope Nicholas V. In the meantime the affairs of the German nation were pacified. Thereafter Emperor Frederick placed a governor over Austria, and went to St. Veit , where he celebrated Christmas. And there he summoned King Ladislaus to come to him. From thence he proceeded to Villach. And there the Bohemians and Hungarians came to him, expressing their desire to attend his coronation at Rome, to observe the manners and customs of Italy, and to earn the girdle of knighthood. Duke Albert, the emperor’s brother, was also present, having brought with him a brilliant retinue from Swabia. The emperor left Villach and proceeding over the mountains, sent Duke Albert on ahead with a portion of the retinue. The emperor took King Ladislaus with him, and during the holy days in the first year after the Jubilee, they arrived in Italy. There he was received with great joy, reverence and honor by an embassy of Venetian counsellors, sent on to meet him, and by the clergy with the relics. Throughout the Venetian country he was kept free of expenses. At every place many Italian people came to meet him, praising the brilliant imperial retinue, the shining armor, the handsome youths and their beautiful countenances, their bright yellow hair, and white necks; and they marvelled at Frederick’s well-formed figure, his brave countenance, and intelligence; as well as at Ladislaus’s angelic countenance, his quiet and well regulated mariners, and his gallantry beyond his years. Those of Treviso looked upon Frederick with eagerness, recalling that they were once subject to this lord of Austria, whose shield and emblem are still in the courthouse there. The same occurred at Padua, for the people well knew that they were subjects of the Roman Empire. In the meantime many Germans came from Swabia, Franconia and from the Rhine, through Trient, Verona and Mantua to Ferrara, where they awaited the coming of the Roman king. King Frederick then proceeded to Padua, and from Padua to Ferrara; thence to Bologna; and from there to Florence, and from Florence to Siena; at all of which places he was received with great honor and elegance by the nobility, legates, and cardinals who came forth to meet him.