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

The third persecution of the Christians occurred because the Christian faith spread very rapidly. Although Trajan was an emperor of singular justice and goodness, in the tenth year of his reign certain impious and wicked peoples caused him concern as to whether the Roman Empire might not suffer by secessions in consequence. Therefore he caused a third persecution of the Christians, in which many were slain; so that Pliny the Second, who governed the provinces, moved to compassion by the great number of deaths, wrote to Trajan, the Emperor, that countless thousands of people were being slain daily, who neither violated the Roman law nor committed any other misdeeds, being guilty of nothing more than singing hymns to a certain Christ, as to a god; while they considered adultery and such vices unseemly. And as a result of that Trajan was moved and decreed that the Christians should not be sought out, but that when they presented themselves they should be punished.[]

Ignatius, a bishop of Antioch, the third bishop there after Peter, and a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, after having governed the church for many years, was taken prisoner at Antioch and sentenced to be thrown to the wild animals. And while being carried to Rome, on the way he fortified all Christian people in the faith with prayers or with letters, saying: So that I may find Christ, fire, the cross, wild animals, breaking of limbs, or the rending of my whole body, and the tortures of the devil may assail me, so long as I gain Christ. And when he heard the roar of the lions he said: I am the food of God, and shall be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread. Once upon a time, as he stood upon a mountain, he heard the angels singing antiphonies, and therefore he ordered that these should also be sung in the churches. In many epistles that he wrote to Mary, he greeted her as the Bearer of Christ. He died in the eleventh year of Trajan.

Ignatius, celebrated by many to this day, and the successor of Peter at Antioch, was the second that obtained the Episcopal office there. Tradition says that he was sent from Syria to Rome, and was cast as food to the wild beasts, on account of his testimony to Christ. And being carried through Asia under a most rigid custody, fortified the different churches in the cities in which he tarried by his discourses and exhortations; particularly to caution them more against the heresies that even then were springing up and prevailing. He exhorted them to adhere firmly to the traditions of the apostles, which for the sake of greater security he attested by committing it to writing. Irenaeus, who knew of his martyrdom, makes mention of his epistles as follows: "As some one of our faith has said, who was condemned to the wild beasts, ‘I am the food of God, and am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread.’" He was succeeded in the Episcopal office by Heros (Eusebius, ch. 36). A fuller account of this saint is given in the writings of Anna Jameson, in which she quotes from the Perfetto Legendario:

Eustathius (Eustachius) surnamed Placidus, Trajan’s Master of the Soldiers, was martyred for Christ on September 20th, in this very cruel time, together with his wife Theospita, and their sons, Agapitus and Theospitus. Of his conversion one reads miraculous things. Eustathius saw a beautiful deer, between whose horns appeared a crucifix that spoke to him. And therefore he accepted baptism.[Eustace (Eustathius or Eustachius) was a Roman soldier, and a captain of the guards to the Emperor Trajan. His name before his conversion was Placidus, and he had a beautiful wife and two sons, and lived with great magnificence, practicing all the pagan virtues, particularly those of loyalty to his sovereign and charity to the poor. He was also a great lover of the chase. One day while hunting in the forest he saw before him a white stag of marvelous beauty, and he pursued it eagerly, and the stag fled before him and ascended a high rock. Then Placidus, looking up, beheld between the horns of the stag a cross of radiant light, and on it the image of the crucified Christ; and being astonished by this vision, he fell on his knees, and a voice, which seemed to come from the crucifix, cried to him and said, "Placidus! Why do you pursue me? I am Christ, whom you have until now served without knowing me. Do you now believe?" And Placidus fell on his face, and said, "Lord, I believe!" And the voice answered, saying, "You shall suffer many tribulations for my sake, and shall be tested by many temptations; but be strong and of good courage, and I will not forsake you." To which Placidus replied, "Lord, I am content. Give me patience to suffer!" The vision departed and Placidus returned home, and the next day he and his wife and two sons were baptized, and he took the name of Eustace. But it happened as it was foretold to him. His two sons were carried off by wild beasts, his wife by pirates. But Eustace dried his tears and prayed for resignation. He came to a village, and having been despoiled of all his possessions by robbers, he lived by the labor of his hands. Fifteen years later the Emperor Hadrian, requiring his services, sent out soldiers to seek him, and they found him, and he was restored to all his former honors, and again led on his troops to victory. Meanwhile his sons had been rescued from the beasts, and his wife escaped from the pirates; and, after many years they met and recognized each other, and were reunited. But Eustace was still to suffer; for the emperor commanded a great sacrifice and thanksgiving to his false gods, in consequence of a victory he had gained over the barbarians. Eustace and his family refused to offer incense, remaining steadfast in the Christian faith. The emperor then immediately ordered that they should be shut up in a brazen bull, and a fire kindled under it; and thus they perished together.]

Hermes, a Roman citizen, and an illustrious official of that city, was baptized by Alexander the pope, together with his wife and children, his sister Theodosa and twelve hundred and fifty servants and their wives. In this persecution he was imprisoned, and later, on the 28th day of August be was sentenced and martyred with the sword.

Josephus the Jew, called Flavius, a priest under Matathias, the priest’s son, a highly renowned historian and in many ways an enlightened man, and a leader in the Jewish wars, in the reigns of Nero and others, was taken prisoner by Vespasian and Titus when the Jewish country was taken, and he was put in honorable service; for he was a good and excellent man, who well understood Christ. He prophesied that Nero would die shortly and that Vespasian would become emperor. Now when this happened, Vespasian released him from all service, and he was afterward taken to Rome, given citizenship, and the name of the Flavian family. And with this same emperor he lived happily for fifteen years. In that time he wrote seven books upon the conquest of the Jews, and for that he earned the honor (as Saint Jerome says) of having a column erected to him at Rome. Afterwards he also wrote a book on the antiquity of the Jews, from the beginning of the world to the time of the Jewish Wars; and many other books; all of which were translated into the Latin tongue by Rufinus the Aquileian. This Josephus was born at the time when Christ was crucified, and he lived up to the time of the Emperor Trajan, and died very honorably.[Josephus, Flavius (37-95? CE), Jewish historian and military commander, was born in the first year of Caligula (37-38). A precocious student of the law, he made trial of the three sects of Judaism – Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes – before he reached the age of nineteen. Then, having spent three years in the desert with the hermit Banus, who was presumably an Essene, he became a Pharisee. In 64 he went to Rome to intercede on behalf of some priests, his friends, whom the procurator Felix had sent to render account to Caesar for some insignificant offense. Making friends with Alityrus, a Jewish actor, who was a favorite of Nero, Josephus obtained an introduction to the empress Poppaea, and accomplished his purpose with her help. His visit to Rome enabled him to speak from personal experience of the power of the Empire, when he expostulated with the revolutionary Jews on his return to Palestine. But they refused to listen, and he, with all the Jews who did not fly the country, was dragged into the great rebellion of 66. In company with two other priests he was sent to Galilee to persuade those still fighting to lay down their arms and return to the Roman allegiance, which the Jewish aristocracy had not yet renounced. Having sent his two companions back to Jerusalem, he organized the forces at his disposal, and made arrangements for the government of the province. In the spring of 67 the Jewish troops whom Josephus had drilled fled before Vespasian and Titus. He sent to Jerusalem for reinforcements, but none came. With the stragglers who remained, he held a stronghold against the Romans, and finally, when the place was taken, persuaded forty men, who shared his hiding place, to kill one another in turn, rather than commit suicide. They agreed to cast lots, on the understanding that the second should kill the first, and so on. Josephus providentially drew the last lot and prevailed upon his destined victim to live. Their companions were all dead in accordance with the compact; but Josephus survived and surrendered. Being led before Vespasian, he was inspired to prophesy that Vespasian would become emperor, and when this was fulfilled, he was liberated, assumed the family named of Vespasian, and accompanied his patron to Alexandria. He returned to Rome, was awarded a pension, and was made a Roman citizen, receiving an estate in Judea.]

Publius (P.) Statius, the Neapolitan, a native of the village of Epiroticus, flourished at Rome; and there he wrote twelve books about the Theban war, and a book about the childhood of Achilles. Also, he was rewarded for his books of Silvae with a country estate at Alba. While he was still young, he took to wife Claudia, the daughter of Apolinaris. And though he began to write the life of Achilles, he was intercepted by death.

Statius (Publius Papinius Statius) was born at Neapolis, about 61 CE, the son of a distinguished grammarian. He accompanied his father to Rome, and under his skillful tuition he speedily rose to fame. He died about 96 CE. Among his extant works are his Thebaid, a heroic poem in 12 books, embodying the ancient legends with regard to the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, and his fascinating fragment of an epic, the Achilleid. The Silvae are a miscellaneous collection of poems, many of which are renowned for their sophisticated wit.

The last sentence in this paragraph, as well as the references to the Achilleid and the Silvae, are not in the German edition of the Chronicle.

Martial (Marcus Valerius Marcialis) was a native of Spain, held in high esteem at Rome because of his ingenuity, and his various epigrams. He returned to the place of his birth in the time of Trajan, and there he died at an advanced age.[Martial, the epigrammatic poet, was born at Bibilis in Spain, in 43 CE. He came to Rome in 66, and after residing there 35 years, returned to the place of his birth in the third year of Trajan, 100. He lived there upwards of three years at least, on the property of his wife, a lady named Marcella, whom he seems to have married after his return to Bibilis. His fame was extensive and his books were eagerly sought, not only in the city, but also in Gaul, Germany, and Britain. He secured the patronage of Titus and Domitian, and his living conditions appear to have been easy during his Roman residence. He had a mansion in the city and a suburban villa. His extant works consist of a collection of short poems, all included under the title , nearly 1500 in number, and divided into 14 books. These epigrams are distinguished by fertility of imagination and prodigious flow of wit. From no source do we derive more copious information on the national customs and social habits of the Romans during the first century of the Empire.]

Stella, also from Padua (Patavinum), not a mean poet, flourished at this time; and he had a wife named Violantilla whom he utterly loved.[Stella, a poet and friend of Statius, who dedicated to him the first book of his , the second poem in which celebrates the marriage of Stella and Violantilla. This Stella is also mentioned by Martial (6.21).]

Juvenal, a satiric poet, native of Aquinum, flourished at Rome. At the age of eighty he was taken from the city and sent to Egypt with a body of troops, not for his honor, but as a punishment. In a short time, however, he succumbed to fear and melancholy. He lived up to the time of the emperor Nerva.[Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis), the great Roman satirist, of whose life we have but few authentic particulars, was either the son or the "alumnus" of a rich freedman. Until he had nearly reached middle life, he occupied himself in declaiming. Having by his satires offended an actor of the time, who was annoyed at a passage really aimed at Paris, Domitian’s favorite, the actor had the poet banished, under the form of a military appointment, to Egypt, where he died shortly afterwards at the age of 80. The only facts with regard to Juvenal upon which we can implicitly rely are that he flourished toward the close of the first century, that Aquinum, if not his birthplace, was at least his chosen residence, and that he is in all probability the friend whom Martial addresses in three epigrams. Each piece he wrote is a finished rhetorical essay, energetic, glowing, and sonorous. He denounces vice in the most indignant terms; but the obvious tone of exaggeration which pervades all his invectives leaves us in doubt how far this sustained passion is real, and how far assumed for show. His extant works consist of 16 satires, all in hexameters.]


Eustace (Eustachius) Roman soldier and martyr, appears as a bearded old man wearing a fur cap and medieval robes. In his hands he holds the head of a deer, a crucifix between its horns, to symbolize the miracle referred to in the text. As a rule this saint is represented in devotional pictures as a Roman soldier, or an armed knight; near him the miraculous stag. The "Conversion of St. Eustace" is only distinguished from the legend of St. Hubert by the classical or warrior costume. The martyrdom of St. Eustace and his family in the brazen bull was not an uncommon subject in early art.