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

Year of the World 6691

Year of Christ 1492

Alexander VI, a Spaniard, a native of the city of Valencia, previously called Rodrigo Borgia, and a bishop of Portua (Porto or Oporto), was elected pope by common consent in this year upon the death of Innocent VIII. He was crowned with the papal tiara on August 26, in the church of St. John Lateran. He is a man of magnanimous disposition, and of great intelligence, prudence, and worldly wisdom. During his youth he studied at the University of Bologna, and so developed in reputation and renown for learning and general adaptability, that his mother’s brother, Pope Calixtus III, made him a cardinal. Public recognition of his virtue and ingenuity is to be found in the fact that, although very young, he was admitted into the college of the most worthy and distinguished cardinals, and rose to the office of vice-chancellor. In view of his experience and knowledge of these matters he was fitly chosen above all others to control and pilot St. Peter’s ship. Although a man of lordly countenance, he deserves first praise on account of his Spanish nationality; for, firstly, among all the countries of the whole world, Spain excels in the healthfulness of its moderate and agreeable climate, and in the special virtue of all things. It has produced men who have always ranked highest and have been the most renowned in physical qualifications, in ingenuity, and in all the virtues. Secondly, Valencia, his native city, excels all others in Spain in age, beauty of location, population, and commerce. Thirdly, he was born of illustrious family of the Borgia which truly distinguished his nation, his fatherland, and his race. He is the successor of Pope Calixtus, his uncle of blessed memory, in scriptural wisdom, acquaintance with the arts, and uprightness of life. He is a man of amiability, veracity, good counsel, and devotion to God, and is versed in all things incident to his high office and status. Blessed is he who is endowed with so many virtues and is elevated to such supremacy. We hope that he will prove beneficial and useful to the common Christian status, and will overcome the attacks of the raging torrents, surmount the high and perilous crags of the sea, and attain the stairs of heavenly glory. In short, we ask posterity to record the worthy future transactions and deeds of this pope. When he secured the see he undertook to augment his majesty with glory; and although he first encountered opposition, he undertook great things. God grant that he accomplish all things for the benefit and advancement of the common Christian status.

Although the foolish, miserable and comfortless people, the Jews, in time past, in many parts of Germany and elsewhere, and particularly at Breslau, Passau, Regensburg, etc., treated the most Holy Sacrament with scorn and contempt, and their misdeeds remained not unavenged, yet, on the 22nd day of October A.D. 1492, in the city of Sternberg, then under the dukes of the principality of Mecklenburg, Eleazar, a Jew, and his relatives, through a priest named Peter, secured the most Holy Sacrament of the Body of Christ, which was brought to them in the form of a large and a small host. And they stabbed the same until it bled and the white linen cloth was discolored. The Jews, frightened by the miracle, returned the host to Peter the priest.When the matter was reported to the two brothers, the illustrious dukes Balthasar and Mangen, and they inquired into it and saw the wounds caused by the stabs, they ordered the Jews seized and burned as scorners of our faith and of the divine majesty of Christ. Hence all doubts on the part of disbelievers should be removed, and no one should doubt that the first creatures, through the power of the divine will and in the presence of the highest majesty, may pass into the body of our Lord; for what may not be easy to him who readily formed a man out of a clump of earth in his own image? and to whom it is possible to recall man from the dead, to remove him from damnation, to remake him of the ashes, to raise him from earth to heaven, and to elevate his image into the company of his kingdom. To that place may we be assisted by our God, who lives and reigns in everlasting eternity. Amen.