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

Year of the World 5363

Year of Christ 164

Anicetus the pope, a native of Syria, was a man of excellent habits. He ordained that no cleric was to grow long hair, after the command of the apostle; also that no bishop was to be consecrated by less than three other bishops. He also ordered many other things. And after conducting five consecrations in the month of December, consecrating 19 priests, four deacons and nine bishops, he was crowned with martyrdom, and was buried on the 17th day of April. He sat 11 years, 4 months and 3 days; and the chair was vacant for 17 days.[Anicetus, pope, c. 157-168.]

Year of the World 5373

Year of Christ 174

Soter (Sother) the pope, a native of Campania, of the city of Fundanus, lived in the time of L. Commodus the emperor; and although he moved about in many dangers, he turned his conduct to spiritual matters in spite of many temptations. And he ordained that no cloister woman should touch the choral vestment, nor put incense in the censor for use in the holy office. He is credited with an epistle written to the bishops of Italy in these matters. He also ordered that no woman was to be considered a lawful wife unless blessed by a priest after the bans were proclaimed, and who with proper ceremony according to Christian custom was given over to the groom by her parents. And he cast out many dangers from the trickeries and magical arts of wicked people who were accustomed to perform at new marriages. And after he had held five consecrations in the month of December, consecrating eight priests and eleven bishops, he died. He was buried in the church of Calistials, having sat nine years, three months, and twenty days; and at that time the chair rested twenty-one days.[Soter, pope, 167-174.]

Year of the World 5383

Year of Christ 184

Eleutherius the pope, a native of Greece, of the city of Nicopolis, lived in the time of L. Antoninus Commodus. He stated that no one, because of an increase in population, should be starved for lack of those foods to which he was accustomed. He also desired that no one should be deposed from his status, unless, on complaint, he was found guilty of a crime. In this pope’s time the churches were accorded peace and rest, and the Christian name was miraculously augmented through all the earth; and chiefly at Rome, where many noble Romans, together with their wives and children, accepted the Christian faith and were baptized. This pope received an embassy from Lucius, king of Britain, asking that he and his be numbered among the Christians. And finally, after he had conducted three consecrations in the month of December, ordaining priests and bishops, he died and was buried beside the body of St. Peter on the 26th day of the month of May. After he had sat 15 years, three months, and two days, the chair was vacant for five days.[ Eleutherius, pope from about 175 to 189. The , at the beginning of the 6th century, says he had relations with a British king, Lucius, who wished to be converted to Christianity. This tradition – Roman, not British – is an enigma to scholars, and apparently has no historical foundation.]

Year of the World 5393

Year of Christ 194

Victor the pope, a native of Africa, ordained that Easter should be celebrated on Sunday from the 14th day of the moon of the first month to the 21st day, which was observed by the Jews on the 14th day of the moon. This same law was afterwards confirmed by the Council of Nicaea, so that we would not be looked upon as following the Jews. This Victor was martyred and buried beside St. Peter. He sat 10 years, three months, and 10 days. Then the chair rested for 12 days.[ Victor I, pope from about 190 to 198. He submitted to the opinion of the episcopate in the various parts of Christendom the divergence between the Easter usage of Rome and that of the bishops of Asia. Although the observance of Easter, the annual festival of the resurrection of Christ, was at a very early period the practice of the Christian church, a serious difference as to the day of observance arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent. The point at issue was when the Paschal fast (Passover) was to be reckoned as ending. With the Jewish Christians, whose leading thought was the death of Christ as the Paschal Lamb, the fast ended at the same time as that of the Jews, on the 14th day of the moon (that is, the 14th day after the appearance of the new moon; for the religious part of the Jewish calendar was concerned in these appearances of the new moon, the reports of which were made by the country people) in the evening, and the Easter festival immediately followed without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians on the other hand, unfettered by Jewish traditions, identified the first day of the week with the Resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month. With the one the observance of the day of the month, with the other the observance of the day of the week, was the guiding principle. Generally speaking, the western churches kept Easter on the first day of the week, while the Eastern churches followed the Jewish rule and kept it on the 14th day. The dispute was finally settled by the Council of Nicaea, summoned by Constantine in 325. ]

Zephyrinus (Sepherinus) the pope, and a Roman, was in the time of Severus the emperor, a pious man, devoted to spiritual more than to temporal affairs. Therefore he ordained that a Levite and priest should be consecrated in the presence of a cleric of faith and of laymen, which was afterwards confirmed in the Chalcedonian Council. He also ordained that the blessing of the holy blood should take place in a vessel of glass and not in a wooden one (as it did before that time); but this ordinance was afterward changed; and it was decided that the blessing should not be in wood nor in glass, but in a vessel of gold or silver, or brass. He likewise ordained that all Christians, on becoming of age, should yearly, on the holy day of Easter, publicly receive Holy Communion. Finally, after the consecration of various priests and bishops, he died in the time of Severus, and was buried on the Appian Way not far from the cemetery of Calixtus on the seventh of the Kalends of September[The phrase "in the time of Severus, and was buried on the Appian Way not far from the cemetery on the seventh of the Kalends of September" is not in the German edition of the Chronicle.], having sat eight years, 7 months and 10 days.[ Zephyrinus was a Roman, and his election is attributed to the miraculous appearance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. During his pontificate the persecutions of the Christians were redoubled by the order of the emperor Severus, and the bishop of Rome abandoned his flock, reappearing when calm succeeded the tempest. It is said that in order to cause his cowardice to be forgotten, he persecuted the heretics, excommunicated the Montanists, among them Tertullian, who joined the party of these innovators, and held the papal office until about the year 217. The date of his death is uncertain. Although the Church has decreed him the honors of martyrdom, there is grave doubt whether he shed his blood for the Christian faith. He was interred in the cemetery of Calixtus in the Appian Way.]

Year of the World 5413

Year of Christ 214

Calixtus the pope, a Roman and a very wise and pious man, during the distress afflicting the Christians under the evil emperor who had departed from his forbears, ordered the observance of a gold-fast four times a year, and the consecrations which had before that time taken place in the month of December were afterwards held quarterly. He also established a cemetery named for him, in which the bodies of many martyrs were buried. But after he had baptized the Romans, Palmachius the consul and Simplicius the senator, and Felix the nobleman, together with their households, and had consecrated many priests and bishops, he was crowned with martyrdom by Emperor Alexander on the 14th day of the month of October, having sat six years, ten months and ten days.[Calixtus I, pope from 217 to 222, was little known before the discovery of the book of the . From this work, which is in part a pamphlet directed against him, we learn that Calixtus was originally a slave and engaged in banking. Falling on evil times, he was brought into collision with the Jews, who denounced him as a Christian and procured his exile to Sardinia. On his return from exile he was pensioned by Pope Victor, and later was associated with Pope Zephyrinus in the government of the Roman Church. On the death of Zephyrinus (217) he was elected in his place and occupied the papal chair for five years. He died in 222. In the time of Constantine the Roman Church reckoned him officially among the martyr popes.]