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HIST 2170 - History of Christianity (Jobin) - Special Collections: The Early Christian Era in Later Literature

The Nuremberg Chronicle


The Liber Chronicarum, authored by Hartmann Schedel, offers a history of the Christian world from the beginning of times to the early 1490s.  It was first written in Latin, then translated into German, by the Nuremberg physician and humanist Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514).  Due to the substantial expense of publishing such a large, illustrated volume, Schedel's work was supported by Nuremberg merchants Sebald Schreyer (1446-1520) and Sebastian Kammermeister (1446-1503).

The Nuremberg Chronicle - as Liber Chronicarum is commonly called - drew from medieval and Renaissance sources, such as Bede, Vincent of Beauvais, Martin of Tropaua', Flavius Blondus, Bartolomeo Platina and Philippus de Bergamo (Iacopo Filippo Foresta).  

Divided into the ages of the world, the volume was lavishly illustrated by images of biblical and historical events. 

Engravers Michael Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, and Albrecht Dürer (?) provided topographical illustrations created out of woodcuts that show views of towns in Europe and the Middle East, some of which are duplicates.  Portraits of key figures from Biblical history, the history of Greece and Rome, and the history of the Middle Ages are also included in the volume. 

See below for scenes from early Christianity, including the life of Christ, the martyrdom of the saints, and the Council of Trent from the copy held by Special Collections.

For detailed information on the copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle held by Special Collections, see:

For a fully digitized, hand-colored copy of the the Nuremberg  Chronicle, see: 

For a complete, full-text, English translation of the Nuremberg Chronicle, see: 



The Nuremberg Chronicle - The Stoning of St. Stephen and the Conversion of St. Paul

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Scenes from the Life of Christ (folio 95v, left) and from the Stoning of Stephen

and the Conversion of Paul (folio 103v, right). 

The Nuremberg Chronicle - Constantine and the Council of Trent

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Portrait of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (folio 129r, left)

and the Council of Trent (folio, 130v, right).

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