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HIST 1061, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Rome (Jobin) Special Collections: The History of Rome in the Late Middle Ages

Rome through the Lens of the Nuremberg Chronicle

    

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fols., 57v-58r.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

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. 

 

              

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fols.12v-13r.

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

Maps such as those published in Hartmann Schedel's Liber Chronicarum (Anton Koberger, 1493), shed light on ancient and medieval efforts to understand humankind's place in the world.  Schedel's Ptolemaic map is graphically bordered Pliny-influenced composite figures: a hirsute woman; a bipedal centaur; and an ornithomorphic human, all of whom, according to hearsay in the Roman world, occupied the far reaches known lands.  Key figures from Roman history - particularly those of the late Republic and early Empire - are also depicted, all looking very much like medieval royalty. 

   

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 89v, detail.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 93r, detail  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

Scenes from early Christianity, including the life of Christ, the conversion of Paul, and the Council of Nicea feature prominently in the volume.  

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 95v, detail.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

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Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 103v., detail.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 103r., detail.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 129r, detail.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

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Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. 130v, detail.  

Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

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

The Nuremberg Chronicle access - Special Collections, Cambridge, and Morse Library, Beloit College

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: 

                        

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