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HIST 2220 War and Society (Jobin) - An Introduction to Works Held in Rare and Distinctive Collections: The History of Rome in the Late Middle Ages

The Nuremberg Chronicle and Roman History


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 (see below), and the history of the Middle Ages are also included.