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HIST 2220 War and Society (Jobin) - An Introduction to Works Held in Rare and Distinctive Collections

This guide features works held by Rare and Distinctive Collections that focus on the history of war and society from Rome through the twentieth century.

The Nuremberg Chronicle

"The Temple of Solomon," Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum (the Nuremberg Chronicle), 1493

Special Collections, Rare & Distinctive Collections

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 above for an image of what Schedel's engravers believed to be the Temple of Solomon.  The structure is, in fact, the centrally-planned Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock (in Arabic, the Qubbat al-Ṣakhrah, Jerusalem, built by the Umayyad caliph 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, late 7th century ce.). 

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. 

And finally, see below for the Nuremberg Chronicle's Septima Estas Mundi (the Seventh Age of the World), which depicts the chilling events surrounding the end of times including the coming of the Anti-Christ, as described in the Book of Revelation.  

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).

Rare and Distinctive Collections


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B



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Sean Babbs

The Nuremberg Chronicle - the Seventh Age of the World