Sunday, August 5, 2012

Nuremberg Chronicle on Macedonia, 1493

The Nuremberg Chronicle is an illustrated Biblical paraphrase and world history that follows the story of human history related in the Bible; it includes the histories of a number of important Western cities. Written in Latin by Hartmann Schedel, with a version in German translation by Georg Alt, it appeared in 1493. It is one of the best-documented early printed books—an incunabulum —and one of the first to successfully integrate illustrations and text. Latin scholars refer to it as Liber Chronicarum (Book of Chronicles) as this phrase appears in the index introduction of the Latin edition. English speakers have long referred to it as the Nuremberg Chronicle after the city in which it was published. German speakers refer to it as Die Schedelsche Weltchronik (Schedel's World History) in honour of its author. The illustrations in many copies were hand-coloured after printing.

Macedonian city depicted by Hartmann Schedel in 15 century

The author Hartmann Schedel, stated about Macedonia:
"... Greece has on the east, Dalmatia, Epirus, Hellas, Thessaly, Macedonia, Achaoa, and Illyria. And all Greece and Dalmatia was named after Delim, the largest city of these provinces..."

Conclusion: The author divides the Balkan in antiquity on five provinces: Moesia, Pannonia, Rhaetia, Thrace and Greece. The province of Greece, he divides on seven regions: Dalmatia, Epirus, Hellas, Thessaly, Macedonia, Achaea and Illyria.

"... Macedonia, formerly called Emathia, is near Media which is to the north. It was the country of Alexander the Great’s father. It is rich in veins of gold and silver. In it is Mt. Olympus, which is so high that on its peak are found neither air nor clouds..."

Conclusion: Author used the oldest name of Macedonia, Emathia, which in fact is Greek and comes from the Greek mythology. Emathos was the son of Macedon (son of Zeus and Thyia) and brother of Pierus.
"... He made Persepolis the capital of the kingdom. This city was later burned by the Greeks, who conquered the country..."

Conclusion: The ancient city of Persepolis was burned by the Alexander's army, who according to author were Greeks.
"... This Aemilius with the Romans waged a most just war against the Tarentines; and so with Pyrrhus, king of the Greeks..."

Conclusion: According to author of this chronicle, Pyrrhus of Epirus, general and King of Epirus and Macedonia, and the last of Alexander's Diadochi, was the Greek ruler. He was second cousin of Alexander the Great, via Alexander's mother (Olympias) side.
"... But the benign forethought of human nature, always inclined to the best, thought of consolidating everything into a single principality, without which a general peace was not possible. Thus originated the Assyrian kingdom. In the same manner the Greek state expanded from Europe to Asia and Lybia, under the power and good fortune of Alexander the Great; and Carthage did likewise..."

Conclusion: According to author Alexander's kingdom who expanded from Europe to Asia and Lybia, was the Greek kingdom.
"Macedonia, the country that once ruled the world, borders on Thrace from the west and south, and extends from the Aegean Sea to the Adriatic. To the south, at its back, are Thessaly and Magnesia; and to the north Paeonia and Paphiagonia. These regions were later added to Macedonia. Epirus and Illyricum also border on Macedonia, one on the south, the other on the north. On the shores of the Adriatic lies the ancient city of Dyrrachium of the Cheronese in which it is located, and from whence it derived its name. It was formerly called Epidamnus, and was first built by those of Corcyra. Not far below was the city of Apollonia, established under good laws, and memorable for the fact that the emperor Augustus studied Greek there. On the other shore is Thessalonica, once a mighty city, celebrated through the epistles of St. Paul, and by the devastations and irreconcilable wrath of Theodosius the Great; for, although at times he was a most kind emperor, he was so enraged by the slaying of the judges in the city that he ordered all the inhabitants put to death; and thus about 11,000 men perished. St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, would not permit such an inhuman deed to pass unpunished; and he forbade the emperor’s entry into the churches, and compelled him to do penance. From henceforth a law was enforced that a sentence of death should not be carried out for thirty days. Pliny states that this was a free city. Strabo says that Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, built it. Both ascribe this city to Macedonia. Andronicus, son of Emanuel, the Constantinopolitan emperor, acquired this city as a portion of his inheritance, but later, through hatred of his brother John, who succeeded his father as emperor, he surrendered it to the Venetians, from whom it was taken by the Turkish sultan Amurate. This sultan also brought under his sway the remaining Macedonian districts as far as the Paeonian mountains, a region now called Albania. O what wonderful changes have taken place in worldly affairs, and how transitory man's authority has been! At one time this Macedonian region, while under the two kings, Philip and Alexander, extended into Asia, Armenia, Iberia, Albania, Cappodocia, Syria, Egypt, and as far as Mount Taurus and the Caucasus, and over the Bactrians, Medes and Persians. But in our time it is unfortunately subject to the vile Turks, to whom it has become tributary and subservient."

Conclusion: It's interesting the fact that Emperor Augustus learned to spoke Greek in Roman province of Macedonia. It is good proof, what was the official language spoken by the inhabitants of this province.
"Albania at one time belonged to and was part of Macedonia, wherein the two aforesaid cities of Dyrrachium and Apollonia were situated. The language of this people is understood neither by the Greeks nor the Wends. We believe that the people at one time came from the Albania near Chalcide, in Asiatic Scythia, when the barbarian nations overran Greece and Italy..."

Conclusion: Author support the Caucasian theory of modern Albanians origin. This theory is not proven.

Images from the chronicle:

1. Philip of Macedon, Olympias and Nectabanus.
2. Alexander the Great
3. Cleopatra
4. Philip of Macedon

Author: (M. P.)
Translations in English taken from University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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