Hartmann Schedel

Hartmann Schedel (* February 13, 1440 in Nuremberg, † November 28, 1514 ibid ) was a German physician, humanist and historian. His most important work is the so-called Nuremberg Chronicle, also known as Schedel's World Chronicle, from 1493.


Hartmann Schedel was born in 1440 as the son of a wealthy businessman Hartmann Schedel the Elder in Nuremberg. His mother Anna died Grabner already 1445th At the age of eleven, he was orphaned in 1451. Of his two brothers George Schedel Kaufmann was, while John Schedel entered the Dominican monastery.

Mr. Schedel, thirty years older cousin Hartmann Schedel, took over his upbringing. Mr. Schedel was a doctor and practiced first in Nuremberg. After several years as the personal physician of Frederick II, Elector of Brandenburg, he returned for climatic reasons again to southern Germany and later to Nuremberg. He led Hartmann Schedel to the medical profession, to humanism and love for books.

Hartmann Schedel was already in 1456, enrolled at the age of 16 years at the University of Leipzig, completed a master's degree in liberal arts and attended lectures in the law and canon law. 1461 he joined the humanist circle around Peter Luder and followed this end in 1463 to Padua. At the University of Padua, he studied medicine in addition also anatomy and surgery and received his doctorate 1466th parallel to medicine he had also attended lectures in physics and Greek, and thus, one of the first German ever get access to the Greek language.

In 1466 he returned to Nuremberg, to spend the next few years a lot of time traveling and collecting and copying books. In the years 1470-1477 he was the town doctor in Nördlingen down, joined the Brotherhood of the " Carthusian Christ in the Garden" in 1475 and married Anna Heugel from Nuremberg († 1485 ). His further career took him from Amberg to Nuremberg in 1482, where he married in 1487, his second wife, Magdalena Haller ( † 1505). Six of the twelve children from two marriages died at a young age.

In Nuremberg, Hartmann Schedel was one of the wealthy citizens. He owned several pieces of land and fiefs, and also inherited the house of his cousin Hermann Schedel in the castle road, in the Haller, Scheurl and Albrecht Dürer lived. He was recorded in the register of the 92 honorable families of the city and 1482 Named the Greater Council, composed of representatives of the patrician class, as well as merchants, scholars and craftsmen. The Inner Council maintained Hartmann Schedel closed, as his second wife while his mother was descended from the patrician family of the Ebner, but her father is not the Nuremberg patrician family, but belonged to the relocated from Bamberg line of Haller. Until his death in Hartmann Schedel was a respected citizen of Nuremberg and led a thriving practice. With his medical colleagues, he formed an influential medical and humanistic ambitious circle of scholars.

His reputation was justified but neither his profession nor by its own social position, but by his literary masterpiece, the " World Chronicle ".

The Schedel's World Chronicle

The Schedel's World Chronicle was first published in 1493 in Nuremberg into a Latin and a German version. It is an important example of German art of printing.

The circulation is not known. The Latin edition, which was sold across Europe, have been higher than the German. It includes 656 pages, was printed the German 596 at Anton Koberger in Nuremberg. About the prices of the chronicle almost nothing is known. A 1495 in London sold item cost 66 shillings 8 pence. The pressure of the chronicle, which devoured immense cost, was not of publishing success, because in 1509 were 571 copies in stock. The handwritten copy of Hartmann Schedel is located in the Bavarian State Library and can be viewed on the Internet.

In April 2011 was discovered a copy of the Chronicle of the World by chance in an attic in Utah (USA). The owner of the book received from his great-uncle. However, the book is in poor condition and lacks many pages. The value is estimated at around 35,000 euros. In 2010 a well- preserved specimen obtained (converted ) 570,000 euros at an auction in London. At an auction in Munich a slightly damaged copy was sold for 105,000 euros.

The chronicle follows the tradition of medieval chronicles, by presenting the history of the world in ages of the world:

  • First World Age: from the creation of the world until the Flood
  • Second World Age: up to the birth of Abraham
  • Third World Age: up to the kingdom of King David
  • Fourth World Age: up to the Babylonian Exile
  • Fifth World Age: up to the birth of Christ
  • Sixth World Age: birth of Christ up to His presence. This world age is the most comprehensive chronicle.
  • Seventh World Age: view of the apocalypse and the Last Judgement

The work contains 1809 woodcut illustrations of Wolgemut workshop - which are repeated in part - making it the most extensively illustrated book of the 15th century. Among the illustrations are 29 double-sided city views and two double-sided maps: a world map and a map of Europe.

Michael Wolgemut began in 1487 with Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, his stepson, with the design work to the woodcuts. Also contributions of the young Albrecht Dürer, who went to 1490 in Wolgemut in the doctrine are likely.


  • Hartmann Schedel: Registrum huius operis libri cronicarum cu [ cum ] figuris et imagibus [ imaginibus ] from inicio mudi [ mundi ]. [ Reprint of Nuremberg, Koberger, 1493 ]. Quantum Books, Ostfildern [ 2002 ?], CCXCIX, ISBN 3-935293-04-6.
  • Hartmann Schedel: Register of the Book of Croniken and stories with characters and pildnussen since the world unnsere up on dise time. [ Brought by Georgium old ... in diss Teutsch ]. Reprint [ ed the ] Nuremberg, Koberger, 1493, first reprint. Reprint Publisher Koelbl, Munich, 1991, CCLXXXVI Bl, IDN: 947 020 551
  • Hartmann Schedel: World Chronicle. Reprint [ of ] colored complete edition of 1493rd introduction and commentary by Stephan Füssel. Weltbild, Augsburg 2004, ISBN 3-8289-0803-9.
  • Stephan Füssel (ed.): Schedel 's World Chronicle. Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-8228-5725-4.