An enormous storm, unheard of before, raged to an extreme degree in the royal city of Constantinople in the year of the Salvation 1490 on the 12th day of the month of July. For [this was caused by] the fires of the three upper celestial bodies, which when they fall to the earth have the name ‘lightning’- when they had caused contact in this way between excessive moisture from the upper orbit and heat from the one below it. The air was disturbed when the gathering moisture stimulated an abundance, or there was, so to speak, a kind of birth from a pregnant celestial body. When the exhalation or vapor was struggling inside a cloud, first enormous thunderclaps were heard, then blazing lightning was seen, and bolts of lightning with longer tracks. Yet these are thought, by those who pursue these things, to come from the celestial body Saturn, just as [lightning] which burns comes from that of Mars, as when Volsinii, a very wealthy Etruscan town, was entirely incinerated by lightning. This is what happened in this most famous city [of Constantinople], and the Christians attributed it to divine providence. There an ancient column had a statue of the emperor Constantine; the terrible onslaught of the lightning storm did not knock down even part of it. But, as reliable Venetian merchants and others tell it, the fire, devourer of property, consumed eight hundred houses and three thousand people, such that neither the wood more the shape of buildings remained, in the form that the circle of devastation shows below. Indeed we have added this figure in commendable memory of the event. After a variety of miracles occurred as time passed, as we have shown- indeed terrible things were seen: a crown appeared, a beam, a chasm in the earth, a bloody sky, burning shields, and other things; it seems that milk rained
from the sky, and wool, flesh, and blood came down; mountains were seen to run together; the moon and sun were tripled; a stone with the sign of the Cross fell in the time of the emperor Frederick the Second (as has already been mentioned) - most recently, in the year 1492 on the 7th day before the Ides of November at noon, under the emperor Frederick III, a huge stone fell into his own land, as a thunder crashed through the air. It had the shape of a delta,and its outline was triangular, protruding on the oblique side. This was experienced by Ensisheim; Sundgau also experienced it. When it crashed down there to land, it was broken into parts, yet it still has a heavy weight and is put on display for observation, as an omen of the future. War were also waged during this time between the king Maximilian and the king of France, over the duchess of Brittany, through many losses, and they are still in force, with the outcome in doubt.


Dan Giles


Hartmann Schedel (1493). Liber cronicarum cum figuris et ymaginibus ab inicio mundi.
USC Libraries, Special Collections Call No: D17.S34 1493b, f. 267.

Hartmann Schedel (2010). Liber chronicarum: translation.
USC Libraries, Special Collections Call No: D17.S3413 2010 v.1-v.4




Dan Giles, “Constantinople,” Nuremberg Chronicle, accessed December 19, 2018,

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