Hartmann Schedel

(1440 - 1514)

Hartmann Schedel was a physician, an important Humanist, and book collector. Schedel’s comprehensive library, one of the largest personal libraries in late medieval Europe, eventually contained over three hundred manuscripts, and several hundred printed books. first came into the possession of Johan Jacob Fugger, of the Augsburg family of bankers, and patron of the “Fugger Binder”, in 1552, and was afterwards obtained by Duke Albert V of Bavaria (1550-1579) for the ducal, now royal, library at Munich.

However, Hartmann Schedel is best known as the compiler of the famous “Nuremberg Chronicle”, the Registrum huius operis libri cronicarum cum figuris et ymagibus ab inicio mundi (1493). This is an illustrated chronicle of the history of the world, from Creation to 1492. The book was printed and published by two other Nuremberg citizens, Sebald Schreyer and Sebasitian Kammermeister, and illustrated by Wilmelm Pleydenwurff and Michael Wolgemut.

Educated at Leipzig University from 1456 – 1460, Hartmann Schedel initially pursued a legal career, while simultaneously taking instruction from humanistic Pieter Luder. He followed Luder to Padua in 1463, where he changed tack, and pursued medicine. In 1472, he became a physician working in Bavaria. By 1481, he was at Nuremberg where he remained until his death.