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1493 Nuremberg Chronicle Simon the magus

1493 Nuremberg Chronicle Simon the magus

C028/9516

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Death of Simon the Magus from the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493 (Incunable). Simon the Magus was a contemporary of Peter and a late convert to Christianity who beleived that he should outshine Peter by using magic to levitate infront of the people of Rome. St. Paul thought this was a bad idea and preyed to Jesus to make him fall and "break his leg in three places". Here we see a host of demons attacking the flying magus, assisted it appears by an angel. After his fall the people of Rome thought little of the Magus and stoned him to death (by some accounts). This confusing story is here rendered by the artist of the Nuremberg chroncile with a full medieval cast of demons and grotesques. The chronicle was the earliest printed book to acheive success with its mix of vivid woodblock illustration and the new technology of set type printing.

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