The Roman monster : an icon of the Papal Antichrist in by Lawrence P. Buck

By Lawrence P. Buck

In December 1495 the Tiber River flooded the town of Rome inflicting vast drowning and destruction. while the water eventually receded, a rumor started to circulation gruesome monstrosity have been came upon within the muddy detritus the Roman monster. The creature itself is inherently interesting, inclusive of an eclectic blend of human and animal physique components. The symbolism of those parts, the interpretations that spiritual controversialists learn into them, and the background of the picture itself, aid to rfile antipapal polemics from fifteenth-century Rome to the Elizabethan spiritual payment. This learn examines the iconography of a twin of the Roman monster and gives ideological purposes for associating the picture with the pre-Reformation Waldensians and Bohemian Brethren. It bills for the copy and survival of the monster's photograph in fifteenth-century Bohemia and gives old history at the topos of the papal Antichrist, an idea that Philip Melanchthon linked to the monster. It contextualizes Melanchthon's tract, 'The Pope-Ass Explained,' in the first 5 years of the Lutheran flow, and it files the recognition of the Roman monster in the polemical and apocalyptic writings of the Reformation. this can be a cautious exam and interpretation of all suitable basic records and secondary old literature in telling the tale of the origins and effect of the main recognized big portent of the Reformation period

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Extra resources for The Roman monster : an icon of the Papal Antichrist in Reformation polemics

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While the cross-­keys may have symbolized the authority of the pope from a doctrinal point of view, the Tor di Nona was a local symbol of papal power. Together, the Castel Sant’Angelo and the Tor di Nona made a tangible statement of the temporal jurisdiction of the pope as one approached St. Peter’s. The fourth political symbol in the von Olmütz engraving is the inscription at the top of the picture: “ROMA CAPVT MVNDI” (“Rome, head of the world”).  Cassell, Monarchia Controversy, 10–­11. 1:444; Lange, Der Papstesel, 30.

To conclude. 41 The earliest version of the story of the monster as well as the earliest representation of the beast drew upon a fund of popular images whose connotative meanings symbolized power or pestilence indeed, but more important, ridicule, foolishness, false belief, carnality, and demonic presence. However, the image of the monster that Wenzel von Olmütz reproduced added a setting that contained equally well-­understood symbols that conveyed an ideological content not present in the early description of the monstrosity or in the bas-­relief on the Como cathedral.

25. See Mellinkoff, “Riding Backwards,” 163–­64; Davis, “Women on Top,” 168. 26. , 170; Mellinkoff, “Riding Backwards,” 163.  Jones, Secret Middle Ages, 88. 28. , 87. 29. , 7. During the Inquisition in sixteenth-­century Spain, condemned heretics were placed backwards on an ass and led to the place of their execution; Mellinkoff, “Riding Backwards,” 159. , fig. 6, showing an illustration of a bishop riding backwards on an ass from northern France, ca. 1280. 30. , 72. 20 Chapter 1 tradition, the ass represents false belief.

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