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Enthroned emperor observes multiple martyrdoms

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  • An enthroned emperor observes the suffering and martyrdom of Christian bishops. The emperor holds a sword, which symbolizes his authority, and soldiers attend him. The woodcut contains six scenes of torture: flames engulf a martyr (upper left); lions devour a naked man (upper center); two workers crucify a man upside-down (upper right) (see "St. Peter undergoes crucifixion upside-down" in this collection); two guards flog a man, who is dressed in loincloth, tied to a stake, and bleeding (right foreground); a torturer stands on and drills out the eye of a bound bishop (center foreground) (see "Martyrs suffer branding and the removal of their eyes" in this collection); and a man kneels, about to be beheaded (center). Beginning with the second edition (1570), this woodcut and the eleven that follow it comprise an appendix to volume one of the work, under the title "The Proud Primacy of Popes." This appendix details the alleged decline of relations between Christian monarchs and the papacy during the medieval period, a decline which Foxe traces from its beginning at the time of the primitive Church. The damage to the OSU copy of this illustration (pictured here) results from a reader having defaced the woodcut that appears on the verso side of the next leaf. The "Proud Primacy" series appears in the second (1570), third (1576), and fourth (1583) editions. Luborsky and Ingram 11223/24. JPEG file (4.72 MB).
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