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Magic, pseudepigraphy, prophecies and forgeries in Trithemius' manuscripts. From Cusanus to Bovelles?

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Chapter Summary

Magus Trithemius was a copyist and collector of manuscripts for the celebrated library of his first abbey, that of Sponheim in the Palatinate. He was considered to be the founder of literary historical sources, but was denounced and exposed by his own contemporaries as a great forger of historical sources. This habit known to his contemporaries should have brought the historians of magical theory to question Trithemius' magical sources like Pelagius and Libanius Gallus. This chapter speaks about a work written for Maximilian, De septem secundeis. It is very interesting that the Trithemius acted also as a prophet, and was eager to produce such an apocalyptical prognostication written for Maximilian. In his historical writings Trithemius also appears extremely interested in "blessings" and exorcisms. Trithemius was the first person to have described two great, though very different, figures of Renaissance Germany: Nicholas of Cusa and the 'historical' Doctor Faustus.

Keywords: historical sources; Libanius Gallus; Maximilian; Pelagius; Renaissance Germany; Trithemius' manuscripts



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