Pope Sylvester II (or Silvester II) (c. 946 – 12 May 1003), born Gerbert d'Aurillac, was a prolific scholar, teacher, and Pope. He was the first French Pope, reigning from 999 until his death. Due to his efforts to root out simony and other corruption within the Church, and his connection with science and intellectualism, there were many rumors and legends spread of Sylvester II being a sorcerer in league with the devil.
10/11/09: "'Gerbert. From Aurillac? *The* Gerbert of Aurillac, the tenth-century pope who reputedly owned a brass head that spoke oracles?' The fact that Gerbert was a vampire and had once been pope was of much less interest to me than was his reputation as a student of science and magic." A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES (DHarkness) Image: Sylvester II (Gerbert of Aurillac) with the devil, Cod. P...al. germ. 137, Folio 216v Martinus Oppaviensis, Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum. ~1460.
SHADOW OF NIGHT real-time reading, November 5 (Chapters 5-6): "That's part of the MALLEUS MALEFICARUM. I did not know that your Latin was good enough to comprehend such a difficult work, Mr. Danforth," Matthew said. It was the most influential witch-hunting manual ever produced, and a title that struck terror into a witch's heart." Title page from a 1519 edition of the MALLEUS MALEFICARUM (THE HAMMER OF WITCHES), produced and published in 1486-1487. Via @Deborah Harkness facebook
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