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The Wizard Popes of the 11th Century

The Wizard Popes of the 11th Century

Hadean Press


Hadean Press Pamphlet 

The Wizard Popes of the 11th Century offers for the first time an English translation of the remarkable passage from the writings of pseudo-Cardinal Beno in which he deals with the alleged involvement of a whole series of Roman pontiffs in the occult arts.

It is not generally known, even to students of history, that Cardinal Beno directed his accusations of sorcery not only at Sylvester II, but also at Benedict IX, Gregory VI and Gregory VII. While Benedict IX is almost universally regarded as one of the most corrupt and depraved popes ever, Gregory VII, whom Beno portrays as the apex (or nadir) of this strange circle of necromant-pontiffs, is today venerated and revered as a canonized saint in the Catholic Church.

Through his translation, Fr. Robert Nixon offers a fascinating insight and illuminating perspective into both the history and legend of those dark and distant times.

Following swiftly upon his previous pamphlet of thunder divinations translated from the writings of Bede, Fr. Robert Nixon returns with a new English rendition of another little-known document of the High Middle Ages, this time delving into the seedy underbelly of 11th-century pontifical politics. The translator’s introduction briefly lays out the historical context for this medieval addition to the genre of fake news and libel, and further footnotes throughout provide additional historical and biographical details of the personages toward whom Cardinal Beno directs his venom. Beno’s detailed “expose” of his nemeses’ sorcerous deeds often fall into the trap of so many polemicists of antiquity and the Middle Ages, rather intriguingly portraying these bishops of Rome as genuine thaumaturges, albeit each doomed to some ignominious fate for practicing such impious arts as ornithomancy. This heretofore untranslated and obscure tract is an important contribution to the study of medieval ecclesio-politics, and I look forward to future entries from Fr. Nixon.
— Brian Johnson, author of Necromancy in the Medici Library

The Wizard Popes of the 11th Century by Pseudo-Cardinal Beno
Translated by Fr. Robert Nixon, OSB
A Guide to the Underworld.
12 pages.


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