An Interesting Discovery
How cool is this? In my readings, I discovered the following passage from the Protestant theologian Memel, quoting his teacher Melanchthon:
I know one by the name of Faust, from Kundling, a small town in the neighbourhood of my home. Whilst this man was a student at Cracow he learnt the art of Magic, which art indeed was aforetimes greatly in vogue there, and of it there were public professorial courses. He wandered far and wide and talked of mysterious things. (trans. Albert G. Latham)
I had no idea that the real figure behind the infamous Dr. Faust (or Faustus), who sold his soul to the devil for knowledge, studied and practiced for a time in Krakow, Poland. Some of my ancestors lived in and around Krakow for many centuries, which means that my ancestors may well have known--or at least seen perform--one of history's most notorious characters, that diabolical fraud and mountebank who became synonymous with the infernal price of scientific knowledge.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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