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The Core Curriculum

Historia D. Johann Fausten, Title Page.

Relates to: 

A Frankfurt printer by the name of Spies was supposedly the first collector, editor, and publisher of the legendary Faust stories. His Historia von D. Johann Fausten [...] first appeared in 1587. The long title translates to: “The history of Dr. Johann Faustus, the renowned sorcerer and black magician; how he sold himself to the devil for a specified term, what curious exploits he devised and practiced during that term, until he finally received his well-deserved reward. For the most part gathered from his own posthumous papers and published as a terrible and horrific example and a sincere warning to all the arrogant, curious and ungodly.“ 

The book does not distinguish between the legend and the historical figure mentioned in writings of the Reformation (e.g. by Martin Luther). The central motif, the pact with the devil, is much older than the earliest accounts of the historical Faust. For the literary tradition of Faust, however, this was a most influential source: it inspired both Marlowe and Goethe, and even modernists such as the German novelist Thomas Mann (see: Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus).    


via Wikimedia Commons. Image in the Public Domain.

Contemporaneous Resource
Access Level: 
Public Domain