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German History in Documents and Images
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The Pope as the Whore of Babylon (1545)
This image from the 1545 edition of the Luther Bible shows the whore of Babylon (from the Book of Revelation) wearing the papal tiara. The identification of the whore of Babylon with the Roman Catholic Church was quite common in Reformation writings, as evidenced, for example, by Luther’s 1520 pamphlet Babylonian Captivity of the Church. This woodcut was based on one of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s illustrations for Luther’s German translation of the New Testament (1522), the so called “September Testament” printed in Wittenberg. Woodcut by Master M.S. (from Cranach’s workshop), 1545.