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German History in Documents and Images
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Seven-Headed Luther (1529)
This polemical image appeared on the title page of the pamphlet The Seven Heads of Martin Luther by Johannes Cochlaeus. It shows Luther with seven heads, each of which bears a different title: Doctor, Martinus, Luther, Clergyman, Enthusiast, Visitor, and Barrabbas. It is both a caricature of Luther and a defamation of him as the antichrist (the seven-headed beast of the apocalypse). The woodcut inspired a Protestant counter-image, the “Seven-Headed Papacy ,” Woodcut by Hans Brosamer (c. 1500-52), 1529.