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Oskar Panizza, The Council of Love (1895)

Oskar Panizza (1854-1921) was jailed for writing the play The Council of Love (1895), a scathing critique of the Catholic Church, which was first performed only at the end of his lifetime. Panizza was a Bavarian; his father was a Catholic of Italian extraction and his mother was a converted Pietist. His main targets were Catholic clerical authority and traditionalism, both of which had reemerged in the Catholic areas of Germany as part of the so-called Catholic Revival. After a year in jail, Panizza fled to Switzerland only to return a few years later to Bavaria, where he remained a literary failure and persona non grata.

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In Memory of [Ulrich von] Hutten (1488-1523)

“It has been pleasing to God in our days to send upon us diseases (it can, indeed, be noted) that were unknown to our ancestors. And in this, those who hold to the Holy Scriptures have said that smallpox has come from God’s wrath, and that God in this way punishes and torments our evil deeds.”

– Ulrich von Hutten, German knight
“About the French or Smallpox” 1519

“Dic Dea, quae causae nobis post saecula tanta insolitam peperere luem? . . . ”

– Fracastoro
“Syphilis sive de morbo Gallico” 1509

Characters in the Play

God the Father
Jesus Christ
The Devil
The Woman
A Cherub
First Angel
Second Angel
Third Angel

Figures from the Realm of the Dead

Rodrigo Borgia, Alexander VI, Pope

Children of the Pope
Girolama Borgia, married to Cesarini
Isabella Borgia, married to Matuzzi (mother unknown)

Pier Luigi Borgia, Duke of Gandia
Don Giovanni Borgia, Count of Celano
Cesare Borgia, Duke of Romagna
Don Gioffre Borgia, Count of Cariati
Donna Lucrezia Borgia, Dutchess of Bisaglie (of the Vanozza)

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