Contributing Institution: Southern Methodist University Bridwell Library and Ohio State University Libraries Description: Emperor Constantine I stands at his throne and embraces a bishop. The emperor holds the rod of his office in his left hand, and other bishops observe with approval. The damage to the OSU copy of this illustration (pictured here) results from a reader having defaced the woodcut that appears on the verso side of the next leaf. This woodcut is the second in the "Proud Primacy of Popes" series and appears in the second (1570), third (1576), and fourth (1583) editions. Luborsky and Ingram 11223/25. JPEG file (3.93 MB).
Contributing Institution: Southern Methodist University Bridwell Library and Ohio State University Libraries Description: This three-page woodcut insert illustrates thirty-five distinct scenes of torture and suffering. Foxe titles the composite image, "A Table of the X. first Persecutions of the Primitiue Church vnder the Heathen Tyrannes of Rome" ["A table of the ten first persecutions of the primitive church under the heathen tyrants of Rome"]. Workers at John Day's printing house employed just three woodblocks to create the image, which contains three segments pasted together. Speeches attributed to martyrs in individual scenes are keyed to locations in Foxe's text. The longer passage that runs across the bottom of the image explains Foxe's apocalyptic perspective on Christian history. The composite image illustrates martyrdoms spanned by the reigns of emperors Tiberius and Constantine I. The greatly expanded second edition (1570) of the Book of Martyrs, in which this insert first appears, begins its account with these martyrs, in a deliberate act of historical appropriation whereby Foxe reconstructs the deaths of early Christians as proto-Protestant martyrdoms. This woodcut also appears in the fourth edition (1583), but it does not appear in the first (1563) or third (1576) editions. Because it could easily be removed and posted on walls or posts, the illustration is frequently missing in surviving copies of the work. Of all Foxe illustrations, it is perhaps the scarcest to survive to the present day. Luborsky and Ingram 11223/1A. JPEG file (17.9 MB). and "MD" (see "Soldiers drag two Christians by ropes" in this collection).
Contributing Institution: Southern Methodist University Bridwell Library and Ohio State University Libraries Description: An enthroned emperor observes the suffering and martyrdom of Christian bishops. The emperor holds a sword, which symbolizes his authority, and soldiers attend him. The woodcut contains six scenes of torture: flames engulf a martyr (upper left); lions devour a naked man (upper center); two workers crucify a man upside-down (upper right) (see "St. Peter undergoes crucifixion upside-down" in this collection); two guards flog a man, who is dressed in loincloth, tied to a stake, and bleeding (right foreground); a torturer stands on and drills out the eye of a bound bishop (center foreground) (see "Martyrs suffer branding and the removal of their eyes" in this collection); and a man kneels, about to be beheaded (center). Beginning with the second edition (1570), this woodcut and the eleven that follow it comprise an appendix to volume one of the work, under the title "The Proud Primacy of Popes." This appendix details the alleged decline of relations between Christian monarchs and the papacy during the medieval period, a decline which Foxe traces from its beginning at the time of the primitive Church. The damage to the OSU copy of this illustration (pictured here) results from a reader having defaced the woodcut that appears on the verso side of the next leaf. The "Proud Primacy" series appears in the second (1570), third (1576), and fourth (1583) editions. Luborsky and Ingram 11223/24. JPEG file (4.72 MB).