Lucas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther, 1529, Augsburg

In March of 1518, Desiderius Erasmus sent his good friend Sir Thomas More a curious document that had recently come his way. It was the program for an academic event that was to have been staged four months earlier in a backwater university in an out-of-the-way north German town under the rule of the Ernestine branch of the Wettin Saxon Dukes. Originally printed in a broadsheet edition at the university print shop—the sixteenth-century equivalent of Kinko’s—at the behest of an obscure professor of theology, the program had already been reprinted in the imperial free city of Nuremberg...

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