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236

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Roman Traditions of Peter and Paul - 3. The Ascension of Simon the Sorcerer

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236 ROMAN DA YS.
earth, but from heaven, should come the god of the new
order of the world. Scarce had the sibyl gone, before
the emperor Augustus saw the heavens open, and the
Virgin Marj’- with the Child Jesus in her arms, descend
upon a shining cloud to earth.
Augustus rejected the title of god, and caused an
altar, which was called ara cceli, the heavenly altar, to
be built on the spot where he had seen the vision.
There, where the temple of the Capitoline Jupiter is
thought to have stood, on the highest summit of the
Capitoline, rises now, with columns robbed from the
shrines of antiquity, the singular church oi Maria in ara
cceli, and in one of its chapels, an old altar, perhaps from
the fourth century, is to be seen ; upon the back of which,
this tradition is delineated in relief.
• ••••••
Paul, Peter and Martialis had according to agreement
met upon the Roman market. They chose a place for
themselves by the temple of the Dioscuri, where little
could be seen, probably—as a side wall of the Julian ba-
silica shut off the view towards the Capitol—but where
on that account there were scarcely any people, and
there was room sufficient for kneeling and prayer.
The apostles had sought out Simon, the day before,
and together warned him to desist from his godless un-
dertaking. Simon, who received them as a senator might
receive his slaves, listened to them impatiently, reproached
them with having turned the inclination of the people
from him, the true prophet, and threatened them with
the wrath of the emperor, if they farther dared to appear
before his eyes, or speak a word to his discredit.
• ••••••
Simon tarries. The multitude begins to show signs

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