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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ROMAN TRADITIONS OF PETER AND PAUL. 243
murmur of a hundred thousand human voices, like the
roar of a distant waterfall. " A moment more and I am
safe ! A moment more, and I stand before Caesar and
bring him the greeting of the Olympian gods ! A mo-
ment more, and I have conquered."
So he thought. But at the last, the decisive moment,
Peter and Paul made their way through the mass of peo-
ple on the forum, and cried with voices that were heard
far off: " Lord ! Lord ! Show that his arts are vain, that
this people be not led astray ! And may the false prophet
survive his fall, to meet his overthrow !
"
Hardly had the apostles uttered this prayer, before
the demons let go the magic mantle, and spiteful,
ashamed or malicious, they fled in tumbling confusion
to all points of the compass.
Simon was then but a few yards from the ground.
He fell headlong before Nero’s throne, and lay there with
broken bones—fainting and bleeding.
At the very instant Simon fell, Helena disappeared.
Only her forehead ornament was found, on the spot where
she had been seated. But certain persons said they had
seen a little serpent crawl up the shoulders of Nero and
around his diadem, and hide itself in his hair.
The leading features of this tradition of Simon the
Sorcerer and his ascension, are to be found already in
Hegesippus, a Christian writer of the second century.
He even affirms that Simon, after his fall, was conveyed
to the town of Aricia, in the Alban mountains, and that
he there expired.*
* The tradition was widely known in Sweden, during the middle ages.
Its memory was revived in 1652, within a small circle at least, by a pam.
phlet, the title of which has been communicated by a literary friend to the
author.

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