A Translation of Richard Morison's Apomaxis Calumniarum

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1968

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The thesis includes a foreword and a translation from the Latin of the Apomaxis Calumniarum, a book written by Richard Morison, apologist for Henry VIII, hired by his secretary, Thomas Cromwell. The work was composed as a rebuttal to an attack by the German theologian Johann Coclaeus, and contains a defense of Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and of the executions of Thomas More and John Fisher, and an attack upon the papacy. Morison maintains and supports by Biblical testimony that the divorce merely righted a wrong, as Henry's union with Catherine had been incestuous. He claims that More and Fisher were respectively sick and old, and were seeking the glory of martyrdom, but both were deserving of an ignominious death for the horrendous crime of obstinately upholding the power of the pope in England. He charges that the papacy had a spurious origin, and that throughout history popes have had a harmful effect. A large part of Morison's book consists of a personal attack on Coclaeus.

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