Martyrs Mirror  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Martyrs' Mirror or The Bloody Theater, first published in 1660 in Dutch by Thieleman J. van Braght, documents the stories and testimonies of Christian martyrs, especially Anabaptists. The full title of the book is The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660. The use of the word defenseless in this case refers to the Anabaptist belief in non-resistance. The book includes accounts of the martyrdom of the apostles and the stories of martyrs from previous centuries with beliefs similar to the Anabaptists.

Next to the Bible, the Martyrs' Mirror held the most significant and prominent place in Amish and Mennonite homes.

In 1745, Jacob Gottschalk arranged with the Ephrata Cloister to have them translate the Martyrs' Mirror from Dutch into German and to print it. The work took 15 men three years to finish and in 1749, at 1512 pages, was the largest book printed in America before the Revolutionary War. An original volume is on display at the Ephrata Cloister.

The 1685 edition of the book is illustrated with 104 copper etchings by Jan Luyken. Thirty of these plates survive and are part of the Mirror of the Martyrs exhibit.

The first English edition, translated from German by I. Daniel Rupp, was published by David Miller, Lampeter Square, Pennsylvania, in 1837. An edition entitled A Martyrology of the Churches of Christ was translated and printed in England in 1850 in 2 volumes by Edward Bean Underhill under the auspices of the Handsard Knollys Society in England.

The Martyrs' Mirror differs from Foxe's Book of Martyrs in that it only includes those martyrs which were considered nonresistant, while Foxe's book does not include many Anabaptist martyrs.

The Martyrs' Mirror is still a beloved book among the Amish, Old Order Mennonites, and Conservative Mennonites with a copy usually in every home and often given as a wedding gift to new homes.

Full set of prints from Jan Luyken's Martyrs Mirror[1]

  1. Book 1, page 1: Christ being nailed to the cross (Eeghen 655)
  2. Book 1, page 5: John the Baptist beheaded, AD 23 (Eeghen 656)
  3. Book 1, page 6: Stoning of Stephen, AD 34 (Eeghen 657)
  4. Book 1, page 7: Apostle James beheaded, AD 45 (Eeghen 658)
  5. Book 1, page 8: Stoning of apostle Philip, Hierapolis, Phrygia, AD 54 (Eeghen 659)
  6. Book 1, page 9: Martyrdom of apostle James the Lesser, Jerusalem, AD 63 (Eeghen 660)
  7. Book 1, page 11: Burning of Barnabas at Salamanca, Cyprus, AD 64 (Eeghen 661)
  8. Book 1, page 13: Death of Mark the evangelist, Alexandria, AD 64 (Eeghen 662)
  9. Book 1, page 16: Crucifixion of apostle Peter, Rome, AD 69 (Eeghen 663)
  10. Book 1, page 19: Apostle Paul beheaded, Rome, AD 69 (Eeghen 664)
  11. Book 1, page 25: Crucifixion of apostle Andrew, Patras in Achaia, ca. AD 70 (Eeghen 665)
  12. Book 1, page 26: Apostle Bartholomew skinned alive and beheaded, Armenia, AD 70 (Eeghen 666)
  13. Book 1, page 27 (page is printed as "23" in the original): Apostle Thomas martyred, Calamina, AD 70 (Eeghen 667)
  14. Book 1, page 28 (page is printed as "24" in the original): Evangelist Matthew beheaded, Naddavar, Ethiopia, AD 70 (Eeghen 668)
  15. Book 1, page 30: Crucifixion of Simon the Zealot, Syria, AD 70 (Eeghen 669)
  16. Book 1, page 31: Crucifixion of apostle Matthew, AD 70 (Eeghen 670)
  17. Book 1, page 32: Hanging of evangelist Luke, Greece, AD 93 (Eeghen 671)
  18. Book 1, page 34: Antipas roasted alive in a copper steer, AD 95 (interesting that the caption in the original is wrong here) (Eeghen 672)
  19. Book 1, page 35: Evangelist John exiled on Patmos, AD 97 (Eeghen 673)
  20. Book 1, page 37: Vitalus buried alive, Ravenna, ca. AD 99 (Eeghen 674)
  21. Book 1, page 48: Ignatius thrown to the lions, Rome, AD 111 (Eeghen 675)
  22. Book 1, page 50: Phocus thrown into a lime kiln filled with boiling water, Pontus, AD 118 (Eeghen 676)
  23. Book 1, page 55: Felicitas killed with her 7 sons, Rome, AD 104 (Eeghen 677)
  24. Book 1, page 57: Burning of Polycarp, Smyrna, AD 168 (Eeghen 678)
  25. Book 1, page 61: Blandine half-roasted on a grill and then thrown to wild bulls, AD 172 (Eeghen 679)
  26. Book 1, page 74: Martyrdom of Felicitas of Tuburbia in Mauretania, AD 201 (Eeghen 680)
  27. Book 1, page 79: Burning of thousands of Christians by emperor Maximus, AD 237 (Eeghen 681)
  28. Book 1, page 81: Martyrdom of Cointha, Alexandria, AD 252 (Eeghen 682)
  29. Book 1, page 88: Torture of Origen, Alexandria, AD 234 (Eeghen 683)
  30. Book 1, page 102: Torture of Tharacus, Probus, and Adronicus, Tarsus, AD 290 (Eeghen 684)
  31. Book 1, page 107: Tharacus, Probus, and Adronicus thrown to wild animals, AD 290 (Eeghen 685)
  32. Book 1, page 120: Persecution by emperors Diocletian and Maximus, AD 301 (Eeghen 686)
  33. Book 1, page 125: Cassianus, a teacher, killed by his students, Imola, AD 302 [seemingly a favorite of college professors; Bethel has a 'Cassianus Lounge' in the faculty offices area] (Eeghen 687)
  34. Book 1, page 127: Eulalia suffocated and burned, Villa Nova, Portugal, AD 302 (Eeghen 688)
  35. Book 1, page 132: Jullieta killed along with her daughter, Tarsus, AD 304 (Eeghen 689)
  36. Book 1, page 169: Honoric, king of the Vandals, eaten by worms and lice, AD 477 (Eeghen 690)
  37. Book 1, page 188: Martyrdom of Lombardian Christians, AD 566 (Eeghen 691)
  38. Book 1, page 215: Burning of Clement the Scotchman, AD 756 (Eeghen 692)
  39. Book 1, page 233: Johannes, merchant of Cordoba, being taken to execution, AD 850 (Eeghen 693)
  40. Book 1, page 252: 13-year-old Pelagius martyred, Cordoba, Spain, AD 925 (Eeghen 694)
  41. Book 1, page 270: Burning of 14 persons, Orleans, France, 1022 (Eeghen 695)
  42. Book 1, page 284: Burning of Arnoldus, teacher from Brixen, Rome, 1145 (Eeghen 696)
  43. Book 1, page 291: Burning of many Christians called Publicans, France and England, 1182 (Eeghen 697)
  44. Book 1, page 329: Burning of 180 Albigensians, 1210 (Eeghen 698)
  45. Book 1, page 335: Torture of Waldensians, forcing them to hold a red hot iron bar, 1214 (Eeghen 699)
  46. Book 1, page 339: Burning of about 80 Waldensians, Strasbourg, 1215 (Eeghen 700)
  47. Book 1, page 347: Burning of 224 Waldensians, Toulon, 1243 (Eeghen 701)
  48. Book 1, page 358: Burning of Dulcin and his wife, Novarra, 1308 (Eeghen 702)
  49. Book 1, page 381: Burning of William White, a priest, Norwich, England, 1428 (Eeghen 703)
  50. Book 2, page 1: Martyrdom of Hans Koch and Leonard Meister, Augsburg, 1524 (Eeghen 704)
  51. Book 2, page 10: Burning of Leonard Kayser, Scharding, 1527 (Eeghen 705)
  52. Book 2, page 17: Burning of 18 persons, Salzburg, 1528 (Eeghen 706)
  53. Book 2, page 25: Beheading of 7 brothers, Schwäbisch-Gmund, 1529 (Eeghen 707)
  54. Book 2, page 30: Execution of about 350 persons, Alzey, 1529 (Eeghen 708)
  55. Book 2, page 47: Persecution in Austria, 1540 (Eeghen 709)
  56. Book 2, page 63: Burning of Leonard Bernkop, Salzburg, 1542 (Eeghen 710)
  57. Book 2, page 65: Burning of Maria and Ursula van Beckum, Deventer, 1544 (Eeghen 711)
  58. Book 2, page 83: Burning of 6 brothers and 2 sisters, Amsterdam, 1549 (Eeghen 712)
  59. Book 2, page 89: Capture of Hans van Overdam, Ghent, 1550 (Eeghen 713)
  60. Book 2, page 99: Burning of John Knel, London, 1550 (Eeghen 714)
  61. Book 2, page 103: Execution of two young women, bishopric of Bamberg, 1550 (Eeghen 715)
  62. Book 2, page 131: Drowning of Maria von Monjou, 1552 (Eeghen 716)
  63. Book 2, page 143: Drowning of Anneken Jans, Rotterdam, 1539 (Eeghen 717)
  64. Book 2, page 149: Defiance of Simon de Kramer, Bergen op Zoom, 1553 (Eeghen 718)
  65. Book 2, page 161: Burning of David and Levina, Ghent, 1554 (Eeghen 719)
  66. Book 2, page 165: Capture of Augustijn, a baker, Beverwijk, 1556 (Eeghen 720)
  67. Book 2, page 173: Capture of Gerard Hasepoot, Nijmegen, 1556 (Eeghen 721)
  68. Book 2, page 179: Burning of Jurriaen Simonsz, Clement Dircks, and Marie Joris, Haarlem, 1557 (Eeghen 722)
  69. Book 2, page 189: Burning of Algerius, student from Padua, Rome, 1557 (Eeghen 723)
  70. Book 2, page 203: Drowning of Joris Wippe, Dordrecht, 1558 (Eeghen 724)
  71. Book 2, page 209: Capture of Hans Smit, Hendrik Adamsz, Hans Bek, Matthijs Smit, Dileman Snijder, and 7 others, Aachen, 1558 (Eeghen 725)
  72. Book 2, page 235: Martyrdom of Jacques d'Auchy, Leeuwarden, 1559 (Eeghen 726)
  73. Book 2, page 259: Burning of Jan Bosch, Maastrict, 1559 (Eeghen 727)
  74. Book 2, page 263: Martyrdom of Andries Langedul, Mattheus Pottebacker, and Laurens van der Leyen, Antwerp, 1559 (Eeghen 728)
  75. Book 2, page 271: Drowning of Leonard Pluvier, Jannetje, and Marietje van Aken, Antwerp, 1560 (Eeghen 729)
  76. Book 2, page 283: Torture of Joost Joosten, Veere, Zeeland, 1560 (Eeghen 730)
  77. Book 2, page 295: Burning of Hendrik Eemkens, Utrecht, 1562 (Eeghen 731)
  78. Book 2, page 327: Beheading of Matthijs Servaes, Cologne, 1565 (Eeghen 732)
  79. Book 2, page 345: Burning of Christiaen Langedul, Cornelis Claesz, Mattheus de Vik, and Hans Symonsz, Antwerp, 1567 (Eeghen 733)
  80. Book 2, page 371: Burning of Jakob Dircks and sons, Antwerp, 1568 (Eeghen 734)
  81. Book 2, page 385: Anabaptist meeting on a boat. Pieter Pieters, ferryman, burned in Amsterdam, 1569 (Eeghen 735)
  82. Book 2, page 387: The famous Dirk Willems rescuing his pursuer, Asperen, 1569 (Eeghen 736)
  83. Book 2, page 425: Jacob the candle maker disputing with Brother Cornelis. Jacob was later burned. 1569 (Eeghen 737)
  84. Book 2, page 491: Burning of Willem Hans van Durgerdam, Amsterdam, 1569 (Eeghen 738)
  85. Book 2, page 503: Torture of teacher Ursula, Maastricht, 1570 (Eeghen 739)
  86. Book 2, page 528: Capture of Hans van den Wegen, Ghent, 1570 (Eeghen 740)
  87. Book 2, page 539: Burning of Anneken Hendriks, Amsterdam, 1571 (Eeghen 741)
  88. Book 2, page 540: Decapitation of Wolfgang Binder, Scharding, Bavaria, 1571 (Eeghen 742)
  89. Book 2, page 553: Execution of Harmen de Verwer and 5 others, Deventer, 1571 (Eeghen 743)
  90. Book 2, page 561: Decapitation of Hans Misel, Warthausen, 1571 (Eeghen 744)
  91. Book 2, page 567: Execution of Jan Woutersz van Kuyk and Adriaentje Jans of Molenaarsgraaf, Dordrecht, 1572 (Eeghen 745)
  92. Book 2, page 605: Torture of Geleijn Cornelus, Breda, 1572 (Eeghen 746)
  93. Book 2, page 623: Interrogation of Hans Knevel, Antwerp, 1572 (Eeghen 747)
  94. Book 2, page 641: Jan Smit suspended from the gallows, Haarlem, 1572 (Eeghen 748)
  95. Book 2, page 661: Sons of Maeyken Wens search for her tongue screw among her ashes, Antwerp, 1573 (Eeghen 749)
  96. Book 2, page 675 (erroneously numbered 659 in the original): Burning of Anton Ijsbaerts, Tielt, Flanders, 1573 (Eeghen 750)
  97. Book 2, page 691: Burning of Hendrik Pruyt, Workum, 1574 (Eeghen 751)
  98. Book 2, page 729: Torture of John Bret, an Englishman, Antwerp, 1576 (Eeghen 752)
  99. Book 2, page 747: Burning of Louwerens Jansz Nooddurft of Delft, Antwerp, 1577 (Eeghen 753)
  100. Book 2, page 750: Drowning of Heinrich Summer and Jakob Mandel, Baden, 1582 (Eeghen 754)
  101. Book 2, page 779: Imprisonment of Jacob Platser, 1591 (Eeghen 755; the description in Eeghen is very different: "George Wanger in the prison in Brixen")
  102. Book 2, page 788: Drowning of Mattheus Mair, Wier, 1592 (Eeghen 756)
  103. Book 2, page 793: Burial alive of Anneke van den Hove, Brussells, 1597 (Eeghen 757)
  104. Book 2, page 812: Persecution in Switzerland, 1637 (Eeghen 758)

See also




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