No, thanks
Stories & Legends
donate Books CDs HOME updates search contact

The Death of Simon Magus

Hugh O'Reilly
After St. Peter had made many disputes with Simon Magus, or Simon the Magician, who was each time shamed and proved powerless, Simon returned to Rome and was received again into the friendship of the Emperor Nero.

And then, to prove to the Emperor that his gods were the greater and would not endure such humiliation, this Simon Magus assembled the people and told them that he would leave the city which he was wont to defend and protect, and set a day in which he would ascend into heaven. For he said, he could no longer endure dwelling on this earth.

death of simon magus

Death of Simon Magus from the Nuremburg Chronicle

Then, on the day that he had established, he went up to a high tower which was on the Capitol, and there was crowned with laurel. Afterward he called on his gods the demons and began to fly in the air.

Then said St. Paul to St. Peter, "It falls to me to pray, and to thee to command."

Then said Nero: "This man is very God, and ye be two traitors."

Then said St. Peter to St. Paul: "Paul, my brother, lift up thy head and see how Simon flys."

Then St. Paul said to St. Peter when he saw Simon Magus rising high in the air: "Peter, why dost thou tarry for God now calls us to act?"

Then said Peter: "I charge and conjure you angels of Satan, which bear Simon Magus in the air, by the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you bear or sustain him no longer, but let him fall to the earth."

And anon they let him fall to the ground. With great speed he descended and broke his neck and head, and he died there forthwith.

And when Nero heard that Simon was dead and that he had lost such a man, he was sorrowful, and said to the Apostles: "You have done this in despisal of me, and therefore I shall destroy you." And then the enraged Nero arrested Peter and Paul and threw them into the Mamertine prison before their execution.

fall of simon magus

Simon Magus falls from the sky at the command of St. Peter & St. Paul,
painting by Avanzino Nucci, 1620


Blason de Charlemagne
Follow us

Adapted from The Golden Legend by Jacobus Voragine (1275),
 trans. by William Caston, 1483

Posted July 2, 2022

H000_chanticleer.jpg - 26098 Bytes