The Papist Pyramid

As anti-Catholic propaganda goes this is pretty cool.

Papist pyramid with entwined snakes; the largest snake at the top wears a papal tiara (a virulent anti-Catholic satire). Copperplate engraving, Dutch, c. 1580. Click image to magnify.

Hendrick Hondius (1573-1650), 'Paapse Piramide', 1597-1601

Hendrick Hondius (1573-1650), ‘Paapse Piramide’, 1597-1601

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Categories: Art, Christianity

11 replies

  1. The was probably made between 1605 and 1621. I say this because on the top it says Pavlo V which is an obvious reference to Pope Paul V(a very good Pope btw) who reigned from 1605-1621. Something interesting regarding the 1605 conclave is that St. Robert Bellarmine almost got elected.


    • How are “good popes” defined?


    • Promotion of orthodoxy, condemnation of heresy, personal holiness, and effectively implementing Church decrees.


    • Allen,
      As you say Pope Paul V was a “Good Pope” would you consider his persecution of Galilleo as part of his duties of Promotion of orthodoxy, condemnation of heresy, personal holiness or just effectively implementing Church decrees?

      What about his intention to humiliate Venice, as his predecessor had done, for attempting to preserve its independence from the papacy in the administration of its government.

      Or his demand that Venice release from prison two priests charged by the Venetian state with cruelty, wholesale poisoning, murder and licentiousness,

      Or that he put out a contract for the assassination of Father Sarpi who disagreed with him.

      Or his participation and support of the “Gunpowder rebellion and plot” (let it never be forgot!)

      What about his alleged nepotism?

      Just trying more clearly understand how a Good Pope is defined.


    • Ibn Issam

      I actually support his condemnation of Galileo(as well as Pope Urban VIII) and much of his actions regarding Venice. Why don’t you read up on the Gunpowder plot and the wider context. Read about Galileo from some scholars like Finocchiaro. I’d also start by reading Thomas Madden’s book on Venice. All of these actions have a wider context. Do some proper research instead of typing “Pope Paul V” into Wikipedia. I know it’s easy to do but I’d recommend actually studying these things for a change.

      I could easily do internet searches and find little soundbites that I could use against your prophet Muhammad(I’m going to assume that you’re Muslim) but instead I read people like Ibn Ishaq and Martin Lings. Call me crazy.


    • Allen,
      I just wanted to point out what seemed to be some contradictions. But I’ll admit – you are right that there is a wider context and we can let it go at that.

      Generally speaking other than differences in theology, I don’t have in argument with Catholic’s since the Roman Church has toned done a lot of its rhetoric over the years, with Nostra Aetate and lumina Gentium, etc.

      I appreciate that you read Ibn Ishaq and Martin Lings.



  2. ‘Something interesting regarding the 1605 conclave is that St. Robert Bellarmine almost got elected.’

    Why is that interesting?


Please leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: