We’re working on a series of New Translations of The Classics, starting with Marlowe’s Faustus, but really (apparently) Machiavelli’s Prince.

What has one to do with the other, you may ask. Indeed, that’s what we’re starting to wonder. Here are some important dates to mull. We are mulling them, as we speak.

  1. 3 May 1469 – Birth of Niccolo Machiavelli
  2. 26 April 1478 – Giuliano de’ Medici is assassinated in an event better known as The Pazzi Conspiracy
  3. 1513 – Machiavelli’s Principe begins circulating in manuscript form (published ten years later)
  4. 31 October 1517 – Martin Luther launches the so-called Reformation with his 95 Theses (This last one is really hot off the press, the piece just suddenly fell into a puzzle that we have been working on for some time)
  5. 23–24 August 1572- Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
  6. 30 May 1593 – Christopher Marlowe, author of Faustus, is assassinated
  7. 30 September 1594 – First recorded stage performance of Marlowe’s Faustus at the Rose Theater, at which point it had been already been produced many times and could be counted on to turn a profit

Introducing The Reformation: A New Translation

There are two types of magic. This is still true. On the one hand, we have technologies that are so advanced, they are indistinguishable from magic. On the other hand, we have the sleight of hand. Marlowe presents the conjuring done by Faustus as the magic from which advanced technologies are indistinguishable.

Our analysis hypothesizes that the magic in question is the magic of slight of hand, the magic of the invisible hand.

Marlowe is compiling a portrait of an incident that formed just one tiny game in a history of gaming. Our working hypothesis is that the Faustus in question is Queen Elizabeth’s Spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham.

Elizabeth was one of the first Europeans to invest heavily into the abduction and sale of indigenous Africans into the labor camps of the Americas, but she was also charged with finalizing the separation of the British Isles from its French roots.

And that involved quite a bit of deals with the devil.

Which is why Christopher Marlowe, spy to Elizabeth’s government, had to be assassinated at the very young age of 29.

Which is why Marlowe’s Faustus is so interesting.

 

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