Luther on Trial

On the left is Luther’s manuscript draft of his opening statement, in which he recites the illustrious titles of those who sit in judgment, but he stops mid-sentence before committing his full defense to paper. Charles V was of course unmoved by Luther’s defense, and the Edict of Worms was issued in May 1521, shown on the right in one of only two known printed copies.

Martin Luther, Manuscript Draft on his Defense Speech at the Diet of Worms. Worms, April 17/18, 1521. Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Ernestinisches Gesamtarchiv, Weimar.

Emperor Charles V, Der Romischen Kaiserlichen Maiestat Edict wider Martin Luthers Bücher und Lere (The Imperial Roman Majesty’s Edict against Martin Luther’s Books and Teaching). Vienna: Johann Singriener, May 8, 1521. German Historical Museum, Berlin.