Copyright Mar 23, 2014, All rights Reserved
What you are looking at is a partial image of the verso text on the back of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the first known Ciphering found in text.
The recto, or front image of the print looks like this:
The publication of the Apocalypse in 1498 catapulted Dürer to fame. However this fame was not immediately forthcoming worldwide (Europe) and he didn’t get this fame until around 1500-1501, coinciding with his taking in his first apprentice after 6 years, the bastard son of the The Elector, Friedrich the Wise, Duke of Saxony. Up until this point the Duke was keeping Dürer quite busy on personal commissions for his churches and chapels.
Which is why Dürer published two editions in 1498, a Latin version intended for schools, and cloisters, with the boring title of APOKALYPSIS CUM FIGURIS-the Apocalypse with Figures, and a German text edition intended for all German speaking and reading populaces called “DIE HEIMLICH OFFENBARIG JOHANIS”-the SECRET REVELATION OF ST. JOHN, a pretty good marketing technique since everyone loves a secret.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN IS THE MOST FAMOUS
The Four Horsemen became the most famous image of the 15 page book (excluding title page) and to this day is the what everyone envisions when they speak about the Apocalypse. However, these Four Horsemen are NO allegorical horsemen, with the Dürer Cipher we can decode exactly who these four are and the figure being sucked into the jaws of Hell in the lower left. Thus, in 1498, all the secrets were in the images.
1511 A PRODUCTIVE PUBLISHING YEAR
Dürer decided to publish three books he’d started working on 1496, before he was diverted to making the Apocalypse, the Large Passion, and two other books he crete after 1498 besides republishing the 1498 Apocalypse. The other two books were the Small Passion and the Life of the Virgin (Marienleben). With the 1511 version of the Apocalypse, he issued a new title page shown here
1511 was a very active political year, and in Nuremberg Reuchlin was defending the reading of hebrew texts and trying to prevent a mass burning of Hebrew texts. Political problems within and without the Catholic church were everywhere.
So how could Dürer pass on new messages with old published images? BY CHANGING THE TEXT, which is exactly what he did in very discreet places, that would barely be recognizable to buyers and that’s what he did with the Four Horsemen.
What you are looking at is an enlargement of the right second column on the back of the Four Horsemen print, first line, third word. The original 1498 version had read “Et vidi ALTERUM angelu” and here in 1511 it’s changed to “Et vidi ALTERG angelum.” Why the need to make such a subtle change?
BUT LOOK CLOSER
The word “alterg” isn’t even alterg. The end two letters have been combined into what appears to be the astrological symbol for Jupiter (or a hebrew letter). In Dürer’s time astrology was part of the mathematical system and he was a serious mathematician.
Dürer is getting out new messages by math.