A Petition Written by Michael Servetus in Prison

Translated by Joy Kleinstuber
For full text (gated): link

Honoured Sirs
I am being held prisoner on the instigation of Jean Calvin, who has charged me unjustly, saying that I had written,

1. That souls were mortal. And also
2. That Jesus Christ only got a quarter of his body from the Virgin Mary.

These are horrible and detestable things. Of all heresies and of all crimes, there is none so heinous as making the soul mortal. Because with all the others there is hope of salvation, but none at all with this one. Whoever says this does not believe that there is a God, or justice, or resurrection, or Jesus Christ, or Holy Scripture, or anything {at all}; only that everything is dead, and man and beast are one and the same thing. If I had said that—{and} not only said it, but written it for all to see, to defile the world—I would sentence myself to death. For which reason messeigneurs I request that my bogus prosecutor be punished according to the lex talionis, and that he be held prisoner, like me, until such time as the case is decided by {a ruling for} either his death or mine, or some other sentence. And to this end {I hereby bring a charge against him according to the aforementioned lex talionis}. And I am willing to die if he is not proven guilty, as much for this, as for other things, which I will describe later. I ask you for justice, my lords: justice, justice, justice. Written in this prison of Geneva, on 22 September 1553.

Michael Servetus
{pleading} his own case.

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