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Simon Magus

Isidore tells us that Simon Magus died in the reign of Nero, and adds that he (Simon) had proposed a dispute with Peter and Paul, and had promised to fly up to heaven. He succeeded in rising high into the air, but at the prayers of the two apostles he was cast down to earth by the evil spirits who had enabled him to rise into the air. Milman, in his History of Christianity, vol. ii. p. 51, tells another story. He says that Simon offered to be buried alive, and declared that he would reappear on the third day. He was actually buried in a deep trench, “but to this day,” says Hippolytus, “his disciples have failed to witness his resurrection.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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