From the Author
When Servetus was burned alive in Geneva on October 27, 1553, all unbound copies of his major work, Christianismi restitutio, went up in smoke together with him. Today only three surviving copies of the original publication are known: 1. one in the National Library of Austria in Vienna; 2. one in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and this copy was most likely used by Germain Colladon, attorney acting on behalf of Nicolas de la Fontaine during Servetus' trial in Geneva; 3. and one copy in the library of the University of Edinburgh. The latter lacks the first sixteen pages and the title page. These were replaced by manuscript pages reproduced in the sixteenth century from another manuscript. Restitutio was circulated after Servetus' death in the form of copied manuscripts. In 1790 the German erudite, a follower of Unitarianism, Dr. Christoph Gottlieb von Murr made a handwritten copy of the exemplar from the National Library in Vienna and published almost an exact replica of the original book in Nürnberg. There are about 53 exemplars of this publication in various libraries. The Murr reprint was reproduced in 1966 by a new photographic technique and serves today as the research tool for Servetian studies. A reprint of the selected fragments from the Restitutio concerning the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of the Antichrist, pedobaptism and circumcision, was also published by Giorgio Biandrata in Transylvania in 1569. The first translation of a small tractate attached to the Restitutio and titled Sixty signs of the Antichrist was made by Grzegorz Paweł in Poland in 1568. Except for a fragment of a few pages concerning the famous discovery of the pulmonary circulation, the book was never translated into English. The present book is the first translation of the frirst part of Servetus' work which was entitled De Trinitate (on the Trinity). We hope that this long overdue English translation of the major Servetus' work will stimulate new studies on this fascinating scholar, reformer, and visionary. Servetus was a unique and central figure in European history who originated or anticipated many later new developments and trends produced by the Enlightenment and modern times. His memory should be kept alive not only because of his ideas but also as a symbol reminding us about the twisted ways that humanity pursues its destiny.