Martin Schrot (d. c. 1575/76), the author of this radical play, was of Munich origin and probably active as a goldsmith, engraver, and book dealer. Moreover, he was one of the twelve Augsburg Meistersinger (‘master singer’, a German guild for lyric poetry) and in 1547 he became a citizen of Augsburg. In 1552, however, he left the town because of his imminent imprisonment that was caused by his radically protestant poems.
He spent some time with the Moravian Brethren but later returned to Augsburg. Schrot’s poems strongly reflect his reformatory and Anabaptist convictions and so did the present play, which was probably performed in public in 1546. Soon after its publication in 1558, both the illustrator, David de Negker, and the printer, Hans Gegler, were imprisoned. This is not at all surprising, as in the present work the author condemns the excesses of the Catholic Church and especially those of the papacy.
The woodcuts of this edition, especially the seven nearly full-page illustrations, can only be described as radical. In apocalyptical sceneries, the Pope and the representatives of the corrupt Catholic Church are damned and expelled, while those who want to renew church and papacy are shown the way to heaven.