4. Cornelius Agrippa
Cornelius Agrippa was the most influential writer of renaissance esoterica. He studied law and medicine but never obtained a degree. He was considered a magician, occult writer, theologian, astrologer and alchemist. He was a leader in feminist rights and often defended women accused of witchcraft. He wrote 3 books on the occult that are still in use today. In 1535 he was labeled a heretic and sentenced to death. He escaped and on his way home fell ill and died. After Agrippa’s death, rumors circulated about his having summoned demons. In the most famous of these, Agrippa, upon his deathbed, released a black dog which had been his familiar. This black dog resurfaced in various legends about Faustus, and in Goethe’s version became the “schwarze Pudel” Mephistopheles.