c. 1190 bc: Argos
Cassandra, Trojan princess and prophet
Foretold fall of Troy, fate of Trojan women, and death of her captor Agamemnon; all her predictions were ignored per Apollo’s orders, and she was killed by Clytemnestra.
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God
Gained disciples through public performance of miracles and preaching the word of God; accused of blasphemy, then tortured and crucified; resurrected three days after death.
c. 40: Rome
Simon Magus, Samarian sorcerer
Offered to buy ability to transmit Holy Spirit from Peter and John (simony); flew into clouds to prove divinity and died on impact when brought down by Peter’s prayers.
c. 450: England
Merlin, wizard of King Arthur’s Court
Suggested creation of Round Table and foretold his own betrayal by Nimue, Lady of the Lake; led Nimue to an enchanted stone beneath which she promptly interred him.
Gilles de Rais, nobleman and onetime guard of Joan of Arc
Became interested in satanism in attempt to gain knowledge and power; accused of dismembering over 140 children and was later condemned for heresy, then tried and hanged.
Edward Kelley, scryer and assistant to John Dee
Invited to court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II for his knowledge of alchemy; refused to share secrets, was imprisoned, and is said to have died while trying to escape.
1697: Leonardtown, MD
Moll Dyer, herbalist and old single lady
Blamed for town’s poor harvest, accused of witchcraft, and had house lit on fire; fled into winter night and was found frozen to death near a stone on which she had left a handprint.
1899: Dubbo, Australia
Oscar Eliason, aka Dante “The Mormon Wizard”
Gained recognition as magician at young age and performed such tricks as the bullet catch; while in Australia was accidentally shot dead by hunting companion.
2009: Las Vegas
Roy Horn, half of duo Siegfried and Roy
Suffered a near-fatal bite from trained Bengal tiger Montecore during show in 2003; performed one last illusion alongside Montecore in 2009.