The Life of St. Paul: Books and Scrolls are Burned

Circa 1857-60
Oil on canvas
Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

This is from a series of paintings by various artists that line the nave and transept of the basilica.

I cannot find anything about the burning of books or scrolls in Acts or the apocryphal material. Perhaps the artist meant to express Paul's rejection of pagan philosophy? He certainly would not have burned anything from the Hebrew Bible. Indeed, book-burning would seem to belong to a different era entirely.

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View the page that links to the other paintings in the series.
Read more about St. Paul.

Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.