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Aristide Torchia is a fictional character from The Club Dumas, a 1993 novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The events of the novel take place hundreds of years after Torchia's death, and he is referenced only as a historical figure. He also features as an unseen character in the film The Ninth Gate, which is based on the novel, and one of his works is briefly mentioned in the video game Max Payne
Torchia was born in 1620. He was apprenticed in Leyden under the Elzevir family. After returning to Venice he published small works on philosophical and esoteric themes. In 1666, Torchia published De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis (The Nine Doors to the Kingdom of Shadows), which was in turn based on the Delomelanicon, or Invocation of Darkness, a work supposedly written by Lucifer and that would allow the reader to summon devils. The Inquisition condemned Torchia for magic and witchcraft and burned him at the stake in 1667.
A possible real-life inspiration for this character may have been Giordano Bruno, who, like Torchia, was an Italian mystic and philosopher whose controversial books earned him the scorn of the Inquisition, who burned him at the stake in 1600.
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