Commemoration of the 450th Death on 19.04.1560 by Philip Melanchthon.

Commemoration of the 450th Death on 19.04.1560 by Philip Melanchthon.


Philipp Melanchthon, Philipp actually Schwartzerdt, born on 16 Died February 1497 in Bretten on 19 April 1560 in Wittenberg, was a philologist, philosopher, humanist, theologian, textbook author and Neo-Latin poet.

He was a reformer Martin Luther, a driving force in addition to the German and European political reformation church and was also "Praeceptor Germaniae" called.

Melancthon grew up in Brettheim how Bretten was then called. His grandfather took care of a thorough education, particularly through instruction in Latin by Johannes Unger from Pforzheim. So he comes early with traveling scholar in contact and was able to discuss with them. In Landshut war of succession against the Hesse his father was charged with the care of the guns. As he drank from a poisoned well, he returned as the sick man back home. Only his deep religiosity helped him endure this fate and the subsequent illness. With the death of his grandfather on 17 October and his father's death on 27 October 1508 and its moving farewell Melanchthon childhood was over.

Was eleven years old he and his brother George were brought to Pforzheim in the house of her grandmother Elisabeth Reuchlin.



Then he visited with his brother Georg, the Latin school in Pforzheim and was staying with his grandmother Elizabeth Reuter, sister of John Reuchlin. The Latin School had high by the Rector Georg Simler of Wimpfen and John Hildebrand of Schwetzingen reputation and enormous popularity. A large number of the products resulting from such school students such as Simon Grynaeus have made a name in her later life. The most gifted, but you may have been Melanchthon, who incidentally also learned Greek and yet because of its already acquired knowledge in Bretten could easily cope with the demands of the establishment. By his Latin poetry and his progress in Greek grammar he fell on the living in Stuttgart and Tübingen working as chief judge of the Swabian League Johannes Reuchlin. As a scholar of ancient Greek language Reuchlin led the later Greek studies in Germany and established the first professorship in 1515 in the University of Leipzig. He should be the greatest in the wake Melanchthon conveyor. The teaching of the Greek language was taught at the time of the encounter only very rarely and only exceptionally talented students. Therefore, there was hardly any literature on this subject.

Reuchlin Melanchthon gave a copy of a Greek grammar and wrote him into a dedication that reads in German: "This Greek grammar has made a gift to John Reuchlin of Pforzheim, Doctor of Laws, the Philipp Melanchthon from Bretten, in 1509, on the Ides of March. "

Thus, the Philip Reuchlin Schwartzerdt awarded on 15 March 1509 the humanist name Melanchthon, a Greek transposition of the birth name Schwartz. After nearly a year Melanchthon was twelve years old in October 1509 meant the University of Heidelberg. In Heidelberg he found in the house of Pallas Spangel property where Jacob Wimpheling relegation occasionally. Been to Pforzheim he had received from his writings on the reform of education and teaching methods and knowledge made him the writings of Erasmus familiar.

1510 Melanchthon published his first books in Wimphelings Latin poems. Through his great talent overcame Melanchthon studying in Heidelberg and easily acquired at the earliest opportunity on 10 June 1511 artium the first academic degree of bachelor. On 17 September 1512, Melanchthon joined retired from the University of Tübingen. There he studied astronomy, music, arithmetic and geometry. He also dealt with Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

He read ancient authors and humanist poet and became acquainted with new teaching methods.

So he learned the writings of Rudolf Agricola to know logic and took them a new understanding of the dialectic. Together with Franciscus Irenicus he was there to the Neckar comrades.

As Reuchlin became involved through an advisory opinion on the Hebrew writings in a process that began Melanchthon journalistically and for his supporters. On 25 January 1514, he graduated from the Faculty of Arts with a Master Title. Already in Tübingen, he had worked as a tutor of two sons, Earl and worked as instructor in Greek. Thus, the transition from student to teacher was done in Melanchthon fluently. In the Tübingen time also Melanchthon's own first publications, in 1516 an edition of the Latin playwright Terence, including an introduction on the history of ancient comedy, further 1518 a Greek grammar, and 1544 saw nineteen editions. And ultimately, he worked on a rhetoric that came out in 1519 in Wittenberg. When Martin Luther published his 95 Theses in 1517, was held on 26 April 1518 a Heidelberg Disputation on the basis of his claims at the university instead of the left to Melancthon decisive impression. Therefore this went with his fellow students to Wittenberg, to allow them to explain in detail the views of Luther. Henceforth Melanchthon was receptive to the ideas of the Reformation. 1518 donated Elector Frederick the Wise founded in 1502 and to his much-reformed University of Wittenberg. A professor of Greek language

First, they tried to win for the newly established chair of the earliest known Hellenist Johannes Reuchlin. This, however, rejected on grounds of age and recommended his pupil funded Melanchthon for the job. As Melanchthon had during his time in Tübingen already drawn attention to itself, it was believed the recommendation was Reuchlin and Melanchthon on the task. This good-bye to his former haunts and reached Wittenberg on 25 August 1518th Its narrow and small outer shape of 1.50 meters, connected to a small speech impediment, the Wittenberg impressed little at first. However, as Melanchthon its sophisticated and fiery inaugural address on Saturday, 28th August, held in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, struck the first impression to completely. Melanchthon spoke on university reform and initially painted a bleak picture of the formation of past centuries. He followed the guiding principle that the reading of ancient writers from the original sources by humanistic studies can become a source of new life and thought. He hit the pulse of time in the former Wittenberg, Martin Luther and was immediately fascinated by the little Graeculus, Griechlein. This fascination was mutual and subsequently became one of the most important collaborations of the Reformation, which ended only with the death of Luther. Quick to recognize the students, the potential Melanchthon contained within it, and he was therefore a highly popular university teacher.

He taught Greek grammar, reading about ancient authors said books of the Bible and combined this knowledge with education in various fields. He often had up to 400 people, which mainly appreciated his precise language, the wealth of examples and the clear structure of his remarks. Through the influence of Luther, Melanchthon acquired the academic degree of baccalaureus biblicus on 19 September 1519th Thus he was able to keep even in the theological faculty lectures. Although Melanchthon life made use of it, however, he preferred philosophical culture that was understood as a condition of theological education.

When he was in 1525 created a particularly well-endowed professorship, which freed him from the constraints of faculty, changed also not the Praeceptors setting. It can be seen herein is not a lack of interest to the Church. Rather, Melanchthon felt because of his physical weakness and his speech impediment is not a priest appointed, which also explains the fact that Melanchthon never served the Christian sacraments.

Rather, for him the spiritual potential of theology was important, and so went with his involvement alongside the University of Wittenberg, Luther on the most important university in Europe.




Melanchthon rented after his arrival in Wittenberg a simple house he often referred to as stall.

There he lived with his assistant. Luther, however, feared for the health of Melanchthon, who was obviously affected by the Odd Couple. To improve living conditions of Melanchthon, but also to keep him in Wittenberg, Luther was looking for a woman Melanchthon 1520. This idea Melanchthon was not very enthusiastic. The young workaholic professor feared for the progress of his studies.

But managed Luther that he finally on 27th November 1520 Catherine the daughter of Hans Krapp a cloth merchant and mayor of Wittenberg and his wife, Catherine, married.

Luther, who received even a really unwanted marriage knew that the impact of cohabitation, and so it happened that in Melanchthon and his wife by the gradual acquaintance formed a community in which the two learned to appreciate. Although his wife was from a reputable home and Melanchthon well as a professor at the University deserved, there was in the house of Melanchthon never greater prosperity. Constant visits by university members who gathered at the round table disputing home Melanchthon, young students, Melanchthon taught in his "scholastic domestica" and served as a personal mentor detracted from, the financial budget of the household. Melanchthon gained through his work in Wittenberg soon such high regard that it offers from other universities were submitted in Germany and Europe. Johann Friedrich the 1st of Saxony, however, wanted to keep the esteemed professor at Wittenberg, and erected in the grounds of his booth 1536 befitting house, which we now know as Melanchthon's house in Wittenberg. When the family moved into this house in 1537, the couple had children Anna, Philip, George and Magdalena. As head of the family, he devoted himself with abandon his beloved children and care for the children welded together, the couple Melanchthon. As a father, he suffered sleepless nights, when his second son, George, died after only two years, and when his daughter, which he made on all sides, came in an unhappy marriage with Melanchthon's former pupil Georg Sabinus. Living with Melanchthon was not always easy. He could, if he went against the grain, are very hot-tempered. This was also his son, Philip felt when he secretly with the betrothed from Leipzig Margaretha Kuffner what the father did not end in marriage. Burden and worry always prepared the sentient responsibility for other people Melanchthon his duties as a father and husband home. He was taken by the sense of confidence in God's providence and mercy, which he believed to be just experienced by the family. Melanchthon slowly grew into his life as a husband and father of the family.

In his wife he was a caring wife who nursed her husband weakened by work and responsibility. When on her 11th Died in October 1557 and longtime family friend Joachim Camerarius the Elder this Melanchthon who was in the last big Worms Colloquy, 27 October announced that he felt a great loss and longed to follow her soon to be able to.

Illness and death


Melanchthon was of a delicate stature and always aroused the impression of strong threat. This was exacerbated by his soft voice. In stark contrast, was his work performance and toughness in negotiations.

The constant strain was not without consequences. Even from a young age he suffered from insomnia, exacerbated especially in stressful situations. Furthermore, it was stressed instructed his stomach on a balanced diet. In early summer of 1540, he already looked death in the eye when he fell ill on the journey to Hagenauer religious conference in Weimar. Luther rushed to comfort donation to him. Melanchthon had already fainted and lay before Luther with sunken face and glazed eyes. However, Melanchthon could recover from this bout of weakness and continued to work on. When he was in March 1541 on a trip to Regensburg, rushed to his carriage and he suffered serious injuries. Since that time, he was hampered by the injury suffered while writing. From a trip to Leipzig in 1560, he got a cold on 4 April back. During the night of 7 the 8th April, he developed a fever, which recurred at short intervals ever.

Despite the care of his daughter Magdalena, and his son Dr. Caspar Peucer took his strength more and more. On 19 April, the next of kin, his daughter Magdalena, whose husband Caspar Peucer and the family friend Joachim Camerarius collected by Melanchthon in his house, to give him their last respects. Outside the house, the students gathered and prayed for her professor. To 19 clock hands and feet were cold, and his pulse a beat. After a memorial address of Medicine Professor Veit Winsheim he found on the side of his former collaborator Martin Luther in the Castle Church in Wittenberg his final resting place.

(Text and photo from Wikipedia)