Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Johann Alexander Brassicanus

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

A German humanist, born probably at Cannstatt, 1500; died at Vienna, 25 November, 1539. He was a member of an ancient family of Constance, named Köl or Köll, latinized, Brassicanus , his father being Johannes Brassicanus, the Wurtemberg humanist who taught in the Latin school at Urach up to 1508, and later in the pedagogium at Tübingen, but was chiefly known as a leader in the movement for the promotion of the humanities and as the author of a grammar then widely used, "Institutiones grammatiae", thirteen editions of which were issued between 1508 and 1519. From his father, who died at Wildaad in 1514, Johann Alexander received an excellent education, which brought his intellectual powers to at early maturity, enabling him to matriculate at the University of Tübingen 13 January, 1514 and take his degree as Master of Arts in 1517. About this time he first gave evidence of his fertile Poetic powers, and in 1518 he received the title of Poeta et orator laureatus . His coronation as poet must have taken place early in 1518, emperor Maximilian at the same time granting him a coat of arms. The greatest humanists of the time kept in correspondence with Brassicanus and are loud in praise of intellectual powers. He lectured for a short time before the Faculty of Arts on the on the Latin poets; he also edited the eclogues of Calpurnius and Nemesianus which he had discovered. When, after Bebel's death (1516) a reaction once more set in against humanism, he availed himself of the first opportunity to absent himself temporarily from the scene of his former labours. In 1519 he attached himself to the suite of the royal orator Maximilian von Bergen, who was sent on various diplomatic missions by the king. After a sojourn in the Netherlands (1520) Brassicanus returned to Tabingen (1621) to pursue his study of law in connection with his work as a teacher. In this way he was brought into intimate relations with lngolstadt, he received there the degree of Doctor of Laws, also succeeding Reuchlin in the important chair of philology (1522). His position in this stronghold of Catholicity, however, soon became untenable, as he, like so many orthodox minds of the time who openly sympathized with the reforming activities of Luther, was suspected of being a confirmed Lutheran. At this juncture he found friends ready to assist him, in Johann Faber and Johann Camers, who worked zealously for his appointment to the University of Vienna, and whose influence helped to give a more orthodox tone to his opinions on religious questions. In 1524 he was called to the University of Vienna as professor of rhetoric, next receiving the professorship of the laws of the Empire, and not till 1528 the coveted chair of Greek literature, in addition to which he still retained that of jurisprudence. His disapproval of the Lutheran movement was now; most pronounced, partially as a result of a more profound study of the Church Fathers ; he was particularly exercised over the disastrous influence of Lutheranism on educational activities. On the appearance of the Turks before Vienna (1529) he fled his native city, where he remained for a considerable period of time. The succeeding years are marked by his editions of the Fathers and the classics. Often in poor health, he died at the prime of life, leaving only a very extensive library, as his material resources had at all times been meagre. His writings give no clear conception of his intellectual importance which his contemporaries found so noteworthy. Among his works of independent authorship are "Oratio ad principes post obitum Maximiliani" (1519); "Caesar" (1519); "In divum Carolum electum Romanorum regem" (1519); and other occasional poems and addresses. These do not rise above the average level of the occasional literature of humanism. No subtler meaning and no original or striking thoughts are concealed under the mediocre forms of expression. For the history of the University of Vienna, on the contrary, Brassicanus is of great importance, being numbered among the most vigorous representatives of the humanist movement.

Among the editions issued by Brassicanus, the following are particularly well known: "Luciani Samosatensis Traegoediae" (1527); Salviani, "De vero judicio et providentiâ" (Basle, 1530); Gennadius, "De sinceritate christianae fidei dialogus seu de via salutis humanae" (Vienna, 1530); "Enchiridion de christianarum rerum memoria sive epitome historiae ecclesiasticae per Eusebium descriptae auctore Haymone" (Hagenau, 1531); "Salonii Dialogi duo" (ibid., 1532); Pothonis, "De statu domus Dei" and "De magna domo sapientiae" (ibid., 1532).

Shop Catholic - Buy One Get One 50% OFF

Mix and match any of these bestselling products and enjoy 50% off the second item!

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Act of Contrition PDF

Free Catholic Educational PDF Downloads and Resources

PDF educational resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers and it’s 100% FREE. How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium. Download Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.