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Johannes Reuchlin

Johannes Reuchlin

Pforzheim 1455 - Stuttgart 1522

German humanist, known by the Graecized name Kapnion.  After studying at Fribourg, Basel, and Paris, he spent the rest of his life travelling between France, Germany, and Italy, where he met Angelo Poliziano.  He composed dramas, satires, and dialogues, and became interested in mysticism and kabbalah. Convinced of the decisive importance of Jewish culture for Christianity, he engaged in a violent dispute with the theologian Johannes Pfefferkorn – a converted Jew protected by the Dominicans and the Studium Generale in Cologne – who insisted that all Jewish books were a threat to the true faith and should be burned.

Main works: Sämtliche Werke, hrsg. von W.W. Ehlers, H.G. Roloff, P. Schafer, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Fromann-Hoolzboog, 1996-1999.

Bibliography: L. Geiger, Johannes Reuchlin, sein Leben und seine Werke, Leipzig, Duncker 1871; F. Secret, Les kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance, Paris, Dunod 1964; C. Zika, Reuchlin und die okkulte Tradition der Renaissance, Sigmaringen, Thorbecke, 1998; E. Rummel, The case against Johann Reuchlin religious and social controversy in sixteenth-century Germany, Toronto, Toronto University Press 2002.

Karl Christ, Die Bibliothek Reuchlins in Pforzheim, Leipzig, O. Harrassowitz 1924, 96 S.

The catalogue, part of the manuscript Pal.Lat.125 conserved at the Vatican Library, contains 36 volumes in Hebrew and 55 texts in Greek both printed and in manuscript, some of which are miscellanies. The titles are not listed according to any particular criterium, but every volume is identified, often with certainty, with books belonging to several European libraries.  The volume also contains a lengthy historical introduction that describes the collection of Reuchlin’s library and its fate following the humanist’s death, in addition to a complete description of the manuscript which contains the catalogue.  There is also an afterword and a detailed index of the authors cited.

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last modify: 2010-10-21 18:32:47