HUMANISTIC FRIENDS AND ALLIES
STANDINGoutside theological circles was a group that watched the rising conflict with especial interest. These were the enthusiastic followers of classical studies, long engaged in an intense struggle against the defenders of scholasticism and now ready to applaud any attack on clerical arrogance. Luther's relations with the humanists during his Erfurtand early Wittenbergyears have been discussed above. It may be repeated here that for this period in his life, evidence of contact with the men who were rapidly undermining scholastic studies at the universities is very inconclusive. It is highly probable that Johann Langgave him instruction in Greek, and it was to the same friend that Martinowed his acquaintance with Konrad Mutianusin Gotha. This must in any case have been slight,1for Luther's interest in these years was concentrated in the theological field, where his struggles with the ideas of Occam took him far away from humanistic interests except as they furnished material for his exegetic studies. The rise of the new spirit in scholarship, however, stirred up a strife which penetrated even the cell and lecture room of one for whom theology was the allabsorbing passion. Luther's letters in the autumn of 1516give evidence that he was following the conflict between Reuchlinand his Dominican opponents in Cologne with interest, though, as we have noted, he criticized the frivolity and intemperate tone of the Letters of Obscure Men.2
The year following the publication of the Ninety-five Theses altered his____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Revolt of Martin Luther. Contributors: Robert Herndon Fife - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1957. Page number: 415.
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