Reuchlin, Johann

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Save to active project

Reuchlin, Johann

Johann Reuchlin (yō´hän roikh´lən), 1455–1522, German humanist and lawyer, a scholar of Greek and Hebrew, b. Baden. He taught jurisprudence at Tübingen. In 1492 he began the study of Hebrew, and his Rudimenta Hebraica (1506) was the first Hebrew grammar written by a Christian. His reputation as a scholar had already been established by the translations from the Greek that he made at Heidelberg. When Johann Pfefferkorn, a Jew who had converted to Christianity, advocated destruction of all Hebrew books, Emperor Maximilian requested Reuchlin's opinion in the matter. Reuchlin suggested that only those Hebrew books which calumniated Christianity should be suppressed and that the Jews should be required to furnish books for the universities, with two chairs of Hebrew learning to be set up in every university in Germany. His decision brought forth a storm of opposition from bigots and obscurantists, which Reuchlin met by his Augenspiegel [mirror of the eye] (1511). In this work he attacked Pfefferkorn and drew a distinction between classical works in Hebrew and anti-Christian polemics. A violent controversy developed between the humanists supporting Reuchlin and the clericals and powers of the Inquisition supporting Pfefferkorn. From the struggle emerged the famous defense of Reuchlin, Episculae obscurorum virorum [letters of obscure men] by Crotus Rubianus and Ulrich von Hutten. Reuchlin, himself, remained a Roman Catholic. In 1521 the Curia suppressed his writings against Pfefferkorn.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Reuchlin, Johann
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?