THE YOUNG LECTURER
DEEPLY immersed in his studies and bound to the requirements of the daily choir service, with its liturgical exercises and canonical devotions, Martin watched the church year roll around. On the cold, dark North German winter followed the Lenten season with its "quadrigesimal food" and other sacrifices, and on this the joys of Easter and the anniversary of his first Mass. Already the summer semester had opened at the university and if, as seems most likely, his studies were now in the faculty of theology rather than at the cloister, he continued to hear lectures on the Sentences and to attend disputations in the hall of the faculty, and perhaps also entered on a magisterial course in Bible exegesis. So the fall approached and now he might look forward to the attainment of his first degree in theology, that of bachelor in the Bible, when the winter semester should come to its end. At this moment an order arrived which opened a new episode in his life. Sometime in the autumn of 1508, probably before the opening of the winter semester, the cloister authorities directed him to leave Erfurt and go to the cloister of his order at Wittenberg. So unexpected was the command and so prompt the fulfillment that his most intimate friends scarcely knew of it, as he says in an apologetic letter the following March in answer to the complaints of his old friend Vicar Braun at Eisenach1.
In this letter Martin gives no hint of why he was transferred. It is probable that the cause had to do with the development of the university at Wittenberg. This had been founded six years earlier and was still in process of first growth. In connection with it the Augustinian cloister, hitherto of no great significance in the Saxon-Thuringian province of the order, was seeking to develop a "general study" similar to that in the Erfurt house. The relation of the university to the cloister in Wittenberg was, however, quite____________________