DUDITH, Andreas

(1533-1589)
Andreas Dudith is renowned as a man versatile in many disciplines, ranging from literature and rhetoric to astrology and mathematics. The consummate Re­naissance man, Dudith involved himself with political, religious, scholarly, and scientific matters while maintaining an active part in academic and aristocratic circles.
Born of combined Hungarian and Italian lineage, Dudith was educated in the typical Hungarian method, humanistic study based on the teachings of Desider-ius Erasmus.* Dudith began his religious career as a Roman Catholic priest and was later appointed bishop of Fünfkirchen. Soon after, he attended the Council of Trent during the years 1562-63 as a noted theologian and in the ensuing period was appointed to the bishopric of Pecs. Dudith also executed several diplomatic missions in the names of the emperors Sigismund II and Maximilian II around the years 1563 to 1567.
Dudith's life was marked by a long series of religious conversions, beginning with his stay in Poland and his meeting of Regina Straszowna, for whom he left the Catholic church in order to marry. Following her death, Dudith remarried and once more changed his religious affiliation. Despite Dudith's flexible atti­tude toward his faith—converting from Catholicism to Lutheranism to Socini-anism to Calvinism during his lifetime—he remained in good favor among the elite due to his benevolent and amiable personality.
Both the disciplines of mathematics and medicine appealed to the interests of Dudith, but these gave way to his writing of De cometarum significatione com-mentariolus, a commentary on the comet of 1577. This work generally called for a more scientific approach to celestial phenomena rather than the supersti­tious analyses typical of that time. In essence, Dudith proposed a school of natural astrology based on empirical data similar to modern conventions of as­tronomy.
Dudith, an ardent scholar, also collected numerous Greek mathematical man­uscripts and printed books, many of which have now found their way into libraries at the Vatican, Paris, Leiden, and several Swedish institutions. In ad­dition, Dudith translated Greek and was an excellent Latinist, an enthusiastic Ciceronian as well as a gifted orator and ambassador. A product of his times, Dudith immersed himself in all manner of study, influenced the intellectual elite, and traveled extensively. As his friend the celebrated Polish poet Jan Kochanowski* remarked, Dudith was "a man filled with knowledge and experience, equally able with pen and eloquence, the emissary of kings."
Bibliography
S. Fiszman, ed., The Polish Renaissance in Its European Context, 1988.
P. Rose, in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. C. Gillispie, vol. 4, 1971: 212-15.
Christopher D. Roebuck

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

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