WIMPFELING, Jakob

(1450-1528)
Jakob Wimpfeling was a conservative German Renaissance humanist who tirelessly worked for educational reforms. Born in the old imperial Alsatian city of Schlettstadt (today Selestat, France), Wimpfeling attended the local Latin school and, at age fourteen, enrolled at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, where he received his bachelor of arts in 1466. After a brief sojourn at the University of Erfurt, he studied and taught at the University of Heidelberg, obtaining a master of arts in 1471 and the baccalaureate in theology in 1479, and rapidly climbed the academic ladder, becoming the dean of the arts faculty and rector of the university. After the plague put an end to his activities in Heidelberg, in 1483 he moved to nearby Speyer to become a cathdedral canon. He rejoined the faculty in Heidelberg in 1498, answering a call from Elector Philip of the Palatinate to work on university reform. In 1501 he left Heidelberg and spent the next fourteen years in Strasbourg, joining his friends Johannes Geiler von Kayserberg and Sebastian Brant there and founding a literary society around 1508 on the model of the loose associations Conrad Celtis had estab­lished earlier in various parts of Europe. In 1515 he moved back to Schlettstadt, where he died.
Although Wimpfeling was a prolific writer working in such diverse fields as literature, church history, politics, and theology, his work is dominated by two major themes: his concern for the correct education of the youth and his his-toriographical interests. In the former area, his most important works are two educational treatises, Isidoneus Germanicus (Guide to German Youth, 1497) and Adolescentia (Youth, 1500). Filled with extensive quotations and pragmatic tips for moral living, these works also reveal the very tentative nature of his hu­manism. In contrast to many other humanists, Wimpfeling did not appreciate ancient literature for its own sake but allowed its study only for the development of a good Latin style and for the moral teachings it offered. For this reason, his choice of Latin authors was very selective and was always filtered through the lenses of his orthodox Christianity. If his interests in pedagogy were one of his concerns, his historical studies, informed by a fierce patriotism, were another. They prompted him to write a number of works, among them a treatise called Germania (1501), a rambling work in which he tried to prove that his native Alsace had always been inhabited by Germans. Also inspired by his patriotism was his work Epithoma rerum Germanicarum (A Short History of Germany, 1505). It is remarkable for its treatment not only of the military and political matters but also of the cultural history, comprising a veritable hall of fame of theologians, poets, musicians, historians, architects, sculptors, and painters. The work contributed decisively to the development of a German historiography.
Wimpfeling's views and his somewhat cantankerous nature involved him in a number of bitter scholarly feuds: he quarreled with the Augustinians, whom he angered by denying that St. Augustine had been a monk; with the Swiss, whom he blamed for having left the empire; and with the flamboyant humanist Jakob Locher, whom he accused of corrupting the youth.
Though Wimpfeling vehemently attacked ecclesiastical abuses and at first welcomed Martin Luther,* he sharply rejected the Reformer after 1521 when it had become clear to him that the Lutheran movement was leading to a schism of the church. He died a lonely and bitter man in his native town.
Bibliography
E. Bernstein, German Humanism, 1983.
J. H. Overfield, "Jakob Wimpfeling," in German Writers of the Renaissance and Ref­ormation, 1280-1580, Dictionary of Literary Biography, 179, 1997: 317-25.
Eckhard Bernstein

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wimpfeling, Jakob — • Humanist and theologian (1450 1528) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Jakob Wimpfeling —     Jakob Wimpfeling     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Jakob Wimpfeling     Humanist and theologian, b. at Schlettstadt, Alsace, 25 July 1450; d. there, 17 Nov., 1528. He went to the school at Schlettstadt conducted by Ludwig Dringenberg, and from… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Wimpfeling — Jakob Wimpheling, auch Wimpfeling, Wympfeling (* 27. Juli 1450 in Schlettstadt; † 17. November 1528 ebd.) war ein deutscher Dichter, Pädagoge und Geschichtsschreiber des Humanismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jakob Wimpheling — Jakob Wimpheling, auch Wimpfeling, Wympfeling (* 27. Juli 1450 in Schlettstadt; † 17. November 1528 ebd.) war ein deutscher Dichter, Pädagoge und Geschichtsschreiber des Humanismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jakob Wimpfeling — Jakob Wimpfeling, auch Wimpheling, Wympfeling (* 27. Juli 1450 in Schlettstadt; † 17. November 1528 ebenda) war ein deutscher Dichter, Pädagoge und Geschichtsschreiber des Humanismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Forschungsgeschichte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jakob Wimpfeling — (July 25, 1450 ndash;November 17, 1528) was a German Renaissance humanist and theologian.Wimpfeling was born in Schlettstadt, Alsace. He went to the school at Schlettstadt, conducted by Ludwig Dringenberg. In 1464 he became a student at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jakob Wimpheling — Jacques Wimpfeling Jacques Wimpfeling (en allemand Jakob Wimpheling, aussi Wimpfeling, Wympfeling) né le 27 juillet 1450 à Sélestat (Schlettstadt), mort le 17 novembre 1528 à Sélestat, était un humaniste, poète, pédagogue et historiographe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wimpfeling — Wịmpfeling,   Wịmpheling, Wỵmpfeling, Jakob, Humanist, * Schlettstadt 25. 7. 1450, ✝ ebenda 17. 11. 1528; studierte Theologie und Recht, wurde 1471 Magister der Artistenfakultät (Rhetorik) in Heidelberg (1481 Rektor der Universität); 1483 …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Jacob Wimpfeling — Jakob Wimpheling, auch Wimpfeling, Wympfeling (* 27. Juli 1450 in Schlettstadt; † 17. November 1528 ebd.) war ein deutscher Dichter, Pädagoge und Geschichtsschreiber des Humanismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jacques Wimpfeling — (en allemand Jakob Wimpheling, aussi Wimpfeling, Wympfeling) né le 27 juillet 1450 à Sélestat (Schlettstadt), mort le 17 novembre 1528 à Sélestat, était un humaniste, poète, pédagogue et historiographe allemand. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Œuvres …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.