PIPER, KARL WILHELM FERDINAND: German church historian; b. at Stralsund (120 m. n.w. of Berlin) May 7, 1811; d. at Berlin Nov. 28, 1889. He studied theology at the universities of Berlin and Göttingen, 1829-33; was tutor in theology at the latter institution, 1833--40; privat-docent in church history at the University of Berlin, 1842; and associate professor after 1842. As church historian he belonged to the school of Neander. His earlier literary activity dealt with chronology and resulted in the publication of the " Evangelical Calendar " (1850-70), in which he substituted for the names of saints, those of Christian worthies, and furnished annually biographical sketches. His principal pursuit became the investigation of Christian monuments of art, as a source for church history. The first important product appeared as the first part of the projected work, Mythologie und Symbolik der Christlichen Kunst (2 vols., Weimar, 1847-51) setting forth the influence of pagan mythology upon Christianity. The intended second part was never prepared. His next great work was Einleitung in die monumentale Theologie (Gotha, 1867). Other works are: Ueber den christlichen Bilderkreis (Berlin, 1852); and Die Kalendarien and Martyrologien der Angelsachsen (1862). Piper does not treat art for art's sake; form and style are almost ignored. He always seeks to present the content for his specific purpose. He was the founder of the Christian museum at the University of Berlin and its director from 1849 till his death.



PIRKE ABOTH, pîr-kê' a'bot (" Sayings of the Fathers ") : The ninth tractate of the fourth order ("Damages") of the Mishna. An especially valuable translation, with excellent notes, is found in C. Taylor's Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, 2d ed., Cambridge, 1899. See TALMUD.

PIRKHEIMER, pirk-haim'er, CHARITAS: Sister of Wilibald Pirkheimer (q.v.) and abbess of the nunnery of St. Clara at Nuremberg; b. at Eichstatt (42 m. w.s.w. of Regensburg) Mar. 21, 1466; d. at Nuremberg Aug. 19, 1532. At the age of twelve she entered the nunnery of which she became abbess in 1503. In the same year she induced her sister Clara, who succeeded her in the headship of the cloister in 1532, to enter as a sister and to undertake the work of secretary and assistant. She was especially faithful in the mainte-


nance of discipline and nurture of those committed to her care. By her brother she was led to the study of patristics, but was never reconciled to the Reformation, being a devoted daughter of her church. Her character was necessarily developed in a one-sided direction through her early entrance into the nunnery, and she was apparently quite morbid through colAinued contemplation of her sins and weaknesses. Her Denktwürdigkeiten pictures the misfortunes of her cloister (given in C. Höfler's Frankischen Studien, vol. iv., part 2, Vienna, 1853).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Binder, Charitas Pirkheimer, Freiburg, 1873.


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