« Altenstein, Karl Freiherr von Stein Zum Althamer, Andreas Althaus, Paul »

Althamer, Andreas

ALTHAMER, ɑ̄l´thɑ̄m´´er, ANDREAS (sometimes known by the Greek form of his name, Palaiosphyra): German Reformer; b. in the village of Brenz, near Gundelfingen (28 m. n.w. of Augsburg), Württemberg, c. 1500; d. at Ansbach, probably in 1519. He studied at Leipsic and Tübingen. In 1524 he is found settled as priest at Gmünd in Swabia, where he was the leader of the evangelical party, and he remained there after he had been deposed and had married. He escaped with difficulty in the reaction of the Swabian League, and fled to Wittenberg, remaining there nine months and proceeding to Nuremberg in the summer of 1526. His Lutheran convictions were now mature, and he maintained a constant literary activity against both the Zwinglians and the Roman Catholics. He was pastor at Eltersdorf, near Erlangen, in 1527, deacon at St. Sebaldus’s, Nuremberg, in 1528; he took part as an ardent Lutheran in the disputation at Bern, and in the same year was called to Ansbach to assist in spreading the Reformation in Brandenburg. In November he published a complete catechism, remarkable not only for the clearness and precision of its teaching, but also as being the first work of the kind to take the title of catechism. For the next few years he was the soul of the Protestant party in that part of Germany, and by his untiring energy and gifts of organization did much in the development there of the evangelical religion. Of his theological works may be mentioned his Annotationes in Jacobi Epistolam (Strasburg, 1527), which carried still further Luther’s views of that epistle, though it was modified in the edition of 1533. His notes on the Germania of Tacitus, published in complete form 1536, have preserved his fame as a classical scholar even where the Reformer has been forgotten.

(T. Kolde).

Bibliography: T. Kolde, Andreas Althamer, der Humanist und Reformator in Brandenburg-Ansbach, Erlangen, 1895 (contains a reprint of his catechism).

« Altenstein, Karl Freiherr von Stein Zum Althamer, Andreas Althaus, Paul »
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