« Brunetière, Marie Ferdinand Brunfels, Otto Brunner (Fontanus), Leonhard »

Brunfels, Otto

BRUNFELS, OTTO: German humanist and Reformer. The date of his birth can not be determined; d. at Bern Nov. 23, 1534. His father was an artisan at Mainz. At an early age he entered the Carthusian order, but the spirit of the age soon drew him out of his convent into the polemics of the time. At first he was a follower of Hutten, for whom he broke a lance with Erasmus, and whose library he used in compiling a small collection of the writings of Huss, which he published in 1524, with a dedication to Luther. He served the Reformation as a preacher, first at Steinheim, and then at Neuenburg in the Breisgau. When the attitude of the imperial government made his position there insecure, he went to Strasburg, where he supported himself by teaching, wrote against tithes, and studied medicine. He was a friend of Luther and also of Carlstadt, but was still more strongly attracted by Zwingli, whose influence procured him a medical position at Bern. His importance lies chiefly in the fact that he was a successful botanist, and a pioneer in this science for Germany, with his extensive illustrated Herbarium (Strasburg, 3 vols., 1530–40, translated into German, 2 parts, 1532–37, 2d ed., 1546).

(W. Vogt.)

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