Johannes Janssen - Encyclopedia




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JOHANNES JANSSEN (1829-1891), German historian, was born at Xanten on the 10th of April 1829, and was educated as a Roman Catholic at Munster, Louvain, Bonn and Berlin, afterwards becoming a teacher of history at Frankfort-on-theMain. He was ordained priest in 1860; became a member of the Prussian Chamber of Deputies in 1875; and in 1880 was made domestic prelate to the pope and apostolic pronotary. He died at Frankfort on the 24th of December 1891. Janssen was a stout champion of the Ultramontane party in the Roman Catholic Church. His great work is his Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters (8 vols., Freiburg, 1878-1894). In this book he shows himself very hostile to the Reformation, and attempts to prove that the Protestants were responsible for the general unrest in Germany during the 16th and 17th centuries. The author's partisanship led to some controversy, and Janssen wrote (Freiburg, 1882) and Ein zweites Wort an meine Kritiker (Freiburg, 1883) in reply to the Janssens Geschichte des deutschen Volkes (Munich, 1883) of M. Lenz, and other criticisms.

The Geschichte, which has passed through numerous editions, has been continued and improved by Ludwig Pastor, and the greater part of it has been translated into English by M. A. Mitchell and A. M.

Christie (London, 1896, fol.). Of his other works perhaps the most important are: the editing of Frankfurts Reichskorrespondenz, 1376-1519 (Freiburg, 1863-1872); and of the Leben, Briefe and kleinere Schriften of his friend J. F. Bohmer (Leipzig, 1868); a monograph, Schiller als Historiker (Freiburg, 1863); and Zeitand Lebensbilder (Freiburg, 1875).

See L. Pastor, Johannes Janssen (Freiburg, 1893); F. Meister, Erinnerung an Johannes Janssen (Frankfort, 1896); Schwann, Johannes Janssen and die Geschichte der deutschen Reformation (Munich, 1892).

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