Beatus Rhenanus - Encyclopedia

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BEATUS RHENANUS (1485-1547), German humanist, was born in 1485 at Schlettstadt in Alsace, where his father, named Bild, a native of Rheinau (hence the surname Rhenanus), was a prosperous butcher. He received his early education at the famous Latin school of Schlettstadt, and afterwards (1503) went to Paris, where he came under the influence of Jacobus Faber Stapulensis, an eminent Aristotelian. In 1511 he removed to Basel, where he became intimate with Desiderius Erasmus, and took an active share in the publishing enterprises of Joannes Froben. In 1526 he returned to Schlettstadt, and devoted himself to a life of learned leisure, enlivened with epistolary and personal intercourse with Erasmus (the printing of whose more important works he personally superintended) and many other scholars of his time. He died at Strassburg on the 10th of July 1547.

His earliest publication was a biography of Geiler of Kaisersberg (1510). Of his subsequent works the principal are Rerum Germanicarum Libri III. (1531), and editions of Velleius Paterculus (ed. princeps, from a MS. discovered by himself, 1522); Tacitus (1519, exclusive of the Histories); Livius (1535); and Erasmus (with a life, 9 vols. fol., 1540-41).

See A. Horawitz, Beatus Rhenanus (1872), and by the same, Des Beatus Rhenanus literarische Tcitigkeit (2 vols., 1872); also the notice by R. Hartfelder in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie.

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