Jacob Wimpheling

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Wimpheling, Jacob

 

Born July 27, 1450; died Nov. 17, 1528, in Schlettstadt (Sélestat). German humanist.

In 1471, Wimpheling began teaching at Heidelberg University; from 1481 to 1484 he was rector and from 1498, professor of poetry. From 1501 he lived in Alsace, in Strassburg and Schlettstadt, where he was engaged, for the most part, in teaching. In his comedy Stylpho (1494)—the first important humanist play in Germany—and in his pedagogical works Wimpheling wrote about the importance of education. In these works he also exposed the malpractices of the Catholic Church and the ignorance of monks, and he propagated humanist principles of education. Nevertheless, Wimpheling did not completely break away from the ecclesiastical-scholastic world view, and he remained aloof from the Reformation. His Short History of Germany to the Present (1505, in Latin) was the first attempt at writing a history from a humanist point of view of all Germany. The work is marked by an uncritical approach to sources and by a nationalistic bias, which was also characteristic of Wimpheling’s Germania (1501). The anti-French tendency of this work drew a rebuttal from T. Murner.

WORKS

Germania. Strassburg, 1885.
Pädagogogische Schriften. Paderborn, 1892.

REFERENCE

Vainshtein, O. L. Zapadnadno-evropeiskaia srednevekovaia istoriografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Pages 327-29. (References are indicated.)