Ulrich von Hutten

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hutten, Ulrich von


Born Apr. 21, 1488, in Steckel-berg; died Aug. 29, 1523, on the island of Ufenau, Lake Zürich. German humanist, writer, and political figure. A member of the knightly estate.

Hutten was an active participant in the Erfurt circle of humanists and was one of the principal authors of the satire entitled Letters of Obscure Men(1515–17), which exposed the false doctrines of the scholastics and the moral disintegration of the clergy. Hutten advocated the development of secular culture, and in his own literary works, including his pub-licistic writing, he made masterful use of the method of rationalistic criticism of the Catholic dogmas. Hutten’s optimistic, humanistic world view was permeated by faith in the power of reason and science. From the beginning of the Reformation, Hutten belonged to the opposition, which grouped around Luther. He called for an open war against the papacy and for an end to the domination of the princes in Germany. In an unsuccessful attempt to direct a movement of all peoples against Rome in the interests of his own class, Hutten took part in an uprising of knights in 1522–23; after the failure of this uprising he fled to Switzerland, where he soon died. Hutten’s principal works—pamphlets, speeches, and invectives—are written in Latin. In his dialogues vividly portrayed characters are encountered (Vadiscus, or the Roman Trinity,1520; Robbers 1521). Outstanding among Hutten’s poems are his epigrams and the satire No One(1512).


Opera quae reperiripotuerunt omnia,vols. 1–7. Edited by E. Böcking. Leipzig, 1859–70.
In Russian translation:
Dialogi—Publitsistika—Pis’ma.Moscow, 1959.


Engels, F. “Krest’ianskaia voina v Germanii.” K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch.,2nd ed., vol. 7, pp. 393–96.
Purishev, B. Ocherki nemetskoi literatury XV-XVII vv.Moscow, 1955.
Volodarskii, V. M. “Gumanisticheskie vozzreniia Ul’rikha fon Gut-tena.” In the collection Srednie veka,vol. 24. Moscow, 1963.
Straus, D. F. Ul’rikh fon Gutten.St. Petersburg, 1896. (Translated from German.)
Drewinc, H. Vier Gestalten aus dem Zeitalter des Humanismus.St. Gallen, 1946.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.