Hieronymus Aleander

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Hieronymus Aleander

Hieronymus Aleander , also Girolamo Aleandro (born February 13, 1480 in Motta di Livenza near Treviso , Republic of Venice , † February 1, 1542 in Rome ), was an Italian humanist and cardinal .


Aleander was the son of a doctor from a noble family and initially studied medicine, but then theology and ancient languages at the University of Padua . From 1499 he taught ancient and oriental languages in Venice . There he became one of the leading members of the group of scholars around the humanist printer Aldus Manutius . In 1501 Pope Alexander VI appointed him . to Rome and entrusted him with diplomatic tasks. During his travels he became acquainted and familiar with Erasmus of Rotterdam , among others . In 1508 he went to the University of Paris as a teacher of ancient languages ; there he introduced the systematic study of the Greek language. During his time as a philology teacher in Venice and Paris, he was the editor of ancient Greek authors and wrote a Greek grammar . His Lexicon graeco-latinum , which appeared in Paris in 1512, was groundbreaking . After a short stay in Orléans (possibly to avoid the plague ) he was elected rector of the University of Paris in 1513 . In the same year he turned back to politics: he entered the service of Louis XII. and became chancellor of the Liège prince-bishop and finally in 1517 (-1519?) head of the Vatican library in Rome .

In September 1520, Pope Leo X sent him to the court of Charles V as nuncio to mobilize the emperor and empire against the Reformation . He played a decisive role at the Reichstag in Worms . In a famous speech on Ash Wednesday 1521, he demanded that Martin Luther be given eight immediately . However, he was unable to enforce this demand: Luther was summoned. The draft of the Edict of Worms came from his pen (which led to a break with Erasmus). He then also caused the adoption of this document.

In 1524 Aleander became Archbishop of Brindisi and nuncio to Francis I in France. Together with this he was captured in the Battle of Pavia (1525) . Later he was also on several diplomatic missions on behalf of the Holy See, mainly with the task of preventing a peaceful settlement of the religious parties in the German Reich. However , he could not prevent the religious peace in Nuremberg (1532). 1538 Aleander was from Pope Paul III. elevated to cardinal . His titular church was San Crisogono . Four years later he died in Rome.

For the history of the Reformation (and the beginning of the Counter-Reformation ) his letters as well as his diaries are informative documents.


predecessor Office successor
Gian Pietro Carafa Archbishop of Brindisi
Francesco Aleandro
Erhard von der Mark Cardinal priest of San Crisogono
Pietro Bembo