Peter Martyr Vermigli

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Pietro Vermigli (Portrait of Hans Asper 1560, now in the National Portrait Gallery of London )

Peter Martyr Vermigli (actually Pietro Mariano Vermigli ; born September 8, 1499 in Florence ; † November 12, 1562 in Zurich ) was a religious priest in the Augustinian order and from 1541 a reformer, reformed theologian and Old Testament scholar in Strasbourg , Oxford and Zurich.


Vermigli was a son of the wealthy shoemaker Stefano di Antonio Vermigli (* around 1460) and Maria Fumanti; his father admired Girolamo Savonarola . As early as 1514 he entered the monastery of the regulated Augustinian canons . 1518–1526 he studied theology at the University of Padua and was ordained a priest in 1526 . In 1533 he became abbot of the monastery of S. Giuliano in Spoleto , in 1537 prior of the monastery of S. Pietro ad Aram in Naples . There he came into contact with the spiritualists around Juan de Valdés .

Vermigli propagated reformatory ideas in Naples and Lucca since 1541 . During this time he was prior of the monastery of S. Frediano in Lucca and founded a theological school that represented Reformation approaches. He was threatened by the Inquisition and fled to Switzerland in 1542 to Zurich and Basel . He was professor of the Old Testament in Strasbourg until 1547 and married Catherine Dammartin in 1545. In 1547 he became " Regius Professor of Divinity " in Oxford in place of Richard Smyth , but fled to Strasbourg in 1553 before the Catholic restoration of Maria I. Tudor ("Bloody Mary") and in 1556 settled again in Zurich . He succeeded the reformer and Hebrew Konrad Pellikan at the theological school in Zurich, the Collegium Carolinum . Pellikan had died on Easter 1556 and Heinrich Bullinger had called Vermigli. As an Italian, he was close to the religious refugees from Italy and Locarno and sometimes replaced Bernardino Ochino as preacher in the Church of St. Peter, where the Italian-speaking congregation of Zurich met. In 1559 he married Caterina Merenda.


Among his writings, apart from commentaries on Old and New Testament books, the Loci communes theologici should be emphasized, one of the most comprehensive Reformation works of his time, but which did not appear until posthumously in 1576. Vermigli was a witch theorist and explains in the chapter "De maleficis" (p. 30ff) the connection between witches and the devil and the devil's pact .


Web links

Commons : Peter Martyr Vermigli  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Thompson Cooper, Smith, Richard (1500-1563) (DNB00) in the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 53 on Wikisource.
  2. J. Parker (1831) The Oxford University Calendar 1831 ; W. Baxter, Oxford, p. 36.
  3. Mab-Marygold on; accessed on June 1, 2016.
  4. Rudolf Pfister : For the sake of faith. The Protestant refugees from Locarno and their admission to Zurich in 1555. Evangelischer Verlag Zollikon 1955, p. 129
  5. ^ Mark Taplin: The Italian Reformers and the Zurich Church, c. 1540-1620 , St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History, Routledge, 2017, ISBN 978-1-35188-729-8
  6. a b Emidio Campi: Peter Martyr Vermigli. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  7. z. B .: In Duos Libros Samuelis Prophetae qui vulgo priores libri regum appellantur [...] Commentarii doctissimi [...] . Zurich: Froschauer 1564
  8. ^ Otto Sigg , Zurich witch stories . In: Peter Niederhäuser (ed.): Persecuted, suppressed, forgotten? Shadow of the Reformation . Chronos Verlag, 2018, pp. 133–148