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Johannes Trithemius, humanist of the late Middle Ages

In the year 1462, two years before the death of the important humanist and prelate of the church Nikolaus von Kues (Nicholas Cusanus), another important humanist scholar of the late middle ages named Johannes Trithemius was born in Trittenheim on the Mosel, just a few kilometers upriver from Kues. In 1482, after attending schools in Trier, Cologne, in the Netherlands and in Heidelberg, he entered the Benedictine monastery Sponheim in the Nahe valley. Shortly afterwards he was made Abbott. Under his influence, the monastery evolved into a center of humanistic scholarship. The library that he set up contained about 2000 volumes and was an exceptional scientific collection. He gained literary fame through his "De Scriptoribus ecclesiaticis", a reference work on church writers that is still used today. Some of his writings, though, are controversial.

Photo: This portrait of Johannes Trithemius was painted around 1510 and was created by the Augsburg painter and graphic artist Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531).

vSpacer hSpacer Portrait of Johannes Trithemius by Hans Burgkmair from 1510 (Nahe Valley) rFrame
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