Philipp Melanchthon

Portrait: Philipp Melanchthon
Philipp Melanchthon, copper engraving by Albrecht Dürer, 1526
Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover / Wikimedia Commons

Philipp Melanchthon

The humanist

There can be no doubt that the way of life that consists of teaching and learning stands as the greatest grace of God.

Philipp Melanchton

Philipp Schwartzerdt was a man of small stature, susceptible to illness but exceptionally talented. Using the Greek form of his name, Melanchthon, he became one of the most revered scholars of the Renaissance period. At the mere age of 21, he authored a textbook on Greek grammar. This was followed by further educational works on subjects such as rhetoric, ethics, physics, history and geography. As a professor at the University of Wittenberg, Melanchthon enthralled students with his captivating lectures. His influence on formal education led to his receiving of the title of “Praeceptor Germaniae” (“teacher of Germany”).

Alongside Martin Luther, Melanchthon campaigned for the political and ecclesiastical ideas of the Reformation. His work Loci communes rerum theologicarum (Common Places in Theology) from 1521 is the earliest piece of doctrine of the Evangelical Church.