« Agrippa Castor Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius Aguirre, Joseph Saenz de »

Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius

AGRIPPA VON NETTESHEIM, net´´tes´´hɑim´, HEINRICH CORNELIUS: Scholar and adventurer; b. at Cologne, of noble family, Sept. 14,1486; d. at Grenoble 1535. He studied at Cologne and Paris, and took part in some obscure enterprise in Spain (1507-08); lectured at the University of Dôle, in Franche-Comté, on Reuchlin’s De verbo mirifico (1509), and aroused the opposition of certain monks; was sent to England on a political mission by the emperor (1510); returned to Cologne and lectured on quæstiones quodlibetales; served in the imperial army in Italy from 1511 to 1518, and during the same period went to the Council of Pisa as a theologian (1511), and lectured on medicine, jurisprudence, and Hermes Trismegistus in Pavia and Turin. He was appointed syndic at Metz in 1518, but had to flee from the Inquisition two years later. He entered the service of the Duke of Savoy, practised medicine at Freiburg (1523); became physician to the queen mother of France, but was expelled and fled to the Netherlands (1529); was appointed historiographer to Charles V. and lived for some years under the protection of Archbishop Hermann of Cologne, but finally returned to France, where he died. Of his two most celebrated works, the De occulta philosophia (written 1509-10; first printed, book i.; Antwerp, 1531; books i.-iii., Cologne, 1533) is a compilation from the Neoplatonists and the Cabala and gives a plan of the world with an exposition of the “hidden powers” which the learning of the time thought it necessary to assume for the explanation of things; the other, De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum et artium (written 1526; printed 1527), is a compilation from the Humanists and Reformers, and gives a skeptical criticism not only of all-sciences, but of life itself. A collected edition of Agrippa’s works was published at Lyons in 1600.

Bibliography: H. Morley, The Life of Henry Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, 2 vols., London, 1856.

« Agrippa Castor Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius Aguirre, Joseph Saenz de »


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