« Albati Alber, Erasmus Alber, Matthæus »

Alber, Erasmus

ALBER, ɑ̄l´ber, ERASMUS: Theologian and poet of the German Reformation; b. in the Wetterau (a district to the n.e. of Frankfort) about 1500; d. at Neubrandenburg (75 m. n. of Berlin) May 5, 1553. He studied at Mainz and Wittenberg, and was much influenced by Luther, Melanchthon, and Carlstadt. After teaching in several places, in 1527 he became pastor at Sprendlingen (15 m. s.w. of Mainz), in the Dreieich, where for eleven years he worked diligently for the extension of Reformation doctrines and made himself known as a writer. He was an extravagant admirer of Luther, and possessed a very sharp tongue, which he used as unsparingly against Reformers who did not agree with him as against Roman Catholics. Erratic tendencies grew upon him with years, and, after leaving Sprendlingen, he moved about much and was at times in want. Shortly before his death he was made pastor and superintendent at Neubrandenburg. His writings, though often rude and coarse, were forceful and popular. They include: a rhymed version of Æsop’s Fables, made at Sprendlingen (ed. W. Braune, Halle, 1892); Der Barfüsser Mönche Eulenspiegel und Alcoran (with preface by Luther, Wittenberg, 1542; Eng. transl., 1550), a satire directed against the Minorites, based upon a work of Bartolomeo Albizzi; and Wider die verfluchte Lehre der Carlstadter, Wiedertäufer, Rottengeister, Sakramentlästerer, Eheschänder, Musicverächter, Bilderstürmer, Feyerfeinde, und Verwüster aller guten Ordnung, published three years after his death. Of more permanent value are his hymns (ed. C. W. Stromberger, Halle, 1857), of which Nun freut euch Gottes Kinder all is used in German hymn-books and in English translation (O Children of your God, rejoice).

(T. Kolde).

Bibliography: F. Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Erasmus Alber, Dresden, 1886; Julian, Hymnology, pp. 34-35; H. Barge, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, i. 370 sqq., 491 sqq., ii. 512 sqq., et passim, Leipsic, 1905.

« Albati Alber, Erasmus Alber, Matthæus »
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