« Baldachin Balde, Jakob Baldensperger, Wilhelm »

Balde, Jakob

BALDE, bɑ̄l´dɑ, JAKOB: German Jesuit, distinguished as a scholar, poet, and preacher; b. at Ensisheim (55 m. s.s.w. of Strasburg), Alsace, Jan. 4, 1604; d. at Neuburg (29 m. n.n.e. of Augsburg), Bavaria, Aug. 9, 1668. He was destined for a legal career, and was educated by the Jesuits in his native town, at Molsheim, and at Ingolstadt. In 1624 he renounced the world and entered the Society, still continuing his classical studies, and teaching rhetoric at Munich and Innsbruck. In 1633 he was ordained; from 1635 to 1637 he was427 professor of rhetoric in the University of Ingolstadt; and from 1638 to 1640, after the death of Jeremias Drexel, court preacher to Maximilian I in Munich. Here he remained as historiographer of the duchy for ten years longer, but won more renown by the poetical compositions of the years 1637-46. His work in this period was lyrical (Lyrica, Munich, 1638-42; Sylvæ, 1641-45), but after 1649 he turned rather to satire and elegy. His health forced him to leave Munich in 1650, and after three years at Landshut and one at Amberg, he settled at Neuburg on the Danube, where he spent his last years in the peaceful dignity of the office of chaplain to the count palatine Philip William. His memory, which had to a great extent died out, was revived at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Herder, Orelli, and others, and his name has since been increasingly honored, especially by the efforts of the Munich society, founded in 1868, which bears it. He well deserves this renown from more than one point of view. He was a great classical scholar, a positive reincarnation of Roman antiquity. As a Latin poet (his small body of vernacular work is far inferior) he displays a wonderful array of excellent qualities—vivid imagination, depth of thought and feeling, brilliant invention and composition, and mastery of the most difficult forms. The characteristic universal scholarship of his age is best shown in his Urania Victrix (1663), which touches every branch of knowledge. Besides the works already mentioned, and some epics belonging to his first period, his Philomela (1645), full of devotion to the Crucified, his Elegiæ variæ (1663), and his amusing satires on quack doctors and other impostors in Medicinæ gloria (1649) may be named.

F. List.

Bibliography: His collected works were first published in complete form at Munich, 1729, the earlier editions at Cologne, 1660 and 1718, being defective; his Carrnina lyrica appeared, ed. B. Müller, Regensburg, 1884. Consult L. Brunner, J. Balde, la grand poète de l’Alsace. Notice historique et littéraire, Guebwiller, 1865; J. Bach, Jacob Balde, der neulateinische Dichter des Elsasses, Strasburg, 1885; F. Tauchert, Herder’s griechische und morgenländische Anthologie und seine Uebersetzungen von J. Balde, p. 176, Munich, 1886.

« Baldachin Balde, Jakob Baldensperger, Wilhelm »
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