BRESLAU, BISHOPRIC OF: A diocese which is shown to be already in existence at the date of the foundation of the archbishopric of Gnesen (1000). Probably it was established not long before that date, presumably not by Otto III, but by Duke Boleslav Chrobry of Poland. The original extent of the diocese can not be determined, but in later times it was nearly coextensive with the present province of Silesia, including also the Meissen district on the western side of the Queis.
A line of unusually excellent bishops administered the see with success until the sixteenth century; but Jacob von Salza (1520-39) was too weak to stand against the rising tide of the Reformation, and his successor, Balthasar von Promnitz, was even inclined to Lutheran doctrines. From 1608 to 1664 the see was occupied by three archdukes of Austria and a prince of Poland, who had little care for religion, and when Silesia came under Frederick II of Prussia Protestantism was still more encouraged. In 1821 the diocese, which is now partly in Germany and partly in Austria and numbers about two million souls, was made an exempt bishopric.
BRETSCHNEIDER, bret'shnai"der, KARL GOTTLIEB: German theologian; b. at Gersdorf (40 m. e. of Dresden), Saxony, Feb. 11, 1776; d. at Gotha Jan. 22, 1848; studied at Leipsic; appointed minister at Schneeberg, 1807, superintendent at Annaberg, 1808, and superintendent-general at Gotha, 1816. Ha was a prolific writer and took an active part in controversies. Among, his principal works may be mentioned: Lexicon manuale Grśco-Latinum in libros Novi Testamenti (Leipsic, 1824; 3d ed., 1840); Systematische Entwickelung aller in der Dogmatik vorkommenden Begriffe (1805; 4th ed., 1841); Handbuch der Dogmatik (1814; 4th ed., 1838). He founded the series of reprints called the Corpus reformatorum (Halle, 1834 sqq.), in which the works of Melanchthon and Calvin have appeared, to which Zwingli will be added. His standpoint was that of the so-called rational supernaturalism—a rather untenable ground between rationalism and supernaturalism.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: K. G. Bretschneider, Aus meinem Leben; Selbstbiographie, ed. H. Bretschneider (his son), Gotha, 1852.
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