FLORUS, GESSIUS: Last Roman procurator of Judea (84-6 A.D.), successor of Albinus. He was a native of Clasomensa (on the south side of the Bay of Smyrna) and obtained his office through the .friendship of his wife, Cleopatra, with the empress, Poppma. His cruelty, tyranny, and shameless corruption surpassed that of all his predecessors and led to the final revolt of the Jews, which cost them their national independence. Suetonius (Yeapmian, iv.) says he perished in the revolt, but

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Joeephus (Life, vi.) says merely "he was beaten, and many of those with him fell."

Bibliography: JoeePhu0. Ant XVIII., i. 8, XR., s. 1; War, II., uv. 2, 4, xv. 1. 2, ztn. 1; Taoitna. Hist.. v. 10; H. Greets, Geathidvta der Judea: iii. 445-446. 450 mlq·. Leipsic. 1888: Schürer, geschichte, i. 585, 801 sqq., Eng. transl., L, ii. 190-191. 208 edq.

FLUE (FLUEHE), NIKOLAUS VON (DER), commonly known as "Brother Klaus": Swiss hermit; b. at FtBeli (Fliihli, 12 m, a. of Lucerne), in the canton of Unterwalden, Mar. 21, 1417; d. in his hermit's cell at the Ranft, in the ravine of the Melchaa, below Flileli, Mar. 21, 1487. He descended from a distinguished family, and at first devoted himself to the management of his inherited property. He also served his country well, both in the army and in civil life. In 1482 he appeared in Stags as representative of Obwalden (the western part of Unterwalden) is settling a dispute between the monastery of Engelberg and the church of Stana. He married in 1450, and was the father of five sons and five daughters when he resolved in 1487 to renounce his worldly life. He left his home and passed over the Jura Mountains until he came to the region of Liestal; but a vision and the counsel of a peasant induced him to return to Obwalden. At first he settled in the mountains near Melchthal, but later approached more closely to his home and settled in the Ranft, a desolate place in the mountains, about a quarter of an hour from the home of his family. The congregation of f3achseln built him a small cell and beside it a chapel. In 1482 Brother Klaus founded here partly from his own property a chaplaincy and sacristy. But be did not always remain in his isolation; he wandered about in the neighborhood, and undertook pilgrimages to Einaiedeln and Engelberg. He went about barefooted and bareheaded, his only garment a long gown of coarse gray wool. He renounced all comforts of life, sleeping on the floor of his cell and eating hardly any food. Owing to his severe fasts, people thought that he lived with= out other food than the sacramental elements and his widespread fame originated undoubtedly in this belief. Prominent visitors from afar came to his remote cell, among them Johann Geilerof Kaisersberg, the famous Strasburg preacher, in 1472; the Saxon nobleman Hans von Waldheim, coun-

t' cilor of Halls in 1474; and Albrecht von Bonstetten, dean of Einaiedeln in 1478, who, in 1479, recorded o- his impressions in a book. People came in such

crowds that the famous hermit had to ask the authorities of Obwalden for relief. They were attracted by the miraculous halo of the reputed saint, but also by his earnest admonitions and his striking utterances, which exhibit knowledge of life

and intelligent observation.

The hermit obtained his greatest fame by his successful arbitration in the dissensions of the confederate states of Switzerland, which threatened to bring on a civil war. In 1477 five cities; Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Solothurn, and Freiburg formed a league to protect themselves against the tumultuous gatherings of rural communities.. But Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Zug, the seats of these insurrectionary gatherings, protested against the ad-


mission of Lucerne into the new league because there had existed since 1332 an agreement between them and that canton that it should not enter a new league without their consent. They also protested against the admission of Solothurn and Freiburg to guard against a preponderance of the cities over the rural element. In the time from 1478 to 1481 the dissensions approached their climax. A last meeting was held in Dec., 1481, in Stans, and it was almost dissolved when Heini am Grund, preacher of Stans, rushed in with a message from Brother Maus which restored peace among the dissenting parties. The .noble deed of the hermit was greatly esteemed and honored all over the country. Six years afterward he was buried in Sachseln. In 1600 a chapel was built over his grave beside the church of Sachseln.

The veneration of the hermit increased after his death, and legends began to cluster around the history of his life. Bullinger expresses true ad miration for him in his history of the Reformation, and Luther published in 1528 in union with Spera tus a vision of Bruder Clausen in Schwytz. In 1590 the Roman Catholics of Switzerland asked the pope to canonize the hermit; but the pro ceedings instituted to this end in 1591 were not successful; they were reinstituted a second and a third time, also without success. In 1669 nothing more than a beatification could be obtained from Clement IX. In 1887 the four hundredth an niversary of the death of Nikolaus was solemnly celebrated.

(G. Meyer von Knonau.)

Bibliography: A list of the voluminous literature on Nikolaus up to 1875 is found in E. L. Rochholz, Schurei zerlegende von Bruder Klaus, pp. 255-309, Aarau, 1875. Consult: J. Ming, Der aelige Bruder Nikolaus von Flae, 3 vols., Lucerne, 1861-71; J. 1. von Ali, Des . . . Ein eiedlera Nikolaus von FIQe Leben and Wirken, Einsiedein, 1887; F. X. Wetzel, Der aelige Nikolaua von Flits, ib. 1887.


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