BRUECK, brük (PONTANUS, real name HEINSE, HENISCH, HEINCZ), GREGORIUS: German jurist; b. at Brück (22 m. n. of Wittenberg) c. 1484; d. at Jena Feb. 15, 1557. He studied at Wittenberg and Frankfort-on-the Oder, and became so famous


as the secretary and representative of the jurist Hennig Göde that princes and critics sought his advice. Frederick the Wise invited him to his court, and after the death of the electoral councilor Degenhard Pfeffinger (1519), Brück seems to have taken his place. He was soon interested in Luther, and it was not without significance that he accompanied the elector to Cologne and Worms. Having returned to Wittenberg, Brück received the degree of doctor of law, and soon afterward was appointed chancellor. His tact and ability greatly helped the cause of the Reformation, and the development of the Evangelical Church. He was instrumental in bringing about the Torgau-Magdeburg confederations; he advised the elector at the diets held at Speyer in 1526 and 1529, and it was due to him, next to Luther, that the Pack-disturbances did not lead to a general war. But his greatest services were rendered at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. He not only gave the first impulse to the composition of the Augsburg Confession, but he took part in the preparation of its details, wrote the introduction to it, caused it to be read in public, and gave to the emperor the Latin copy in the name of the Evangelical estates. He would not be intimidated, but, on the contrary, encouraged the timid, and acted as spokesman in all public debates, so that his eloquence and ability were even recognized by his opponents. Cochlœus, well aware of the importance of Brück, vainly tried to induce him to abandon the Lutherans by an "Admonition to Peace and Unity." Brück's reply is unknown, for at the time he was engaged in writing a true account of events at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530, which was first printed in Förstemann's Archiv für die Geschichte der kirchlichen Reformation (Halle, 1831). Brück attended all diets held during his lifetime, and he also strove for the consolidation of the Church, finally succeeding in 1542 in forming a permanent consistory. For a time he resided at Wittenberg, but after the disastrous end of the Schmalkald War, which he had consistently opposed, he followed the sons of the Elector to Weimar, remaining a loyal friend of the imprisoned Frederick. Still later Brück retired to Jena, where he died.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: CR, xii. 351 contains the Oratio de Gregorio Pontano (by Melanchthon); J. A. Wimmer, Vita Gregorii Pontani, Altenburg, 1730; T. Kolde, in ZHT, 1874, pp. 34 sqq.


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