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Joachim Camerarius

Joachim Camerarius (April 12, 1500April 17, 1574), the Elder, German classical scholar, was born at Bambergmarker, Bavariamarker. His family name was Liebhard, but he was generally called Kammermeister, previous members of his family having held the office of chamberlain (camerarius) to the bishops of Bamberg.

He studied at Leipzigmarker, Erfurtmarker and Wittenbergmarker, where he became intimate with Melanchthon. For some years he was teacher of history and Greek at the gymnasium in Nuremberg. In 1530 he was sent as deputy for Nuremberg to the diet of Augsburg, where he rendered important assistance to Melanchthon in drawing up the Augsburg Confession.

Five years later he was commissioned by Duke Ulrich of Württemberg to reorganize the university of Tübingenmarker; and in 1541 he rendered a similar service at Leipzig, where the remainder of his life was chiefly spent. He translated into Latin Herodotus, Demosthenes, Xenophon, Homer, Theocritus, Sophocles, Lucian, Theodoretus, Nicephorus, Ptolemy and other Greek writers. He published upwards of 150 works, including a Catalogue of the Bishops of the Principal Sees; Greek Epistles; Accounts of his Journeys, in Latin verse; a Commentary on Plautus; a treatise on Numismatics; Euclid in Latin; a book of horsemanship, Hippocomicus; and the Lives of Helius Eobanus Hessus, George of Anhalt and Philipp Melanchthon. His Epistolae Familiares (published after his death) are a valuable contribution to the history of his time.

He played an important part in the Reformation movement, and his advice was frequently sought by leading men. In 1535 he entered into a correspondence with Francis I as to the possibility of a reconciliation between the Catholic and Protestant creeds; and in 1568 Maximilian II sent for him to Viennamarker to consult him on the same subject. He died at Leipzigmarker on 17 April 1574.


  • A. Horawitz in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie.
  • Conrad Bursian, Die Geschichte der klassischen Philologie in Deutschland (1883).
  • John Edwin Sandys, Hist. Class. Schol. (ed. 1908), ii. 266.

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