SPALATIN, GEORG (1484-1545)
Letters, 1528-1536.


EXTENT: 2 leafs; .02 cubic ft.

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CITATION: Georg Spalatin, Letter, MSS 122, Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University. 

Biographical Note

"G. Spalatin (real name Burckhardt; Jan. 17, 1484-Jan. 16, 1545) German jurist and promoter of the Reformation. Born at Spalt near Nuremberg, studied at Erfurt and Wittenberg, terminated his study of law at Erfurt in 1505, and became a teacher in cloister Georgenthal. In 1507 he became pastor at Hohenkirchen and in 1508 he was consecrated as a priest, but the Erfurt humanist regard this merely as the basis of financial security. In 1509 he entered the service of Frederick the Wise of Saxony as tutor of Prince John Frederick. From 1511 to 16 he taught Princes Otto and Ernst of Brunswick-Lueneburg at Wittenberg and in 1512 became librarian of the elector's castle library. From 1516 he was the most trusted counselor of Frederick the Wise (privy secretary, historiographer, father confessor, and court chaplain). He was particularly responsible for church an university affairs. It was this function that enabled him to give assistance to the cause of Luther whom he had learned to know in 1513. He gained the elector's good will for Luther, served as go-between, and always stood at Luther's side with his good counsel. The correspondence between him and Luther is very extensive. As pastor of Altenburg (where he had been a member of the monastery chapter since 1511) he reformed city and monastery in 1525. From 1526 he participated in visitations which led to the introduction of the Reformation in the electorate of Saxony. Later he also took part in the visitation held in the duchy of Saxony. After Frederick's death in 1525, he served his successors in solving church problems. He cooperated in drafting the Augsburg Confession. 'Annals of Saxony' is his most important literary work. His translations of the Latin works of Luther, Erasmus, and Melanchthon became noteworthy."

(Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, Vol 3 Page 224)

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of two letters written by Georg Spalatin. The first letter, on paper measuring 22 x 33 cm., is written to the "Noble and Right worthy Heinrich von Einsiedel" in Gnansteyn. The matter being addressed is the refusal of Brosius Berger to take an oath, thus hindering Katharina Gockritz from getting married. Mention of consultation with Doctor Martin [Luther] is in the letter. With the exception of the upper right corner which is missing, the paper is in good condition. The date "1528" appears in the upper left corner in a different ink.

The second letter is on paper and measures 22.1 x 21.8 cm. The letter is written to Heinrich von Einsiedel and was enclosed with a copy of a sermon by Philipp Melanchthon. Within the body of the letter, Spalatin entreats Einsiedel to "exert your goodwill on the work's behalf". The letter is dated 1536.

Also included with the collection are copies of translations and transcriptions of each letter, prepared by Andreas Baudler in December 2005.

Last Modified: 2006 November 14