- Crotus Rubianus
- (Johannes Jäger, 1480-ca. 1545)German humanist, one of the circle of Erfurt humanists who were close to Mutianus Rufus. Born to a peasant family in Thuringia, Crotus (a classicized name he adopted in 1509) studied at the University of Erfurt, where he was acquainted with young Martin Luther and became a close friend of Ulrich von Hutten. Sometime after he received his B.A. degree in 1502, he and Hutten moved to Cologne, where he matriculated in 1505 but stayed for only a year before returning to Erfurt and completing the M.A. degree in 1507. He became a priest and from 1510 was headmaster of a school attached to the abbey at Fulda.Crotus was a skillful Latin poet, much admired for his poems in praise of Erfurt (1507) and his Bucolicon (1509). He became an out-spoken supporter of the humanist Johann Reuchlin during the latter's conflict with the Dominican theologians of Cologne and was the principal author of the famous satirical attack on the Cologne theologians, Epistolae obscurorum virorum / Letters of Obscure Men (1515). His satire ridiculed the narrowness, pretentiousness, and self-serving conservatism of his antagonists but avoided the savage personal attacks typical of the second part of the satire, published in 1517 and written mainly by Hutten. In 1517 he went to Italy and obtained a doctorate of theology at Bologna.Crotus returned to Germany in 1520 and became professor of theology at Erfurt. As the elected rector of the university for the winter term 1520-1521, Crotus enthusiastically welcomed Martin Luther when Luther passed through town on his way to his hearing at the Diet of Worms. Though initially sympathetic to Luther, Crotus was unwilling to support open defiance of church authority.In 1524 he entered the service of Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach, grand master of the Teutonic Knights. In this capacity, he played a role in carrying out Albert's decision to turn Lutheran, secularize his ecclesiastical principality, and transform his state into the hereditary duchy of Prussia. But Crotus was personally reluctant to endorse the change of religion and left Albert's service in 1530. A year later he entered the service of Albert's kinsman, Albert of Brandenburg, archbishop-elector of Mainz. His subsequent activity as an anti-Lutheran pamphleteer cost him the friendship of a number of humanists, such as Eobanus Hessus and Justus Jonas, but he became close to other humanists who had sup-ported Luther only briefly but then became defenders of the Catholic church.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.