Sturm, Johann

Sturm, Johann
(1507-1589)
   German humanist and educator. Born at Schleidan in the Rhineland, he studied at Louvain, learning Greek from Rutger Regius, with whom he collaborated in publishing editions of Greek texts for teaching. In 1529 he went to Paris for fur-ther study. There he became involved in efforts to ally King Francis I with the German Protestants. In 1536 Sturm moved to Strasbourg to teach in the new Protestant town school, and when it was reorganized in 1538, he became the school's rector. The city govenment intended to use the school to educate Christian citizens, but Sturm emphasized broader aims, such as the need for study of natural philosophy and an-cient literature, and especially for mastery of Latin. His educational theories and practices were described in his De literarum ludis recte aperiendis / On Correctly Establishing Literary Studies (1538) and in a collection of letters explaining his educational theories to his own teachers, Classicae epistolae sive scholae Argentinenses / Letters for the Classes of the Strasbourg School (1565 and 1573). The underlying principle of his school was to proceed in a sequential order so that stu-dents moved from simpler to more complex problems. The school's great success spread his method and his writings throughout Germany.
   Sturm also edited and published editions of Latin and Greek texts for use in teaching. Cicero was the most important author studied; nine of Sturm's 14 editions were Ciceronian works. Sturm edited several Greek rhetoricians, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, and a collection of Plato's dialogues for student use. He published com-mentaries on Cicero's orations, three treatises on the education of no-bles and princes, and a collection of his correspondence with the English educator Roger Ascham. His educational treatises and edi-tions of classical authors were reprinted frequently. Sturm laid great emphasis on rhetoric, for he believed that rhetorical skill permitted orderly solution of social problems and promoted the general welfare of society. Despite the success of his school, he was dismissed as rec-tor in 1581 because he opposed the introduction of Lutheran doc-trines to replace the Reformed doctrines of Martin Bucer that had prevailed in the early Strasbourg Reformation.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.


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