Adam, Melchior

, a very useful biographer, lived in the 17th century. He was born in the territory of Grotkaw in Silesia, and educated in the college of Brieg, where the dukes of that name, to the utmost of their power, ^encouraged learning and the reformed religion as professed by Calvin. Here he became a firm Protestant, and was enabled to pursue his studies by the liberality of a person of quality, who had left several exhibitions for young students. He was appointed rector of a college at Heidelberg, where he published his first volume of Illustrious Men in the year 1615. This volume, which consists of philosophers, poets, writers on polite literature, historians, &c. was followed by three others; that which treats of | divines was printed in 1619; that of the lawyers came next; and finally, that of the physicians: the two last were published in 1620. All the learned men, whose lives are contained in these four volumes, lived in the 16th, or beginning of the 17th century, and are either Germans or Flemings; but he published, in 16 18, the lives of twenty divines cf other countries, in a separate volume. All his divines are Protestants. He has given but a few lives, yet the work cost him a great deal of time, having been obliged to abridge the pieces from whence he had materials, whether they were lives, funeral sermons, eulogies, prefaces, or memoirs of families. He omitted several persons who deserved a place in his work, as well as those he had taken notice of; which he accounts for, from the want of proper materials and authorities. The Lutherans were not pleased with him, for they thought him partial; nor will they allow his work to be a proper standard whereby to judge of the learning of Germany. His biographical collections were last published in one vol. fol. at Franc-fort, under the title, “Dignorum laude Virorum, quos Musa vetat mori, immortalitas.” His other works were, 1. “Apographum-Monumentorum Heidelbergensium,Heidelberg, 1612, 4to. 2. “Parodice et Metaphrases Horatianse,” Frapcfort, 1616, 8vo. 3. “Notae io Orationem Julii Caesaris Scaligeri pro M, T. Cicerone contra Ciceronianum Erasmi,1618; and he reprinted Erasmus’s dialogue “De optimo genere dicendi,1617. The Oxford catalogue erroneously ascribes to him the history of the churches of Hamburgh and Bremen, which, we have just seen, was the work of Adam de Bremen. His biographical works are, however, those which have preserved his name, and have been of great importance to all subsequent collections. He died in 1622. 1


Gen. Dict.—Moreri.—Saxii Onomasticon.