Brixius, Germain

, a learned Frenchman, was born about the end of the fifteenth century, at Auxerre, or in that diocese; and in his education made great progress in the learned languages, particularly the Greek, from which he translated into Latin, Chrysostom’s treatise on the priesthood; his first eight homilies on the epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, and some other works, which contributed very much to his reputation. He used frequently to compose Greek verses, with which he entertained the literati at his house, where they were sure of an open table. From 1512 he was secretary to queen Anne, and archdeacon of Albi. In 1515 he had a canonry conferred upon him in the church of Auxerre, which, in 1520, he resigned, on being promoted to the same rank at Paris. He calls himself almoner to the king in the title of his rare book “Germani Brixii, gratulatoriae quatuor ad totidem viros classissimos, &c.Paris, 1531, 4to. This contains also four letters to Erasmus, Jerome Vida, Sadolet, and Lazarus Bayf, with some Latin poetry addressed to Francis I. on a marble statue of Venus, which the chevalier Ilenz had presented to that sovereign. He published also an edition of Longolius’s defences, “Christ. Longolii perduellionis rei detensiones duae,1520. Brixius died in 1538. He was the familiar acquaintance of Rabelais, and long the correspondent of Erasmus, but what more particularly entitles him to notice here, is his quarrel with sir Thomas More, on which some of the biographers of that illustrious character have been either silent, or superficial. Brixius in 151*3 composed a poem called “Chordigera,”. where in three hundred hexameter verses, he described a battle fought that year by a French ship, la Cordeliere, and an English ship, the Regent. More, who was not then in the high station which he afterwards reached, composed several epigrams in derision of this poem. Brixius, piqued at this affront, revenged himself by the “AntiMorus,” an elegy of about 400 verses, in which he severely censured all the faults which he thought he had found in the poems of More. Yet he kept this piece of satire by him for some time, declaring, that if he should consent to the publication, it would be purely to comply with his friends, who remonstrated to hirn, that compositions of this kind lost much of their bloom by coming out late. There are three editions of the Anti-Morus. The two first are of Paris; one published by himself, in 1520, | the other in 1560, in the second volume of the “Flores Epigrammatum” of Leodegarius a Quercu, or Leger du Che’ne. The third is in the “Corpus Poetarum Latinorum” collected by Janus Gruterus, under the anagrammatic name of Ranutius Gerus. Erasmus says that More despised this poem so much as to have intended to print it; Erasmus at the same time advised More to take no notice of it. The chancellor’s great-grandson and biographer, More, seems to think that he had written something in answer to Brixius, before he received this advice from Erasmus, but called in the copies, “so that,” says his biographer, “it is now very hard to be found; though some have seen it of late.” Much correspondence on the subject may be perused in our authorities. 1


Moreri. Jortin’s Life of Erasmus. More’s Life of sir T. More, p. 13. Baillet Jugmens des Savans.