Doringk, Matthias

, a writer of the fifteenth century, was born at Kiritz, in the marche of | Brandenburgh, and was very young when he became a monk of the order of St. Francis. After studying philosophy and theology with distinguished success, he became eminent not only as a preacher, but as a lecturer on the scriptures at Erfurt, and professor of theology at Magdeburgh. He was likewise made minister of his order in the province of Saxe, and held that office in 1431, at which time the Landgrave of Thuringia wrote several letters to him, instructing him to introduce some reform amono 1 the Franciscans of Eisenac. About the same time he was sent as one of the deputies to the council of Basil, by that party of his order who adhered to that council. It was either then, or as some think, ten years later, that he was raised to be general of his order. Whether he had been dismissed, or whether he resigned the office of minister of Saxe, he held it only six years, and went afterwards to pass the rest of his days in the monastery of Kiritz, where he devoted himself to meditation and study, and wrote the greater part of his works. The time of his death is a disputed point. Casimir Oudin gives 1494 as the date of that event, which Marchand, with some probability reduces to 1464.

While he was professor at Magdeburg, at which time strictures and objections against the short commentaries on the scriptures of Nicholas de Lyra, were published by Paul de Burgos, Doringk undertook their defence and farther illustration. The different pieces which he wrote on these subjects were collected together, and inserted in an edition comprehending the works of both those authors, published in Paris, in six volumes folio, in 1590. This work was well received, and went through several editions. To Doringk some have ascribed the “Miroir Historial,” commonly known by the name of “The Chronicle of Nuremberg,” and therefore considered him as the forerunner of the illustrious Luther, the Chronicle being written with spirit and energy against the vices of the cardinals, the bishops, and the popes, and also against jubilees and indulgences. But there is more reason to think that the Nuremberg Chronicle was the work of another hand, as Marchand has detailed at considerable length. It appears that a Chronicle which Doringk partly composed, may have given rise to this supposition. It is entitled “Chronica brevis et utilis ex speculo historiali Vincentii et aliorum, Eusebii, Hieronymi, &c. et alioruin historicorum, | collecta, et continuata a Matthia Doringk, usque ad annum 1494.” This remains in ms. in the library of the university of Leipsic, but the date at least must be wrong, if Marchand’s conjecture as to the period of Doringk’s death be just. He is said to have compiled also a continuation of the Chronicle of Theodore Engelhusius from 1420 to 1498, which is printed in the collection of German historians by Mencken. In this Doringk confessedly takes those liberties with the characters of the popes and cardinals, which are to be found in the Nuremberg Chronicle, and such a coincidence may have strengthened the supposition that he was the author of the latter. The reader will find all that can be advanced on the subject in our first authority. 1