Gratius, Ortuinus

, a native of Holhwic in the diocese of Minister, whose name was Graes, taught ethics and philosophy at Cologn, in a college of which he became the head, and died there May 22, 1542. His attachment to the catholic religion involved him in disputes with Reuchlin, Hutten, and other professors; who, to ridicule the style of the Romish divines, the monks, and some religious ceremonies, are supposed to have published “Epistolos obscurorum virorum ad Dominum Magistrum Ortuinum Gratium,1516 and 1517, 4to, in two parts, of which there have been editions since. But it is more probable that this book was really written by Van Hutten and John Jaeger, alias John Crotus, Luther’s contemporary and friend, and who afterwards returned to the church of Rome, and was then reproached by Christopher Olearius for writing such a satire. Erasmus is said to have been so pleased with it, as to be thrown into a violent fit of laughter, which burst an imposthume in his face. In 1710, a beautiful edition was published in 12 mo, at London, dedicated to the author of the Tatler. It was condemned by Leo X. March 15, 1517; and Gratius wrote in opposition to it, “Lamentationes obscurorum virorum non prohibits per Sedem Apostolicam,” Cologn, 1518, 8vo, reprinted in 1649. He also published “Triumphus B. Job,” in elegiac verse, in three books, Cologn, 1537, folio; “Fasciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum,” Cologn, 1535, folio, reprinted under the inspection of Edward Brown, London, 1690, 2 vols. folio; which is a curious collection of pieces respecting the council of Basil. 1