Grynæus, Simon

, a very learned German, was thg son of a peasant of Suabia, and born at Veringen in the county of Hohenzollern in 1493. He pursued his studies in Pfortsheim at the same time with Melancthon, which gave rise to a lasting friendship between them. He then went for farther instruction to Vienna, and there taking the degree of master in philosophy* was appointed Greek professor. Having embraced the protestant religion, he was exposed to many dangers; and particularly in Baden, of which he was some years rector of the school. He was thrown into prison at the instigation of the friars; but at the solicitation of the nobles of Hungary, was set at liberty, and retired to Wittemberg, where he had a conference with Luther and Melancthon. Being returned to his native country, he was invited to Heidelberg, to be Greek professor in that city, in 1523. He exercised this employment till 1529, when he was invited to Basil to teach publicly in that city. In 1531, he took a journey into England, and carried with him a recommendatory letter from Erasmus to William Montjoy, dated Friburg, March 18, 1531. After desiring Montjoy to assist Grynaeus as much as he could, in shewing him libraries, and introducing him to learned men, Erasmus recommends him as a man perfectly skilled in Latin and Greek, a good philosopher and mathematician, and a man of humble manners, whose object was to visit the libraries, &c. Erasmus recommended him also to sir Thomas More, from whom he received the highest civilities, In 1534, he was employed, in conjunction with other persons, in reforming the church and school of Tubingen. He returned to Basil in 1536, and in 1540 was appointed to go to the conferences of Worms, with Melancthon, Capito, Bucer, Calvin, &c. He died, of the plague at Basil in 1541.

He did great service to the commonwealth of learning, by publishing valuable editions of several ancient authors. Among these was the “Almagest” of Ptolemy in Greek, which he published at Basil in 1538, and added a preface concerning the use of that author’s doctrine. He also published a GreekEuclid,” with a preface, in 1533, and Plato’s works with some commentaries of Proclus, in 1534. His edition of Plato was addressed to John More, the chancellor’s son, as a testimony of gratitude for favours received from the father; and the following passage in the dedication shews sir Thomas, as well as Grynseus, in a very | amiable light. “It is, you know, three years, since arriving in England, and being recommended most auspiciously hy my friend Erasmus to your house, the sacred seat of the muses, I was there received with great kindness, was entertained with greater, was dismissed with the greatest of all. For that great and excellent man your father, so eminent for his high rank and noble talents, not only allowed me, a private and obscure person (such was his love of literature), the honour of conversing with him in the midst of many public and private affairs, gave me a place at his table, though he was the greatest man in England, took me with him when he went to court or returned from it, and had me ever by his side, but also with the utmost gentleness and candour inquired, in what particulars my religious principles were different from his; and though he found them to vary greatly, yet he was so kind as to assist me in every respect, and even to defray all my expences. He likewise sent me to Oxford*


Anthony Wood very unguardedly reflects upon Grynaeus for carrying off several Greek books from the libraries in Oxford, “because he saw the owners were careless of them;” and refers to Bryan Twyne’s “Apologia.” in which there occurs nothing that will warrant such a charge, Grantr:

with one Mr. Harris, a learned young gentleman, and recommended me so powerfully to the university, that at the sight of his letters all the libraries were open to me, and I was admitted to the most intimate familiarity with the students.”

He had a son, Samuel Grynaeus, born at Basil in 1539, who was made professor of eloquence there at the age of twenty-five. He had also a nephew, Thomas, who was born in 1512. He pursued his studies under the auspices of his uncle, and taught the Latin and Greek languages at Berne. He also read public lectures at Basil, and was a great supporter of the reformed religion. He left four sons, all of whom were eminent for their learning. One of them is the subject of our next article. 1


Gen. Dict. Ath- Ox. vol. I. —Moreri. More’s Life of Sir T. More, &c.