Langius, Rodolph

, a gentleman of Westphalia, and provost of the cathedral church of Minister towards the end of the fifteenth century, distinguished himself by his learning, and by his zeal for the restoration of polite literature. He went through his first studies at Deventer, and was afterwards sent into Italy, where, under the greatest masters in literature, Laurence Valla, Mapheus Vegius, Francis Philelphus, and Theodore Gaza, he acquired an elegant Latin style both in verse and prose. His fellow-travellers in this journey were Maurice count of Spiegelberg and Rodolph Agricola, who, on their return to Germany, were the first to introduce proper methods of classical teaching, and to restore the purity of the Latin language. Langius being sent to the court of Rome by the bishop and chapter of Munster, under pope Sixtus IV. acquitted himself with great credit, and came back with letters from this pope and from Lorenzo de Medici, which gave him so much consequence in the eyes of his countrymen, that he was enabled more successfully to banish from the schools the ignorance which prevailed there. He was obliged, however, to struggle some years with those who objected that the introduction of a new method of teaching was dangerous; but at length he overcame those prejudices, and persuaded his bishop to found a school at Munster, the direction of which was committed to learned men, to whom he pointed out the method they were to follow, and the books they were to explain, ann gave them the use of his fine library. This school being thus established a little before the end of the fifteenth century, became very flourishing, and served as a nursery of literature to all Germany till the Revolutions which were occasioned at Munster by the anabaptists in the year 1554. Langius died in 1519, at the age of fourscore. He published some poems at Munster, 1486, 4to, by which, says Bayle, it appears | that there were Latin poets of some reputation in Germany before Conrad Celtes. Rodolph Agricola dedicated his Latin translation of Plato’s “Axiochus” to Langius. 1


Gen. Dict.—Saxii Onomast.