Rhenanus, Beatus

, a very eminent scholar and editor, was born, in 1485, at Schelestat, a town of Alsace. The name of his family was Bilde; that of Rhenanus had been adopted by his father, who had considerable property at Rhenac, his native place. His mother died in his infancy, and his father, who never married again, bestowed his whole attention for some years on his education. After some instruction in his own country, he was sent to Paris, where he studied Greek, rhetoric, and poetry, under the best masters. He then pursued his studies for some years at Strasburgh, and afterwards at Basil, where he contracted an intimacy with Erasmus that lasted during their lives, accompanied with mutual respect and friendship. In 1520, he returned to Scheiestat, in his thirty-fifth year, just in time to take leave of his father, who died the day after his arrival.

Dupin remarks, that Rhenanus was one of those learned men, who embrace no particular profession, and whose only business it is to cultivate the sciences, and their only ambition to become benefactors to the republic of letters. Rhenanus was so much disposed to this kind of life, that he obtained from Charles V. an exemption from all employment of a public nature. He had even no thoughts of marriage until near the end of his life, nor was that made public, as soon after he found himself attacked by the disorder which at last proved fatal. His physicians prescribed the waters of Baden, in Swisserland, but finding his disorder increase, he returned to Strasburgh, where he died, May 20, 1547, in his sixty-second year. He made no will but a verbal one. He left his library to his native place, Schelestat. He was a man of extraordinary mildness of temper, an enemy to contests, and of singular modesty and probity. Although, by his intimacy with Erasmus, and some of the early reformers, he was enabled to see many of the errors of the church of Rome, he adhered to her communion to the last: he said and wrote enough, | however, to be classed with some protestant writers on their side. Beza, who is one of those, attempts to distinguish the share he had in encouraging the efforts of the reformers, with that more general fame he derived from his services to literature, and joins cordially in the praises bestowed on his talents and amiable disposition. One only objection is mentioned by most of his biographers, and that is his parsimony, of which, however, no very clear proof is afforded, except a pun upon his name, “Beatus est beatus, attamen sibi.

His works are, l. a very valuable edition of “Tertulliani Opera,Basil, 1521, fol. from original Mss. Dupin speaks highly of the notes and prefaces, as well as of the author of them. 2. “Auctores historic Ecclesiasticae,” viz. Eusebius, Pamphilus, Nicephorus, Theodoret, &c. Basil, 1523, 1535, and Paris, 1541, 2 vols. fol. 3. “S. Basil. Sermo de differentia Usiaa et Hypostasis,Paris, 1513, fol. 4. “Synopsis de laudibus Calvitii cum scholiis,Basil, 1519, 4to, 1521 and 1551, 8vo, added also at the end of Erasmus’s “Moriae Encomium.” 5. “S. Gregorii Nanzianzeni oratio et Epistolae duae ad Themistium,Paris, 1513,. fol. 6. “A Latin translation of the works of Origen,” which Erasmus left unfinished, and was completed by our author, at Basil, 1536, fol. with a preface addressed to Herman, archbishop of Cologne, containing a life of Erasmus. This last he also incorporated in the dedication to Charles V. of the edition of Erasmus’s works, printed at Basil in 1540. 7. “Maximus Tyrius,Basil, 1519, fol. with Paccius’s translation, and a preface and corrections by Rhenanus. 8. “Baptista Guarinus de modo et ordine docendi ac discendi,” Strasburgh, 1514, 8vo. 9. “Marcelli Virgilii de militias laudibus,” &c. Basil, 1518, 4to. 10. “Luu. Bigi opusculorum metricorum libri, et Pontii Paulini carmen lambicum,” Strasburgh, 15C9, 4to. 11. “Thorns Mori epigrammata Latina, pleraque e Graecis versa, ad emendatum ipsius exemplar excusa,Basil, 1520.

12. “Velleius Paterculus,Basil, 1520, fol. the princeps editio, printed by Froben, and formed by the editor from the Codex Murbacensis; it is an edition of extreme rarity.

13. “Tacitus,Basil, 1533- and 1544. 14. “Livii decades tres,Basil, 1535, fol. often reprinted, and his notes added to subsequent editions. 15. “Senecae de morte Claudii ludns,” in Erasmus’s and some other editions of Seneca. 16. “Quintus Curtius,Basil, 1517, and | Strasburgh, 1518, fol. 17. < Piinii Hist. Nat.“Basil, 1526, fol. 18.” Joannis Geileri Keiserbergii, &c. vita,“prefixed to the” Navicula fatuorum,“1510, 4to. 19.” Æneae Platonici Christian! de immortalitate animse,“Basil, 1516, 4to. 20.” Xysti Enchiridion,“ibid. 1516, printed with the preceding. 21.” Licentii Evangeli Sacerdotis, pruefatio in Marsilii defensorem pacis pro Ludovico IV. Imp. adversus iniquas usurpationes ecclesiasticorum,“1522, fol. This is one of the works which brought on Rhenanus the charge of timidity, in not avowing his aversion to the usurpations of his church. He assumes here the name of Licentius Evangdus. 22.” Illyrici provinciarum utrique imperio, cum Romano, turn Constantinopolitanoservientisdescriptio,“published with the” Notitia dignitatum Imp. Romani,“Paris, 1602, 8vo. 23.” Procopii Csesariensis de rebus Gothorum,“&c. Basil, 1531, foi. 24. Rerum Gennanicarum libri tres,Basil, 1531, fol. Of this, which is esteemed one of his best works, there have been several editions, the last by Otto, 1693, 4to. 1


Melchior Adam. Freheri Theatrum. Dtipin. P,ullart Academic des Sciences, vol. 11. Bezae Icones. —Niceron, vol. XXXVIII. Jortiu’s Life of Erasmus. See Index.