Wier, John

, an able physician, called in Latin Wierus, and sometimes Piscinarius, was born in 1515, at Grave, on the Meuse, in the duchy of Brabant, of a noble family. He studied philosophy under the famous Henry Cornelius Agrippa; made several voyages even to Africa, but returned again into Europe, and was physician to the duke of Cleves during thirty years. Wier had so strong a constitution, that he frequently passed three or four days without eating gr drinking, and found not the least inconvenience from it. He died suddenly Feb. 4, 1588, at Tecklenbourg, a German town in the circle of Westphalia, in the seventy-third year of his age. His works were printed at Amsterdam, 1660, one volume, quarto, which includes his treatise “De Prestigiis et Incantationibus,” translated into French, by James Grevin 1577, 8vo. He maintains in this work, that those accused of witchcraft were persons whose brain was disordered by melancholy, whence they imagined falsely, and without any reason, that they had dealings with the devil, and were therefore deserving of pity rather than of punishment. It seems strange that, with this opinion, Wier should in other instances give the readiest credit to fabulous stories. The above mentioned book made much noise. 2


Jbloy —Dict. Hist. de Mediciue.- —Dict. Hist.