Rodolphus Agricola

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AGRICOLA, RODOLPHUS (properly ROELOF HUYSMANN) (1443-1485), Dutch scholar, was born at Baflo, near Groningen, in 1443. He was educated at Louvain, where he graduated as master of arts. After residing for some time in Paris, he went in 1476 to Ferrara in Italy, and attended the lectures of the celebrated Theodorus Gaza (1400-1478) on the Greek language. Having visited Pavia and Rome, he returned to his native country about 1479, and was soon afterwards appointed syndic of Groningen. In 1482, on the invitation of Johann von Dalberg, bishop of Worms (1445-1503), whose friendship he had gained in Italy, he accepted a professorship at Heidelberg, and for three years delivered lectures there and at Worms on the literature of Greece and Rome. By his personal influence much more than by his writings he did much for the promotion of learning in Germany; and Erasmus and other critics of the generation immediately succeeding his own are full of his praises. In his opposition to the scholastic philosophy he in some degree anticipated the great intellectual revolution in which many of his pupils were conspicuous actors. He died at Heidelberg on the 28th of October 1485. His principal work is De inventione dialectica, libri iii., in which he attempts to change the scholastic philosophy of the day.

See T. F. Tresling, Vita et Merita Rudolphi Agricolae (Groningen, 1830); v. Bezold, R. Agricola (Munchen, 1884): and Ihm, Der Humanist R. Agricola, sein Leben und seine Schriften (Paderb., 1893).

Initial text from 1911 encyclopedia -- Please update as needed