Fama Fraternitatis

(ca. 1610)

Context

The Fama Fraternitatis focuses upon university corruption, something of which Johann Valentin Andreae had personal experience. In 1606 he was temporarily expelled from the Universität Tübingen for objecting to court influence on university governance. Tübingen’s chancellor, Matthias Enzlin, was a favorite of the duke of Württemberg’s court. Enzlin exploited his connection to the court to prejudice the duke against men he did not approve of—men such as Simon Studion, author of the manuscript Naometria (“Temple Measurement,” ca. 1604), which joined astronomy to biblical prophecy and apocalyptic numerology and speculation. Whereas learning had once been controlled by the Catholic Church, it was now, in Protestant lands, controlled by princes. The princes ruled over a corruptible system of patronage.

The effects of court influence and academic bigotry were observed closely by Andreae in the treatment meted out to his saintly older friend Tobias Hess, an associate of...

Image for: Fama Fraternitatis

The cartographer Gerhard Mercator (Library of Congress)

View Full Size