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Chapter Seven

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Chapter Summary

The controversy over church discipline had split the Heidelberg intellectual community into opposing camps. The disciplinists enjoyed the support of the theological faculty and the church council and seemed to have the inside position with the elector. The Antitrinitarian affair served as the hinge point of Elector Frederick III's late reign. It was likewise the watershed event of Thomas Erastus's life and would decisively reorient his future career. Before the Antitrinitarian affair transformed the landscape of the Palatine intellectual community, a controversy had erupted surrounding the appointment of Petrus Ramus to the faculty of the University of Heidelberg. Erastus's accuser was an Italian physician and anatomist named Antonio Francesco Pigafetta. Pigafetta was a man with problems of his own. The first famous Grynaeus in Basel was the humanist Simon Grynaeus, who had labored to establish the Reformed church in Basel after Oecolampadius's death.

Keywords: Antitrinitarian affair; Antonio Francesco Pigafetta; Petrus Ramus; Simon Grynaeus; Thomas Erastus; watershed event



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