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Capito (Koepfel), Wolfgang Fabricius°


CAPITO° (Koepfel), WOLFGANG FABRICIUS (1478–1541), German humanist and mystic, friend of Erasmus and one of the leaders of the Reformation in Strasbourg. He felt that "Christians should deal more kindly with the Jews." This attitude found expression in his relationship with Joseph (Josel) b.Gershom of Rosheim, who attended Capito's sermons in Strasbourg "because of his great scholarship," although he used to leave whenever points of faith arose. Capito appreciated Josel as an outstanding personality "among his own people." In 1537 Capito gave Josel a letter to Martin Luther (zgjd, 5 (1892), 326–7) requesting him to arrange an audience for Josel with the elector of Saxony. Capito told Josel that he had never found "insulting things" about the Christian faith or Jesus in Jewish books. Capito, who was professor of theology at Basle, was not primarily concerned with the Bible, but he wrote commentaries to Hosea and Habakkuk, In Habakuk Prophetam … Enarrationes (Strasbourg, 1526, 1528); he composed two Hebrew grammars: Institutiuncula in Hebraeam Linguam (Basle, 1516, published in Conrad Pellicanus' and Sebastian Munster's Hebrew Psalms under the name Volphangus Faber) and Hebraicarum Institutionum Libri Duo (Basle, 1518; Strasbourg, 15252).


J. Kracauer, in: rej, 16 (1888), 84–105; S. Stern, Commander of Jewry, Josel of Rosheim… (1965), index; L. Feilchenfeld, Rabbi Josel von Rosheim… (Ger., 1898), passim; H.H. Ben-Sasson, Ha-Yehudim mul ha-Reforma zyah (1969), 79, 91–92; Baron, Socia 12, 13 (1969), 240ff. add. bibliography: B. Stierle, Capito als Humanist (1974); J.M. Kittelson, Wolfgang Capito: from Humanist to Reformer (1975).

[Misha Louvish /

Raphael Loewe]

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