Kromer, Martin (Cromer)

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Polish bishop, humanist, historian, and diplomat; b. Biecz, near Cracow, 1515; d. Heilsberg, East Prussia, March 23, 1589. After studying at Cracow, Bologna, and Rome, he served as secretary to Bp. Gamrat of Cracow and to Prince (later King) Sigismund II August. During these years he wrote his De origine et rebus gestis Polonorum (1555), a history of Poland from early times down to 1506. From 1557 to 1564 he was ambassador of King Sigismund II August (154872) at the Imperial Court of Ferdinand I. He also served on diplomatic missions to Rome and Trent. His great work Polonia sive de situ, populis, moribus, magistratibus et republica regni Poloniae, appeared in 1577. He became coadjutor of Ermland (Warmia) in 1569, and succeeded as bishop in 1579. He convoked a number of synods during his tenure as bishop. Pastoral visitations, ecclesiastical reforms, and several new foundations increased under his direction. A patron of the Jesuits, he fought the Lutheran and Calvinist reformers. Kromer also wrote several books in Polish, German, and Latin for liturgical use in his diocese. He continued his lifetime interest in music, already begun in 1534 when he published De musica figurata. His interest in Greek and Roman studies continued throughout his life, and a translation of St. John Chrysostom's sermons was one of his early works. His own polemical writings, sermons, and catechism were written in Polish.

Bibliography: e. m. wermter, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:648649. a. eichhorn, Der ermländische Bishof Martin Kromer (Braunsberg 1868). a. borrmann, Ermland und die Reformation 15231772 (Königsberg 1912). Cambridge History of Poland, ed. w. f. reddaway et al., 2 v. (Cambridge, Eng. 194150).

[f. j. ladowicz]