Anabaptist leader and engineer; b. Rattenberg, Tyrol, c. 1495; d. Augsburg, 1556. He attended the Latin school at Rattenberg, became an engineer in the mines of the lower Inn Valley, and was a member of city council and a mine judge. He lost the last position because he refused to prosecute some anabaptists at the end of 1527. He joined the movement and fled to Strassburg (1528), where he built a complex water system and wood floating flumes in the valleys of Alsace and Baden, whereby Strassburg gained access to the wealth of the Black Forest. Because of his leadership in Anabaptist circles, he was soon under suspicion and pressure by Martin bucer and the city council, which led to his imprisonment, a colloquium before the assembled city council, and his expulsion in January 1532. He traveled extensively and even returned to Strassburg before he found labor as a well engineer and Anabaptist leader and writer in Augsburg (1544–56). He was a prolific writer of books, pamphlets, and correspondence, and gained a leading position among the south German Anabaptists. He rejected Caspar Schwenckfeld's spiritualism and emphasized the significance of the visible church of Christ (see schwenckfelders). With Hans Denck he stressed the consecrated, disciplined Christian life, but he was not as rigid as the Swiss Anabaptists. Only recently, through the discovery of new sources and writings by Marbeck, has his significance as Anabaptist leader become fully established.
Bibliography: w. klassen, The Hermeneutics of Pilgram Marbeck (Doctoral diss. microfilm; Princeton 1960). j. j. kiwiet, Pilgram Marbeck (Kassel 1957), bibliog. h. tÜchle, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 6:1372. h. fast, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart 3 4:733.