Pistorius (de Nida), Johannes°

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PISTORIUS (DE NIDA), JOHANNES ° (1546–1608), German scholar. Pistorius was physician and adviser to the margrave of Baden-Durlach, whom he induced to support the Protestants; he himself later reverted to Catholicism, however, and entered the priesthood in 1591. He is mainly remembered for his Artis Cabbalisticae, hoc est reconditae theologiae et philosophiae Scriptorum Tomus i (Basle, 1587), a compendium of Christian mystical literature (including Johannes *Reuchlin's De Arte Cabalistica and Archangelus de Burgonuovo's commentaries on the "Conclusions" of Giovanni *Pico della Mirandola) which also contained a translation of Judah *Abrabanel's Dialoghi di Amore. A second volume, planned to contain major Jewish kabbalistic works, never appeared, probably as a result of Catholic objections to some of the material in the published compendium. The Artis Cabbalisticae was consulted by many later authors and is the most likely source of *Milton's knowledge of the Kabbalah.


F. Secret, Les Kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance (1964), 79–80; D. Hirst, Hidden Riches… (1964), index. add. bibliography: H.-J. Guenther, Die Reformation und ihre Kinder (1994).

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]