Scioppius, Kaspar

views updated


Philologist, polemicist, and diplomat; b. Neumarkt (Upper Palatinate), May 27, 1576; d. Padua, Italy, Nov. 19, 1649. After studies in philology in Heidelberg, Altdorf, and Ingolstadt, Scioppius (Schoppe) published the first of his many scientific works, Verisimilium libri quatuor (1595), suggesting improvements in the writings of Plautus, Symmachus, and Cornelius Nepos. He became a convert to Catholicism in 1598, writing about it in De migratione sua ad Catholicos (1599). He moved to Rome, where he displayed his antagonism to Protestantism by a prodigious writing campaign that included Pro auctoritate ecclesiae (1598) and De variis fidei controversiis (1600). His uncompromising Catholicism won favor and admiration from the popes, Prince Ferdinand, and the Dukes Wilhelm and Maximilian of Bavaria. His successful polemics made him the protagonist for the Catholic cause during the thirty years' war (161848). In the Classicum belli sacri (1619) he challenged the use of arms against heretics. Though he had always showed reserve toward the Jesuits with the Actio perduellionis in Jesuitas (1632) he opened a sharp attack that startled his patrons and friends. His antagonism increased and he wrote 17 polemics against the Jesuits, including Flagellum Jesuiticum (1632), Arcana Societatis Jesu (1635), and De strategematis et sophismatis politicis Societatis Jesu (1641). He died in solitude and hostility to the world.

Bibliography: h. kowallek, "Über G. Scioppius," Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte 11 (1871) 403483, full bibliog. m. ritter, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Gegenreformation , 3 v. (Stuttgart 18891908) 3:435ff. r. hoche, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 33:479484. r. bÄumer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:552. j. mercier, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 14.2:157174.

[j. krasenbrink]