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Spanheim, Ezechiel and Friedrich


Ezechiel, Calvinist savant and diplomat; b. Geneva, Dec. 7, 1629; d. London, Nov. 7, 1710. During his theological studies at Leiden, where his father had been invited as a professor in 1642, Spanheim developed a scholarly interest in antiquities. He became a professor of eloquence at Geneva (1651), but resigned his academic post to be a tutor at the ducal court at Heidelberg (165661). His study Discours sur les affaires d'Allemagne et sur le vicariat le l'Empire involved him in the controversy over the vicariate of Palatinate-Bavaria, and he was sent to Rome to represent the Palatinate (166165). His close affiliation with the scholarly society sponsored by Queen Christina of Sweden was a decisive factor in his scientific development. While at Rome he published his eminent work on numismatics, Dissertationes de praesentia et usu numismatum antiquorum (1664). This was followed by a long period of diplomatic service: between 1665 and 1680 he was the Palatinate ambassador in Paris, Cologne, and London; he served the Brandenburg court at Paris (168090 and 16971702) and at London (170210). Spanheim as a politician was without distinction. Though he performed his office with integrity, he lacked the ambition of a statesman (Löwe). At the outbreak of the Franco-Palatine war, he was recalled to Berlin (169097), where he worked for refugee Huguenots, founding a society, named after him, that became the precursor of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. During these years he corresponded with G. W. Leibniz on the subject of union between Lutherans and Calvinists and wrote Juliani imperatoris opera quae supersunt omnia (1696), Ezechielis Spanheim in Callimachi hymnos observationes (1697), Orbis romanus seu ad constitutionem Antonii imperatoris exercitationes duae (1697).

Friedrich, Calvinist theologian and historian; b. Geneva, May 1, 1632; d. Leiden, May 18, 1701. As did his brother Ezechiel, Friedrich, too, studied theology in Leiden, where he received an M.A. degree on Oct.17, 1548. He taught theology at the University of Heidelberg from 1655 until 1670, when he was invited to succeed Johannes Cocceius (160369) in the chair of theology at Leiden. In his strong defense of Calvinist orthodoxy against arminianism, he wrote Dissertatio theologica de quinquarticulanis controversiis pridem in Belgio agitatis, defending the decisions of the Synod of Dort (161819). (see confessions of faith, protestant.) The polemical disputes with Thomas Hobbes, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and Baruch Spinoza produced his De novissimis circa res sacras in Belgio dissidiis epistola ad amicum responsoria (1677), where his theological position shows the effects of the conciliatory Academy of Saumur. He affirms the differentiation between fundamental and non-fundamental creed formulas and displays a relaxation in his earlier rigid orthodoxy. In 1671 Spanheim was appointed to the professorship of ecclesiastical history and composed historical works, of which three are of special merit: Summa historiae ecclesiasticae (1689), Geographia sacra et ecclesiastica (1698), and Brevis introductio ad historiam sacram utriusque testamenti ac praecipue christianam.

Bibliography: Ezechiel. v. lÖwe, Ein Diplomat und Gelehrter, Ezechiel Spanheim (Historische Studien 160; Berlin 1924). e. muret, Geschichte der französischen Kolonie in Brandenburg-Preussen (Berlin 1885). a. von harnack, Geschichte der königlich-preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin 1900). h.v. petersdorff, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 35:5059. a. m. koeniger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038) 9:702703. w. delius, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 195765) 6:223224. Friedrich. Opera, 3 v. (Lyons 170103). o. ritschl, Dogmengeschichte des Protestantismus, 4 v. (Göttingen 190827) v.4. p. tschackert, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 35: 6061. l. zscharnack and o. weber, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 195765) 6:224.

[j. krasenbrink]

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