Billican (Billicanus or Pillicanus), Theobald
Billican (Billicanus Or Pillicanus), Theobald, was born at Billigheim near the end of the fifteenth century. His real name was Gerlach, but he took his surname from his birthplace. He passed A.B. at Heidelberg, 1512. In 1518 (April 26) Luther disputed in the convent of the Augustinians at Heidelberg with several Romish orators. Billican attended, with Brentz (q.v.) and Schnepf, and was so impressed by Luther that he at once joined his side of the controversy. His lectures in the university, as well as those of Brentz, found great favor with the students, but an inquiry into his teaching was soon ordered by the authorities. He left Heidelberg in 1522 for Weil, and was driven from thence to Nordlingen, where he remained as pastor till 1535. His preaching was very useful to the Reformation. In the controversy about the Eucharist he sided with Luther against Zuingle. In 1535 he returned to Heidelberg, where he was allowed to lecture on the Decretals and the Jusfeudale till 1544, when he was driven away from the university, and imprisoned for a time at Dilsberg. His last years were spent as Professor of Rhetoric at Marburg, and he died there August 8th, 1554.-Herzog, Real-Encykop. ii, 238.