Corpus Evangelicorum

Corpus Evangelicorum (body of the Evangelical), formerly the collective name of the evangelical states of Germany. The first league was made between Saxony and Hesse in 1528. Other evangelical states followed, and at the Protestation of Spires in 1529, the Corpus Evangelicorun was organized. In the Nuremberg religious peace in 1532, it entered as such in relation with the Corpus Catholicorum (q.v.). The head-quarters of the latter were in the electorate of Mayence, while Saxony stood at the head of the evangelical states. At the close of the sixteenth century, Frederic III, elector of the Palatinate, having become Protestant, became head of the Corpus Evangelicorum, but after he had lost all his states in the Thirty Years' War, Sweden took the lead, which was, however, restored to Saxony by the Diet of 1653. After the electoral house of Saxony had become Romanist, the lead of the Corpus Evangelicorum was claimed by several other Protestant states; yet it remained finally with Saxony, it being, however, stipulated that the envoy of Saxony should receive his instructions, not from the elector, but from the college of the privy council at Dresden. The Corpus Evangelicorum ended with the dissolution of the German empire in 1806. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 3, 156; Billow, Ueber resch. u. Verf. des Corp. Evang. (1795).

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