Crato Von Crafftheim
Crato von Crafftheim (Krafft), JOHANNES, a prominent representative of Protestantism in Austria, was born at Breslau Nov. 22,1519. At the University of Wittenberg, to which he went in 1534, he lived for six years in the house of Luther, and while there collected the material for the Table-talk of Luther, which was subsequently published by his friend Aurifaber. He became also intimate with Melancthon, whose theological views he, on the whole, adopted. Upon the advice of Luther, he left the study of theology, on account of his feeble health, for that of medicine. In 1550 he was appointed city physician in his native city, Breslau. His successful practice, especially during the prevalence of the plague in 1553, and a number of able works, procured him a great reputation and an appointment as imperial private physician (1560), which position he retained during the reign of the emperors Ferdinand, Maximilian II. and Rudolph II. He lived at the imperial court of Austria from 1563 to 1581, was made an imperial councillor, and a nobleman under the name of Crato of Crafftheim, and received from the emperor Maximilian II, who was favorable to Protestantism, the privileges of a Comes Palatinus, and many other proofs of favor. At the court of Austria he was one of the most zealous and influential representatives of Protestantism, and took a leading part in the regulation of the affairs of the Protestant Church. Being at first a moderate Lutheran of the Melancthonian school, and an earnest opponent of the exclusive system of Flacius, he gradually embraced the views of the "Reformed" Church, with many prominent men of which he was intimately acquainted. After the death of Maximilian (1576), the influence of the Jesuits for a short time occasioned his dismissal from the court, but in 1578 he was recalled. In 1581, tired of court life, he withdrew of his own accord. In 1583 he returned to Breslau, where he exercised a great influence upon the courts of Liegnitz, Brieg, and Ohlau. He died Oct. 19,1585. See Gillet, Crato von Crafftheim und seine Freunde (Frankf. 1860, 2 vols.); Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 19:363.