Lasitius, John

Lasitius, John, a noted Polish Protestant ecclesiastical writer, often mistaken, formerly, for the celebrated John a Lasco, flourished in the second half of the 16th century. He was born of a noble family about 1534, and, as was the custom of his day, was early sent abroad to pursue a course of studies at the high- schools of Basle, Berne, Geneva, and Strasburg. After quitting the university he taught for a short time in a private family of one of the most celebrated noble families of Poland, John Krotowsky, an ardent follower of the Moravian Brethren. Of a restless nature, and greatly addicted to study, he soon took up his wandering-staff again, and roamed nearly over all Europe, bringing up, most generally, at some place noted for its university. First we meet him in Paris, next in Basle, next in Geneva, and next in Heidelberg, etc., until, in 1567, he brings up again in Paris, and holds a disputation on the Trinity with the Romish theologian Genebrard (Chronolog. lib. 4, a.a. 1582, page 786). After 1575 Lasitius seems to have settled in his native country, but frequently, even after this date, he wevnt abroad, not for his own gratification, however, but in the interests of the State and the Church. He early became an admirer of the Moravians, and is by many (e.g. Gieseler, Kirchengesch. 2:4. page 460) supposed to have joined their communion; but, however uncertain his membership, certain it is that Lasitius greatly favored the Moravians, and that he was engaged on a history of them. He was one of the most energetic and indefatigable workers among the Poles for the union of all his Protestant brethren into one common bond, and in 1570 finally saw his efforts crowned with success at the Synod of Sendomir. SEE POLAND. He died July 12, 1599. His history of the Moravians Lasitius enlarged after the union of the Protestants, but it was never published entire. In 1649 Amos Comenius published an outline of the larger one under the title Johannis Lasitii, nobilis Poloni, historiae de origine et rebus gestis Fratrum Bohemicorum liber octavus, qui est de moribus et institutis eorum. Ob praesentem rerum statum seorsim editus. Adduntur tamen reliquorum vii librorum argumenta et particularia quaedam excerpta (1649, 8vo; Amst. 1660, 8vo). For criticisms of this work, see Gindely, Gesch. d. bohmischen Bridcer, 2:90; Wagenmann, in Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 19:776. His other works are, Clades Dantiscanorum (Frkf; 1578, 8vo): — Historia de

ingressu Polonorum in Walachiam anno 1572 (Frankf. 1578, 8vo): — De Russorum et Moscovitarumn et Tartarorum religione, etc. (Speier, 1582, 8vo): — De Diis Samogitarum ceterorumque Sarmatatrum et falsorum Christianorum, item de religione Armeniorum et de initio regiminis Stephani Bathorii opuscula (Basle, 1615, 4to): — Pro Volano et puriore religione defensoribusque ejus adversus Antonium Possevinum S.J. scriptum apologeticum (Wilna, 1584, 4to). See Lukaszewicz, Gesch. d. reform. Kirchen in Litthauen, 2:182 sq.; Gindely, Geschichte d. bonmischen Bruder, 2:90; and by the same author, Quellen zur Geschichte d. bonmisch. Bruder, in Fontes rerum Austriacarum (Vienna, 1859), page 379; Dieckhoff, Gesch. d. Waldenser im Mittelalter, pages 172, 357; Regenvolscius (Wengerski), Hist. eccl. Slavon. 3:452; Bayle, Hist. Dict. s.v.; Jicher, Gelehrten Lex. 2:2283; and especially the excellent article by Wagenmann in Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 19:770-777. (J.H.W.)

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