Myconius, Friedrich

Myconius, Friedrich an intimate friend of Luther, and one of the Reformers of the 16th century, was born at Lichtenfels, Franconia, December 26, 1491, of religious parents, and was educated at Annaberg. He joined the Franciscans at that place in 1510. While in that body he vainly strove to. satisfy the yearnings of his heart by diligent application to his monastic duties and the study of such works as Peter Lombard's Migister Seetentiarumn, the writings of Alexander of Hales, Bonaventura, Gabriel Biel, and even Lyra's Biblical commentaries. Finally, Luther's ninety-five theses fell into his hands. He at once adopted the principles therein contained. In the mean time he was successively sent to the convents of Leipsic and of Weimar in 1512, and was ordained priest in 1516. But, since he had openly declared himself in favor of the evangelical doctrines, he had to undergo all sorts of annoyances from his superiors. He remained steadfast, however, strengthening himself by secretly reading the works of Luther in company with his convent associate Voit. Finally, his superiors contemplating his removal to Annaberg, he fled, and soon after (in 1524) appeared at Zwickau as an evangelical preacher. In the same year he was sent to Gotha by duke Johann to introduce the Reformation, and met with great success in this difficult task. He paid particular attention to the schools. In connection with Melancthon, Justus Menius, Christopher von Planitz, Georg von Wangenheim, and Johann Cotta, he made two visitations to Thuringia; in 1528 and in 1533, to improve the organization of the churches and schools. He took part also in the conferences of Marburg (1529), Wittenberg (1536), Smalcald (1537), Nuremberg, Frankfort (1539), and Hagenau (1540), in which he was often in contact with Melancthon. He was attached as theologian to the embassy sent by the elector to king Henry VIII in 1538 for the purpose of introducing the Reformation into England. On the death of duke George, Myconius, together with Cruciger, Pfeffinger, and M. Balthasar. was intrusted with the mission of introducing the Reformation into Saxony, and particularly into Leipsic. Yet he always remained especially attached to Gotha and Thuringia. In the former city he founded the afterwards celebrated gymnasium, and he used every exertion to procure for institutions of learning the necessary endowments. His health failing in 1541, he wrote to Luther that he was "sick, not unto death, but unto life." But he recovered, and, according to Luther's prayer, outlived him several months. He died April 7, 1546. Myconius was an active writer, but most of his productions were pamphlets and letters; his chronicle of Gotha was published by S. Cyprian under the title Fr. Myconii historia Reformationis (1715). Biographies of Myconius are to be found in Melchior Adam, Vitae Theologorum (Frankf. 1705, volume 1); Sagittarii Historia Gothana (Jena, 1700); Junker, Redivivus Myconius (Waltershausen, 1730); Brickner, Kirchen-u. Schulestaat d. Herzogthums Gotha (1753, I, 1:41 sq.); Ledderhose, Mykonius (Gotha, 1854); Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 10:137; Middleton, Evangel. Bwig. 1:250; Hardwick, Church History, Reformation, pages 110, 114, 119. (J.N.P.)

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