Olahus, Nicholas

Olahus, Nicholas a learned Hungarian prelate of Wallachian origin, was born Jan. 9, 1493, at Hermanstadt. He passed his youth in the court of king Ladislas, and became (1524) secretary of king Louis, whose widow, Maria, brought him in 1530 to the Netherlands, which she had just been called to govern. In 1543 he was appointed bishop of Agram and chancellor of the kingdom. In 1547 he accompanied to the war of Smalcald king Ferdinand, whose confidence he possessed. Later he became archbishop of Gran and primate of Hungary, and exercised the most happy influence over the establishment of discipline and the amelioration of ecclesiastical studies. Having become satisfied that the only way to stay the decline of Romanism in Hungary was to preserve it among the common people, who had not at that time become altogether alienated, Olahus raised up a new class of teachers to propagate Roman Catholic sentiments, and in 1561, therefore, founded a college of Jesuits in Tyrnau, which he supported largely by his own revenues, until the emperor came to his relief. Thus the Jesuits were afforded their principal hold in Hungary. Of course they did not long retain it; the Reformation made its way, notwithstanding their efforts to stop its progress, and the archbishop was defeated in his purpose. Yet it must be confessed that Olahus was a liberal prelate, and did much to elevate the priests who were in his diocese. He died Jan. 14, 1568. We have of his works, Catholicae ac Christianae religionis prceipua capita (Vienna, 1560, 4to), and in vol. ii of the Concilia of Peterfy; one of the best resum4s of the Catholic doctrine: — Hungaria, seu de originibus gentis, regionis situ, divisione, habitu et opportunitatibus, in the Ad paratus of M. Bel: — Compendiarium suce cetatis chronicon, in the same collection: — Ephemerides astrononicce ab anno 1552-1559, in vol. i of Scriptores minores of Kovachich: — Attila, sive de rebus, bello paceque ab eo gestis, in the series of several editions of Bonfinius: — Processus universalis, an alchemical treatise published under the pseudonym of Nicolaus Melchior. in the Museum hermeticum, printed at Frankfort, 1525. See Horanyi, Memoria Hungarorum, tom. ii; Bel, Hungaria nova Cisdanubiazna tom. i; Lehrmann, Hist. diplom. de statu Rel. Evang. in Hung. p. 710 sq.; Ranke, Hist. Papacy, 1:396 sq.; Alzog [R. C.], Kirchengesch. 2:336.

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