Spanheim, Ezekiel a diplomatist and philologist, rather than clergyman and theologian, was born at Geneva in 1629. At the age of sixteen he defended Theses contra
Ludovicum Capellum pro Antiquitate Hebraicarum (Lugd. Bat. 1645). A response by Bochart called forth his Diatriba de Lingua et Literis Hebroeorum (1648). In 1650 the government of Geneva offered him the chair of philosophy, but he preferred that of elocution, which was accordingly given him in 1651. He had probably been consecrated priest at Leyden, where he was a student; but his theological productions are only two discourses in Latin and French (Geneva, 1655; Berlin, 1695): — a lengthy notice of Richard Simon's Hist. Critique du Vet. Test. (Paris, 1678) as an appendix to that work (Rotterdam, 1685); — and notes and a chronology to Josephus, Havercamp's ed. (Amsterdam and Leyden, 1726). Spanheim's political life began in 1652, when he became a member of the Great Council. Soon afterwards he became tutor to the son of the elector- palatine Charles Louis, and employed the leisure afforded him in that station for the study of German national law and the history of the Roman emperors. He also wrote upon these subjects. He visited Italy and studied numismatics, and became acquainted with Christina of Sweden and with Sophia, the mother of duke George of Hanover, who afterwards became king of England. Sophia brought him back to Germany in 1665, and after that date he officiated as ambassador for the elector to different courts, etc. He died in 1710 in London, where he was ambassador, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. All his works after 1652 were of a political or general historical and philosophical character.