(τετράστυλον), a name given to the periphery of the area or court between the porch and the church building proper in ancient times. This court was without any covering except that each side had porticos or cloisters, built upon columns. In the porch or in the porticos stood the first class of penitents to beg the prayers of the faithful as they went into the church. Tetzel, JOHANN, the notorious Dominican monk whose shameless traffic in indulgences impelled Luther to take the first step towards the Reformation, was born and reared at Leipsic, where his father, Johann Tietze, pursued the business of goldsmith. In 1487 Tetzel received the degree of bachelor of philosophy, having distinguished himself in the examination above all the other competitors. He possessed an imposing figure, a sonorous voice, and considerable skill in dialectics and oratory, and was accordingly selected to preach the indulgence connected with the year of jubilee, after he had associated himself with the Dominican fraternity in his native town, and had displayed great zeal in his monastic duties. He: entered on the traffic in indulgences in 1502, and prosecuted it to his own great pecuniary advantage and equal notoriety, making use of even blasphemies and obscenities to enforce his appeals for money. Nor was he more circumspect with regard to his conduct. The drinking-rooms of taverns were favorite places of resort in which to ply his trade; he permitted himself to commit crimes of violence; and an adulterous connection with the wife of a citizen led to his being sentenced to death by drowning at Innsbruck. Having been pardoned, and, after a time, liberated from imprisonment, lie resumed his traffic, and became, if possible, more bold and shameless than before.
When pope Leo X appointed commissaries for the sale of indulgences for the alleged purpose of obtaining funds with which to complete the edifice of St. Peter's at Rome, Tetzel was made an under-commissary. He held a special concession from the emperor for-the prosecution of his business, and after a time obtained a papal brief permitting him to sell indulgences everywhere in Germany. To these advantages he added that of being made an inquisitor. In 1517 he began to issue letters of indulgence in his own name, having previously acted as the agent of archbishop Albert of Mayence. He pronounced absolutions, for money, from the most heinous crimes, without regard to repentance and with the assurance of complete exemption from the fires of purgatory. His peculiarly impudent and frivolous bearing shocked all who possessed intelligence, without at all restraining his conduct, until he arrived on the borders of Saxony. At this point of Tetzel's progress Luther was made aware of the hurtful consequences of his operations through the confessional, and at once denounced the Dominican's business from the pulpit. Tetzel replied, and Luther drew up the famous Ninety-five Theses, which Tetzel, for his part, burned in the market-place of Jitterbock. He then obtained the degree of licentiate and doctor of theology from Frankfort-on-the-Oder, in order to combat Luther from a more favorable position, and he enlisted the services of Wimpina, rector of that university, in his cause. The latter drew up 106 theses antagonistic to those of Luther, which were in turn burned by the students at Wittenberg, and afterwards fifty additional theses, upon which Tetzel disputed in January, 1518.
The dispute had in the meantime excited attention in Rome, and aroused the conviction that more positive measures must be employed to preserve the authority of the Church. The negotiations of Cajetan with Luther had failed, and the legate Miltitz was sent to Saxony to manage the affair. Having arrived at Altenberg, the legate cited Tetzel to appear before him; but the latter declined to obey, on the ground that the journey would involve his life in danger at the hands of Luther's adherents. He appeared, however, on the repeated summons of the legate, after the latter had reached Leipsic; and, having been found guilty of immoralities and shameless conduct, was harshly reprimanded and threatened with the anger of the pope and expulsion from his order. He wished to flee from the country in order to avoid the dangers which he now saw to be threatening his peace, but sickened before he could execute his purpose, and died ill the Dominican convent at Leipsic in July, 1519. Luther pitied the man in his wretchedness, and forwarded him a letter of consolation. The statement that Tetzel died of the plague is without support.
Literature. — Cyprian. Frid. Myconii Hist. Reforms. etc. (Lips. 1718); Loscher, Vollst. Ref. — Acta st. Documenta (ibid. 1720). 1, 415; the works and letters of Luther as gathered by Walch, De Wette, etc.; Hechtius, Vita Jo. Tezelii (Wittenb. 1717); Mayer, Diss. de Jo. Tezelio (Vitemb. 1717); Kapp, Disp. Hist. de Nolnullis ndulgent. Qucest. Scec. XV et XVI (Lips. 1720); and Exercit. in Ambros. Altamur. Elogium Joh. Tezelii (ibid. 1721); Kappen, Schauplatz des Tetzelischen Ablaiskcrams, etc. (ibid. 1720), and Sammung eiuiger Schrifjen über d. Ablass, etc. (ibid. 1721); Vogel, Leben... Joh. Tetzel's (ibid. 1717, 1727); Deutsche Bücher u. Schriften, pt. 8; Hofmann, Lebensbeschreibung... Tetzel's (ed. Poppe, ibid. 1844); Seidemann, Carl v. Miltitz (Dresd. 1844); id. Luther's Briefe, etc. (Berl. 1856), p. 10, 18, 699; Grone, Tetzel u. Luther, etc. (Soest, 1853). — Herzog, Real Encyklop. s.v. Texerants. A local name given to the ALBIGENSES SEE ALBIGENSES (q.v.) in those districts of Southern France where the members of that wide-spread sect were mostly found among the weavers" ab usu texendi" (Ekbert, Adv. Cathar. in Bibl. Max. Lugd. 23:601).