Johannes Aventinus

Johannes Aventinus

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Johannes Aventinus was a Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n historian and philologist. He wrote Annals of Bavaria, a valuable record of the early history of Germany. His real name was Johann Georg Turmair (or Thurmayr); Aventinus is the Latin name of his birthplace, Abensberg
Abensberg
Abensberg is a town in the Lower Bavarian district of Kelheim, in Bavaria, Germany, lying around 30 km southwest of Regensburg, 40 km east of Ingolstadt, 50 northwest of Landshut and 100 km north of Munich...

.

Tutor


Having studied at Ingolstadt, Vienna, Cracow and Paris, he returned to Ingolstadt in 1507, and in 1509 was appointed tutor to Louis and Ernest, the two younger brothers of William IV, Duke of Bavaria
William IV, Duke of Bavaria
William IV of Bavaria was Duke of Bavaria from 1508 to 1550, until 1545 together with his younger brother Louis X, Duke of Bavaria....

, all three the sons of Albert the Wise
Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria
Duke Albert IV of Bavaria-Munich , , from 1467 Duke of Bavaria-Munich, from 1503 Duke of the reunited Bavaria.-Biography:...

, the late duke of Bavaria. Aventinus retained this position until 1517, wrote a Latin grammar (Rudimenta grammaticae latinae; 1512) and other manuals for the use of his pupils, and in 1515 travelled in Italy with Ernest. In his zeal for learning, he helped found the Sodalitas litteraria Angilostadensis, under the auspices of which several old manuscripts were brought to light; however, it soon ceased to exist (1520).

Historian of Bavaria


In 1517, William appointed him as Bavaria's official historian and commissioned him to write a history of the country. Many of the important authorities which Aventinus collected for this purpose have been preserved only in his copies. He embodied a critical treatment of them in a complete history of Bavaria, Annales Bojorum (Annals of Bavaria). His condensed German version of it, the Bayerische Chronik, is the first important history in the German language.

The Reformation


Aventinus remained a Catholic throughout his life, even though he sympathized with aspects of the Protestant reform. He was in communication with Philipp Melanchthon
Philipp Melanchthon
Philipp Melanchthon , born Philipp Schwartzerdt, was a German reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems...

 and Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

. He rejected auricular confession, objected to pilgrimages and indulgences, and opposed the claims of the hierarchy as excessive. He showed a strong dislike for monks. On this account, he was imprisoned in 1528, but his friends soon effected his release. The remainder of his life was somewhat unsettled, and he died at Regensburg.

Annals of Bavaria


The Annals, which are in seven books, deal with the history of Bavaria in conjunction with general history from the earliest times to 1460, and the author shows sympathy for the Empire in its struggle with the Papacy. He took pains with his work, and to some degree anticipated the modern historiography. Another result of his nonconformity was that the Annals were not published until 1554. Many passages were omitted in this Ingolstadt edition, as they reflected on the Roman Catholics.

A more complete edition was published at Basel in 1580 by Nicholas Cisner. Aventinus, who has been called the "Bavarian Herodotus," wrote other books of lesser importance, and a complete edition of his works was published at Munich (1881–1886).

Legacy


Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I was a German king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.-Crown prince:...

 had Aventinus' bust erected in the Walhalla temple
Walhalla temple
The Walhalla temple is a hall of fame that honors laudable and distinguished Germans, famous personalities in German history — politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists of the German tongue". The hall is housed in a neo-classical building above the Danube River, east of Regensburg, in...

.
There is a German wheat beer
Aventinus (beer)
Aventinus is a strong, dark, wheat doppelbock made in Bavaria, Germany by the brewery company G. Schneider & Sohn.This beer was introduced in 1907 by Mathilde Schneider. This beer is named in honor of Johannes Aventinus, a Bavarian historian....

named after him, made by G. Schneider & Son.