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Poznań, Bishopric

(313 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] The see of Poznań was erected in 968 as a missionary bishopric for all Poland, after the Piast duke Mieszko I began the process of Christianizing Poland with his baptism in 966. By 999/1000, however, it had already been superseded by the erection of the archiepiscopal see of Gniezno, to which it became suffragan at the beginning of the 11th century. From then on, it included the center of Great Poland and the southern part of Mazovia. In 1232 Bishop Paweł Grzymała was granted the …

Helmold of Bosau

(129 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1120 – post 1177). Helmold worked in eastern Holstein from 1143, after attending the cathedral school in Braunschweig, and as pastor in Bosau on the Plöner See (from 1156). Between 1163 and 1172, he composed, from the notes of Adam of Bremen, oral tradition and his own experience, his Chronica Slavorum which covered the time period up to 1170. In it, despite clear partisanship, he reports vividly and generally reliably the Christianization and Germanization of the Slavs settled east of the lower Elbe (Slavic missions). His wor…

Martin of Troppau (Polonus)

(92 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Martinus Polonus; before 1230, Troppau [today Opava] – Jun 12, 1278, Bologna). Initially a Dominican in Prague, Martin became papal chaplain and apostolic penitentiary in Rome; on May 21, 1278, he was consecrated archbishop of Gniezno in Viterbo. He is best known as a chronicler. His Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum (Chronicles: IV), replete with anecdotes and fables, was widely read; its many extensions and imitations gave rise to a genre of “Martin chronicles.” Peter Hauptmann Bibliography A.-D. v. den Brincken, LThK 3 VI, 1997, 1429 (bibl.).

Wends

(570 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] During the Middle Ages, the West Slavic tribes behind the original eastern boundary of Germany living between the Baltic and Upper Franconia along the Elbe and Salle, Havel, and Spree, and as far as the Main became known collectively as the Wends. The name comes from the name of the Veneti, an Illyrian tribe. It also served as a name for the Slovenes, especially the Slovene minorities in Austrian territories. Evangelism of the Wends proved uncommonly difficult. The Great Slav Risi…

Nino (Saint)

(151 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1st half of the 4th cent.), “enlightener” of Georgia. Tyrannius Rufinus tells in his church history of a female prisoner of war who, c. 330, converted the king and queen of Eastern Georgia to the Christian faith by her asceticism and miraculous cures, and persuaded them to invite Greek missionaries to their country (PL 21, 480–482). Not until local 10th-century sources, heavily embroidered with legend, does this woman appear under the name of Nino, probably a contracted form of “…

Innocent (Veniaminov), Saint

(180 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Aug 26, 1797, Anginskoye, near Irkutsk – Mar 31, 1879, Moscow). Born Ivan Popov, he was orphaned at an early age. At the seminary in Irkutsk, his patron Bishop Veniamin (Benjamin) of Irkutsk gave him the new patronymic Veniaminov. In 1840, when he was made a monk, his baptismal name was replaced by Innocent. In the same year, Innocent – who had been ordained to the priesthood in 1821 and had been working as a missionary in the Aleutians and Alaska since 1824 – was made bishop of Kamchatka. He took up residence as archbishop in 1852…

Polentz, Georg von

(180 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1478 – Apr 28, 1550, Balga am Frischen Haff [Kaliningrad]), bishop of Samland from 1519. Polentz belonged to the Meissen nobility; after studying in Leipzig and Italy, he was a lawyer in papal and imperial service, before entering the Teutonic Order (Orders of Germany) in 1511 and becoming commander in Königsberg (Krolewiec, Poland) in 1516. Between 1522 and 1525 he ruled the order’s territory of Prussia as the grand master’s deputy. Converted to the Reformation from 1522, he ced…

Lebus

(291 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] Lebus, a small town approx. 10 km north of Frankfurt an der Oder, on the left bank of the river, shares its name – which recalls the Lutiz prince Lub (Lubosłav) in the 9th century – not only with its vicinity but also with the diocese bequeathed in 1124 by the Polish duke ¶ Bolesłav III Krzywousty. The diocese kept the name, although in the years 1276 to 1326 the see was in Göritz (Górzyca), to the right of the Oder approx. 10 km upstream, and since 1385 it was in Fürstenwalde on the Spree, where the Marienkirche was elevated to a ca…

Lismanini, Franz

(145 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Francesco Lismanino; 1504, Corfu – April 1566, Königsberg [Kaliningrad]). Originally a Franciscan provincial, Lismanini came to Poland as confessor and court chaplain to Queen Bona Sforza from Italy in 1546; there he took over leadership of the circle of Humanists in Krakow. Won to the cause of the Reformation by the writings of Calvin and the Bohemian Brethren, he converted to Calvinism in Geneva in 1553. In 1556 he accepted the call of the Protestants in Malopolska to head thei…

Leskov, Nikolaj Semyonovich

(163 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 4/16, 1831, Gorochovo near Orël – Feb 21/Mar 5, 1895, St. Petersburg), Russian author. The grandson of a clergyman, Leskov became familiar with the Orthodox Church at an early age. As an orphan, he was brought up in the household of a professor of medicine in Kiev, and spent years traveling throughout Russia in the employ of a trading company. Working as a professional journalist and employed by the ministry of culture from 1862 onward, he reflected the numerous experiences g…

Yaroslav the Wise

(164 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Mudry; c. 978 – Feb 20, 1054), son of St. Vladimir the Great. As vice-regent of Novgorod, in 1019 he expelled his elder brother Svyatopolk from Kiev; in 1036, after the death of his younger brother Mstislav of Chernigov and Tumutarakan, he became sole ruler of the Kievan Rus’ empire, which experienced its golden age under him. He expanded his capital after the model of Constantinople; among other building projects, he oversaw the building of the stone Cathedral of St. Sophia in K…

Racovian Catechism

(161 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] has become the widely accepted title of the most important doctrinal text of the Antitrinitarian Church of the Polish Brethren. Valentin Schmalz, Johannes Völkel, and Hieronymus Moskoszowski were the authors of this catechism, which includes preliminary work by F. Socinus; they worked as teachers in the secondary school founded in 1603 in the small town of Raków near Sandomierz. It was also there that the catechism was printed in Polish in 1605, in German in 1608, and in Latin in …

Amvrosii, Starets of Optina

(182 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Aleksandr Grenkov; Nov 23, 1812, Bolshie Lipovicy near Lipeck – Oct 10, 1891, Shamordino near Kozelsk). Amvrosii was the son of a cantor. After seminary studies at Tambov, he became a tutor and then language teacher at the seminary in Lipeck. In 1839 he entered the Optina hermitage near Kozelsk, where he was clothed as a novice in 1842. In 18…

Socinus, Faustus

(162 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 5, 1539, Siena – Mar 3, 1604, Lucławice, near Cracow), a leading thinker of the antitrinitarian movement (Antitrinitarians, Socinians) of his era, shaped its churches in Poland and to some extent in Transylvania. Born a patrician, he served from 1562 to 1574 as a jurist at the Medici court in Florence; inspired by his uncle Lelio Sozzini, who did not believe the doctrine of the Trinity, he devoted himself to theological study, primarily at Basel, from 1572 to 1578, attracting attention with his first writings (including De Jesu Christo servatore, printed in 1594).…

Częnstochowa,

(173 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] a large city in southern Poland, has been an episcopal see since 1925 (in 1995, with a Catholic population of 837,500 in 286 parishes). A monastery of Pauline hermits (originally Hungarian but now represented only in Poland), founded in 1382 on the Jasna Góra (“Shining Mountain”), is the most important pilgrimage destination in Poland. Devotion centers on the Black Madonna, a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary dating from the 14th century, which has been blackened by the smoke of candles. Since 1655, when the monastery was …

Duchoborcy

(151 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (“spiritual warriors”) is the appellation given to adherents of the “Spiritual Christians,” an extremely spiritualist wing of the Old Russian sectarian movement (Russian sects) which separated in the last third of the 18th century from the equally anti-cult, but still Scripture-bound Molocanes (see also All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians and …

Folly, Holy

(287 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] The Eastern Church, following 1 Cor 4:10ff., describes as such the ascetic practice of publicly ¶ exposing oneself to mistreatment and isolation through feigned mental incapacity and, thus, of protecting oneself from the danger of popular admiration. It presumes a Christian environment and the absence of institutions for the mentally ill. Holy folly appeared first in the 4th century in a nun in Egypt, then occasionally in the Near East; it came to Russia in the 11th century and reached its greate…

Nikon

(278 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Nikita Minich; May 24, 1605, Veldemanovo near Nizhny Novgorod – Aug 17, 1681, Yaroslavl), patriarch of Moscow. Initially a secular priest, after the death of his three children he persuaded his wife to take the veil and in 1635 became a monk (taking the name Nikon) in a hermitage in northern Russia; in 1642 he became abbot of a desert monastery. There in 1646 he met Tsar Alexis, then 17 years old; he greatly impressed the tsar, who had Nikon appointed archimandrite of the Novospa…

Henry of Livonia

(164 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1188, near Magdeburg – after 1259, Papendorf). Henry of Livonia was educated in the canon seminary of Segeberg, went to Riga as a student of Bishop Albert of Buxhöveden in 1205, was ordained to the priesthood in 1208, and spent his entire life as pastor among the northern Latvians in Papendorf (Latvian Rubene) near Wenden (Latvian Cēsis). From this location, he participated in over 30 military campaigns against the still heathen Livonians and Estonians, while he and his assistants baptized more than 10,000 people during his numerous…

Herman of Alaska, Saint

(171 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1757, Serpuchov, Russia – Dec 13, 1837, Spruce Island, Alaska). Herman entered the Trinity-St. Serge Hermitage near St. Petersburg at the age of 16 and transferred to Valaam Monastery in 1778. In 1793, the abbot sent him with seven other monks to Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska to care for the Russian trappers and furriers there, but also in order to evangelize the native population. Apart from a few minor interruptions, the conduct of the Kodiak mission was effectively in hi…
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