Eitelhans (Hans) Langenmantel, a member of the Anabaptists congregation of Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany, descended from the patrician Langenmantel family of Augsburg, called "vom Sparren" because of the chevron in their coat of arms. He was a son of Hans Langenmantel, who had held the office of mayor in Augsburg 14 times, had been captain of the Swabian League for many years, and died in 1505. One of his brothers was the gallant George Langenmantel, who fell in the battle of Pavia as the leader of the Black Knights in the service of France. Eitelhans ruined his health and squandered his money traveling through France and Italy.
Like his relative, councilor Christoph Langenmantel, Eitelhans favored the Reformation, but became an Anabaptist when he became acquainted with the nature of the movement. He associated with Ludwig Haetzer; Hans Hut baptized him in the presence of Jakob Dachser and Eucharius (see Binder, Eucharius) of Koburg in March 1527 in the Langenmantel home, which became a place of meeting for the Augsburg Anabaptists. Langenmantel, as a "learned and well-read man," promoted their interests in word and deed. The council warned him to "keep clear of the Anabaptists," and ordered the expulsion of nonresistant Anabaptists.
On the basis of information given by the Anabaptists seized on 15 September 1527 Eitelhans was arrested, but because of the influence of the family in the city he was treated much more leniently than the others; the preacher of the city held a disputation with him which resulted in his withdrawal from the Anabaptists and his recognition of infant baptism as "the Christian church teaches it." He was released from prison on 15 October and banished from the city. He went first to Göggingen, but when the Anabaptists thronged about him, he went on to Langenneufnach and finally bought a house in Leutershofen.
On 24 April 1528, as Sender relates, he was seized at night by Diebold von Stein, captain of the Swabian League, with his maid and a half-grown servant, and taken in chains to Weissenhorn. After several days Langenmantel and his servant boy were beheaded, and the maid was drowned. The captain "did all this without law, for . . . no sentence had been pronounced on them; the captain said the League had commanded it. For having previously been an Anabaptist he had been banished from Augsburg, and so he was tried twice for one offense, which is contrary to all law and reason."
But he seems after all to have remained an Anabaptist, for while his relatives offered 3,000 gilders for his release, the pastors of Weissenhorn, Oberhausen, and Wellenhausen tried to direct him on the right path. The pastor Johannes Schneid stood by him as he was executed by the executioner of Memmingen on 11 May 1528. On account of severe gout he was beheaded seated in his armchair.
Eitelhans Langenmantel is the author of the following tracts: (1) Ain kurtzer begrijff von den Alten und Newen Papisten auch von den rechten und wahren Christen (1526, Weller, No. 3832); (2) Dies ist ain anzayg: ainem meynem, etwann vertrauten gesellen über seine hartte widerpart, des Sacrament und anders betreffend (Nürnberg, 1526; Weller, No. 3831); (3) Ain kurzer Anzayg, wie doctor M. Luther ain zayt hör hatt etliche schrifften lassen ausgeen vom Sacrament, die doch straks wider einander (January 1527); (4) Ott and Veesenmeyer credit him with Ein göttlich und gründlich offenbarung von dem warhaftigen Widertauffern mit gottlicher warheit anzaigt (1527), but Schottenloher (Philipp Ulhart) has shown that Jakob Dachser was the author. This is replied to in the book by Urban Rhegius, Notwendige Warnung wider den newen Tauforden an alle Christglaubigen durch die diener des Evangelii zu Augsburg (1527).
Among the manuscripts of the Anabaptists of Moravia and Hungary are two treatises by Eitelhans Langenmantel (Cod. VIII g. 27, Cod. VIII g. 25 at Budapest and Cod. Lye. at Bratislava of 1618) which present the Swiss view of communion. They are (5) Von Nachtmahl des Herren durch den getreuen Zeugen Gottes Hannss Langenmantel, and (6) Ein ander prüff: vom Sakrament auch durch Hanns Langenmantel gemacht.
Langenmantel has also been considered the author of a hymn found in the Ausbund, reprinted by Wackernagel. It has 16 stanzas and begins "Kom Gott Vatter vom Himmel mit der Kraft deines Geists"; but it is actually the work of Peter Riedemann, was written in 1529 at Gmunden, and was dedicated to the memory of Langenmantel by the publishers of the Ausbund. It is found in Codex VIIIc at Budapest with Riedemann's name.
A further writing ascribed by John Horsch to Langenmantel, Eine Auslegung des Vater Unser, is found in a booklet published by Horsch at Elkhart, Indiana, in 1888, in combination with Hans Denck's Von der wahren Liebe. Horsch says the Vater Unser was written in 1527 and is found in manuscript form in the Rutterite Epistel-Buch of 1566 (Horsch, 21). Ludwig Keller states further that this Vater Unser had already been published in a booklet in 1527 together with a sermon presumably by Hans Denck, but gives no indication of the author of the Vater Unser. The codex which Horsch used is a copy done in 1888 by Elias Walter, now in the Pibrock Bruderhof in Alberta. It contains the Langenmantel tract, expressly ascribed to him, under the title Eine hüpsche Erklärung des Vater Unser.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 35 f.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, …, 1685: II, 20 f.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 429 f. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Die Weissenhorner Historic in Fr. L. Baumann, Quellen zur Geschichte des Bauernkrieges in Oberschwaben. Tübingen, 1876: 1-240.
Dobel, Fr. Memmingen im Reformationszeitalter nach handschriftlichen und gleichzeitigen Quellen. Memmingen, 1874.
Gasparii Annates in Menken S. S. Rerum Germ. I.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 618.
Keller, L. Johann von Staupitz und die Anfange der Reformation. Leipzig, 1888: 325.
Roth, Friederich. Augsburgs Reformationsgeschichte 1511-1521. Munich, 1881.
Sender, Clemens. O. S. B. Hist. Relatio; G. Veesenmeyer, "Nachricht von Eitelhanns Langenmantel, einem Augsburgischen Wiedertäufer," in Beitrage zur Gesch. der Literatur. Ulm, 1782.
Uhlhorn, G. Vrbanus Rhegius im Abendmahlsstreite. 1861.
Cite This Article
Loserth, Johann. "Langenmantel, Eitelhans (d. 1528)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 1 Feb 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Langenmantel,_Eitelhans_(d._1528)&oldid=95722.
Loserth, Johann. (1957). Langenmantel, Eitelhans (d. 1528). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 February 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Langenmantel,_Eitelhans_(d._1528)&oldid=95722.
Herald Press website.
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