Grumbach, Argula von (ca. 1492-1554)

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Argula von Grumbach (ca. 1492-1554), a courageous woman of Burg Ehrenfels near Hemau, Upper Palatinate, Bavaria, Germany, a true follower of Luther, and yet independent in her religious conviction, wishing to be known as "Christian" rather than "Lutheran." She warmly defended those persecuted and oppressed for their faith. In defense of Arsacius Seehofer, a young Luther enthusiast who was compelled to make a humiliating recantation, she wrote a courageous letter to the Ingolstadt city council, to Duke William of Bavaria, and to the University of Ingolstadt, admonishing "all Christian estates and governments to stay by the truth and the Word of God, . . . over which neither pope, emperor, nor prince has any authority." This bold step, unheard of at the time, for a woman to assert herself in writing in ecclesiastical affairs, caused a great stir, and brought her much recognition and admiration, but still more mockery and persecution. Balthasar Hubmaier also spoke of her with great respect. In his Schlussreden against Johann Eck (24-26) he remarked that women should be silent in church, but when the men are mute with fear, let the women speak, as Argula did. In a letter to the city council of Regensburg he cites the example of Frau Argula von Stauff (her maiden name), to encourage it to take a bold stand for Protestantism.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 90.

Herzog, J. J. and Albert Hauck, Realencyclopedie für Protestantische Theologie and Kirche, 24 vols. 3rd ed. Leipzig: J. H. Hinrichs, 1896-1913: XVIII, 779. Bibliography is cited here.

Die Religion in Geschichte and Gegenwart, 2. ed., 5 v. Tübingen: Mohr, 1927-1932: II, 1502.

Riezler, Sigmund von. Geschichte Baierns 1508-1597. 1899: IV, 89.

Sachsse, Carl. D. Balthasar Hubmaier als Theologe. Neue Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und der Kirche, 20. Berlin: Trowitzsch & Sohn, 1914: 12, 85.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Grumbach, Argula von (ca. 1492-1554)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 7 Dec 2019.,_Argula_von_(ca._1492-1554)&oldid=145348.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Grumbach, Argula von (ca. 1492-1554). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 December 2019, from,_Argula_von_(ca._1492-1554)&oldid=145348.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 602-603. All rights reserved.

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