Hortensius, Lambertus (1500-1574)

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Lambertus Hortensius, a Dutch historian, studied at the school of St. Jerome at Utrecht, then at the University of Leuven. In 1527 he was employed as a teacher in the school of St. Jerome, was here dedicated as a priest, and served from 1544 as rector of the Latin school at Naarden. In 1572 he lost his entire estate to plundering Spanish soldiers and died on the nearby country estate "de hooge Eng" or "Crayl" in 1574.

One of his several works is of interest to us: Tumultuum anabaptistarum liber unus (Basel, 1548). This booklet of 84 pages is dedicated to the mayors and the council of Amsterdam. It endeavors to increase the fame of the council by bringing into prominence its wisdom and energy in mastering the Anabaptist attempt at a coup d'état, in contrast to the negligence and foolishness of the government of Münster. After a brief reference to the origins of the Anabaptist movement, which he finds in a miscomprehension of Luther's Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen, Hortensius presents a detailed account of the events in Münster in a smooth and skillful style in Latin, without division into chapters or sections. The result is a graphic and impressive description of the affair, which explains the remarkable influence the book enjoyed for centuries. Its historical value is slight. The first Dutch translation, Het Boeck . . . van den Oproeren der Weder-dooperen (Enkhuizen, 1614), quarto size, 53 pages, contained 8 1/2 remarkable full-page hand-colored illustrations in five colors (copy in the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen). Later Dutch editions appeared in 1624, 1660, 1694, and 1699.The Histoire des Anabaptistes, published anonymously at Paris in 1695, is in effect a translation of Hortensius.


Cornelius, C. A. Die Geschichtsquellen des Bistums Münster. Münster, 1850: II, p. XXVIII.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 348.

Mees, G. "Lambertus Hortensius ... als geschiedschrijver." Nieuwe verhandelingen van het Provinciaal Utrechtsch genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen 11 (Utrecht, 1838).

Author(s) Christian Neff
Harold S. Bender
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Hortensius, Lambertus (1500-1574)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 17 Aug 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hortensius,_Lambertus_(1500-1574)&oldid=118334.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1956). Hortensius, Lambertus (1500-1574). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 August 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hortensius,_Lambertus_(1500-1574)&oldid=118334.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 816. All rights reserved.

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