Vadian, Joachim (1484-1551)

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Joachim Vadian(us) (von Watt) (1484-1551), hu­manist scholar, professor, and one-year rector of the University of Vienna 1516-1517, physician, burgomas­ter, and reformer of his home city of St. Gall, Switz­erland, some 50 miles east of Zürich in eastern Switzerland, staunch friend and supporter of Ulrich Zwingli, was the friend, teacher, and finally brother-in-law of Conrad Grebel, whose sister Dorothea he married in 1519. He took a strong stand against the emerging Anabaptist movement in St. Gall in 1525 and succeeded in suppressing it in a short time. He was chosen burgomaster first in 1526 and nine times thereafter, but was the real leader of the city con­tinuously from 1526 to his death. Fourteen of the 69 extant personal letters of Conrad Grebel were written to Vadian 1518-1525. They have been preserved in the Vadian Letter Collection in the St. Gall City Library, and were published by Arbenz and Wartmann in the Vadianische Briefsammlung I-VII (St. Gall, 1888-1913). The very important letter of Grebel and his friends to Thomas Müntzer of September 1524 has miraculously been preserved in the collection, though not published in the VB. One letter of Vadian to Grebel, dated 28 December 1524, has been preserved.


Bender, H. S. Conrad Grebel, c. 1498-1526: the Founder of the Swiss Brethren Sometimes called Anabaptists. Goshen, IN.: Mennonite Historical Library, 1950.

Egli, E. Die St. Galler Täufer. Zurich, 1887.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 401.

Näf, Werner. Vadian und seine, Stadt St. Gallen, 2 vols. St. Gallen: Fehr, 1944, 1957.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Vadian, Joachim (1484-1551)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Apr 2024.,_Joachim_(1484-1551)&oldid=146299.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Vadian, Joachim (1484-1551). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2024, from,_Joachim_(1484-1551)&oldid=146299.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 796. All rights reserved.

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