All Scholars

DUDITH, Andreas

  • Image
  • Date of Birth: February 5, 1533
  • Born City: Buda (now Budapest)
  • Born State/Country: Hungary
  • Parents: Jeromos (Hieronymous), a Croatian, & Magdalena Sbardellati D., of Venice.
  • Date of Death: February 22, 1589
  • Death City: Breslau (now Wroclaw)
  • Death State/Country: Germany (now Poland)
  • Married: Regina Strauss, 1567; Elizabeth Zborowski, 1574.
  • Education:

    Study at Cathedral School, Breslau;, Italy, 1552-3; Vienna, Brussels, London, and Paris, 1554-7, Padua 1558-60.

  • Professional Experience:

    Secretary to Cardinal Reginald Pole, 1553-7; Bishop of Knin, Croatia, 1560-5; Bishop of Pécs, Hungary, 1563; Diplomat to Poland, 1563-76; Ambassador to Poland, 1565.

  • Publications:

    Dionysii Halicarnassei De Thucydidis historia iudicium (1560); De cometarum significatione (Basel, 1579; repr. in De cometis dissertationes novae clarissimorum virorum, with Thomas Erastus; Basel, 1580); Aristotelis De Physica ausculatione, lib. 8. De Coelo 4. De Gener. & Corruptione. Meteorologicorum 4. De Mundo 1. De Anima 3 (1584) Themistius lost oration to Emperor Valens (1605).

    Letters: For a complete list of Dudith’s published letters and orations, see Pierre Costil, André Dudith Humaniste Hongrois 1533–1589: Sa Vie, son Oeuvre et ses Manuscrits Grecs, Paris: Société D'édition “Les Belles Lettres, 1935).

  • Notes:

    Andrija Dudić de Hrahovicza, whose name in Croatian is Andrija Dudić Orehovički, was born to a Croatian father and Italian mother. He met a number of the most influential humanists of his time such as Paulus Manutius (1512-74) and Giovanni-Vincenzo Pinelli (1535-1601) during his youthful travels in Europe and thanks to his uncle, the bishop of Vác, a adviser to Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-64), he was able to gain the patronage of many important religious figures, particularly Cardinal Pole. Despite the church background of his family, Dudith began his career as an Erasmian humanist publishing Dionysius of Halicarnassus’s commentary on Thucydides. Appointed bishop in Croatia by Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-64) and won praise from reformers at the Council of Trent in 1562-63, by arguing that the full communion should be shared with the laity and not be exclusive to priests. He was also opposed to celibacy. He served various diplomatic missions for Ferdinand’s successors, Sigismund II (1520-72) and Maximilian II (1527-76).  While on duty in Hungary, he was sent to Breslau, Poland, where he married in 1567 and was condemned by the church. He resigned his bishopric, and became a Protestant, and left diplomacy forever, devoting himself to philosophic and theological concerns. In 1570 he became interested in mathematics, which led him to correspondence with Henry and Thomas Savile in England and Johannes Praetorius (1537-1616) in Germany. He also studied Galen and collected medical manuscripts. His library amounted to over 5000 books and numerous manuscripts. He is chiefly known for his work De cometarum significatione, written following the appearance of the Great Comet in 1577, which was visible across Europe and was the subject of works by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) and many others. Dudith, who had studied Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos but was influenced by the Calvinist theologian Thomas Erastus (1524-83) denied any scientific value to astrology. Instead he accepted Aristotle’s view that comets were the release of fire from the earth (a view he later rejected based on his own mathematical calculations). He maintained correspondence and relations with anti-Trinitarians like Giorgio Blandrata (1515-86), Jacob Palaeogus (1520-85) Fausto Sozzini (1539-1604), but was never a self-proclaimed Unitarian. When Stephen Báthory (1533-86) became king of Poland in 1576, Dudith removed to Breslau and then Moravia, where he joined the anti-Trinitarian Polish Brethen. His Latin paraphrase of the fifth oration of Themistius reflects Dudith’s opposition to religious intolerance.

  • Sources:

    Pierre Costil, André Dudith: humaniste hongrois 1533–1589, sa vie, son oeuvre et ses manuscripts grecs (Paris, 1935); C. Doris Hellman, The Comet of 1577: Its Place in the History of Astronomy (New York: Columbia U. Press, 1944); A.C. Balsem, “Books from the Library of Andreas Dudith (1533-89) in the library of Isaac Vossius,” in Books on the Move. Tracking Copies Through Collections and the Book Trade, edited by Robin Myers, Michael Harris, Giles Mandelbrote. London & New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press & the British Library, 2007) 69–86; Gábor Almási, (2009), Johannes Sambucus (1531–1584), Andreas Dudith (1533–1589), and the Republic of Letters in East Central Europe, Leiden: Brill, 2009); Luka Ilić, “Andreas Dudith und sein reformiertes Netzwerk in Breslau am Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts,” in Die Reformierten in Schlesien. Vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Altpreußischen Union von 1817 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015) 53–63.

  • Author: Ward Briggs