February 16, 1497, Bretten, Unterpfalz (now Baden-Württemberg), Germany.

April 19, 1560, Wittenberg, Germany.

Schlosskirche, Wittenberg, Germany.


Son of Georg Scharzert, armorer to Elector Philipp of the Palatinate, Melanchthon attended the Latin school at Pforzheim, already being called, by Johann Reuchlin, Melanchthon (the Greek form of Black Earth, his surname). In October 1509, he entered the University of Heidelberg (BA 1511), and on September 17, 1512, matriculated at Tübingen (MA 1514), where he remained until 1518 as private lecturer in the philosophy faculty. On August 29, 1518, he was appointed professor of Greek at the University of Wittenberg, and in January 1526, Professor of Theology.

Melanchthon is best known as one of the leaders of the German Reformation, as a theologian, and the framer of the famous Confession presented to the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. His poems and hymns were all in Latin, and he had little appreciable influence on German language hymnody. His works include:

  1. Dicimus grates tibi, summe rerum