Johann Olearius



Born: Sep­tem­ber 17, 1611, Hal­le, Ger­ma­ny.

Died: Ap­ril 24, 1684, Weiß­en­fels, Ger­ma­ny.


Johannes was the son of Jo­hann Ole­ar­i­us, pas­tor of St. Ma­ry’s Church and Su­per­in­ten­dent at Hal­le.

He en­tered the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Wit­ten­berg in 1629 (MA 1632, DD 1643), where he be­came a lec­tur­er and, in 1635, ad­junct of the phil­o­so­phy fa­cul­ty.

In 1637, he be­came Su­per­in­ten­dent at Quer­furt. In 1643, Duke Au­gust of Sach­sen-Weiß­en­fels ap­point­ed Ole­ar­i­us chief court preach­er, and pri­vate chap­lain at Hal­le, where he be­came Kirch­en­rath in 1657, and Gen­er­al Su­per­in­ten­dent in 1664.

On the death of Duke Au­gust in 1680, the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Mag­de­burg fell to the Elec­tor of Bran­den­burg, and Duke Jo­hann Adolf gave Ole­ar­i­us sim­i­lar ap­point­ments at Weißen­fels, which he held un­til his death.


Olearius wrote a Bi­ble com­men­ta­ry and var­i­ous de­vo­tion­al works.

He al­so com­piled Geist­liche Singe-Kunst, one of the lar­gest and most im­por­tant Ger­man hym­nals of the 17th Cen­tu­ry. The first ed­i­tion ap­peared in Leip­zig in 1671, with ov­er 1,200 en­tries; the se­cond in Leip­zig in 1672, with 1,340 hymns. The first ed­i­tion con­tained 302 hymns by Ole­ar­i­us him­self, marked D. J. O.



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