Melchior Adam

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Melchior Adam (c. 1575 in Grottkau – 26 December 1622, in Heidelberg) was a German literature historian.


Adam was born in Grottkau, Nysa, Silesia (present-day Grodków, Opole Voivodeship). He visited the college in Brieg Brzeg, then studied on various academies with financial support of his benefactor Joachim von Berg. He was called in 1601 to teach as magister at the municipal school of Heidelberg, and later became co-rector and professor at the same institution.[1]


File:Adam Melchior (1575-1622).jpg
Vitae germanorum philosophorum, 1615

His major achievement consisted of various literary historian biographies, which have been printed in Stuttgart and Heidelberg in five volumes: German Philosophers (incl. philologists, poets, mathematicians and physicists), German Theologians, Foreign Theologians, Jurists and Politicians and Medics. The discussed German (with the exception of vol. three) personalities were sorted chronologically by the date of their death - these dates lie mostly between 1420 and 1620. His sources were biographic texts, personal records, funeral orations, letters and various academic records.

His Vitae Germanorum philosophorum (Lives of German philosophers) of 1615 contains[2][3] one of the earliest Nicolaus Copernicus biographies.

It is mentioned that he discussed the Lutheran theologians in a deprecative manner, as he himself was Calvinist.[4]


  • Vitae Germanorum jureconsultorum et politicorum, qui superiore seculo, et quod excurrit, floruerunt Heidelberg 1611.Vitae Germanorum jureconsultorum et politicorum at Google Books
  • Vitae Germanorum philosophorum … Frankfurt 1610 - Heidelberg 1615 Vitae Germanorum philosophorum at Google Books Vitae Germanorum philosophorum at the Internet Archive
  • Decades duae continentes vitas theologorum exterorum principium. Frankfurt am Main 1618.
  • Vitae Germanorum medicorum Heidelberg 1620
  • Vitae Germanorum theologorum … Heidelberg 1620
  • Vitae Germanorum iureconsultorum et politicorum Heidelberg 1620
  • Apographum Monumentorum Haidelbergensium. Heidelberg 1612
  • Disce mori oder Sterbekunst. Neustadt a. d. H. 1615
  • Parodiae et metaphrases Horatianae. 1616


  1. Chisholm 1911.
  2. CAMENA - Lateinische Texte der Frühen Neuzeit: HTML
  3. Internet Archive Scan
  4. Kelchner 1875.
  • Ernst Kelchner (1875), "Adam, Melchior", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in Deutsch), 1, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 45–46<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Adam, Melchior" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links