Albrecht von Eyb
One of the earliest German humanists, born in 1420 near Anabach in
Franconia; died in 1475. After preliminary studies at Erfurt he
went to Italy and devoted himself to humanistic study at the
Universities of Pavia and Bologna. He returned to Germany in 1451,
having in the meantime been appointed canon at Eichstatt and
Bamberg. From 1452 to 1459 he was again a student at Bologna,
winning the degree of doctor of canon and civil law. He was also
honoured by an appointment as chamberlain to Pius II. After his
return to Germany he resided chiefly at Eichstatt. In 1462 he
became archdeacon of Würzburg, not, however, without encountering
violent opposition from the Bishop of Würzburg, who hated Eyb as a
partisan of the Hohenzollern Margrave, Albrecht Achilles. Little
is known of his last years.
Eyb's best known and most important work is his "Ehebüchlein"
(Book on Marriage), in which he discusses the question whether a
man should take a lawful wife or not. It was published in 1472. In
1460 he had written on the same theme in Latin "An viro sapienti
uxor sit ducenda". The German work treats of the joys and sorrows
of married life and general maxims of a moral or philosophical
character are added. A decision is finally rendered in favour of
the married state. The popularity of the book is attested by the
fact that between 1472 and 1540 no less than twelve reprints were
issued. Another work of Eyb is the "Margarita poetica" (Nuremberg,
1472), a textbook of humanistic rhetoric, consisting of a
collection of passages in prose and verse from Latin authors, to
which are added specimens of humanistic eloquence. In 1474 Eyb
finished his "Spiegel der Sitten" (Mirror of Morals), a lengthy
work of ethical and moral content, probably based on some Latin
original. The book did not meet with the favour shown to the
"Ehebüchlein" and was not printed until 1511. Appended to it are
German translations of two of Plautus's comedies, the "Menaechmi "
and the "Bacchides" as well as of Ugolini's"Philogenia". Eyb's
writings have been edited by K. Müller (Sondershausen, 1879); the
best edition is that of M. Herrmann, "Deutsche Schriften des
Albrecht von Eyb" (Berlin, 1895).
ARTHUR F.J. REMY
Transcribed by Michael C. Tinkler
From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the
Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by
New Advent, Inc.
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