The Greek Language

Petrus Mosellanus undeniably was blessed with a natural talent to study the Latin and Greek language and its literature. This and his strong devotion to study made him obtain the professorship in Greek at Leipzig university at a remarkably young age. According to his own memory he already discovered ancient Greek signs and inscriptions during his Trier period which kept fascinating him eversince. In Cologne he was further and more properly introduced to the Greek language by the famous Greek scholars Johannes Caesarius and Richard Crocus. Later on in Leipzig het succeeded the chair of Richard Crocus who in the meantime had moved there from Cologne and was appoointed professor for the Greek language at Leipzig university. Mosellanus mainly owed this appointment to the efforts of Richard Crocus who successfully pleaded for him with Duke George of Saxony. Mosellanus translated many Greek papers and books into Latin, famous and less famous ones.

His inaugural address as professor was titled: “About the acquisition of a proper knowlegde of languages”. The contents of his address provided him, besides overall positive attention, a number of adversaries, too. They accused him of heresy and spoke of a dangerous influence of the humanist studies towards the scholastic religious doctrines.

Erasmus characterized Mosellanus’ knowledge of Greek as: “vivacity of expression, richness and thoroughness of thoughts and the admirable wide reading range of a man of such a young age”. Petrus Mosellanus undoubtedly has contributed, like Richard Crocus,durably to the promotion and foundation of the Greek language as a subject at Leipzig university.