Girolamo Aleander

1480-1542. Roman Catholic scholar. He headed the opposition to Luther at the Diet of Worms.* Born in Venice, he studied medicine and theology, and was said to have been one of the most learned men of his day. He taught Latin, Hebrew, and Greek at the University of Paris from 1508 and was for a time rector of the university. In 1519 Leo X appointed him librarian of the Vatican, and thereafter he was employed on various papal missions. Evidence of the virulence of his attacks on Luther is provided by copies of his letters which are in the Vatican Library. At the Diet of Worms he made a lengthy speech advocating the sternest possible measures against Luther and his teaching, and it was he who drew up the edict, accepted by Charles V and the Diet, by which Luther was condemned. Later, in the Netherlands, it was at Aleander's instigation that two monks were burned at the stake in Brussels in 1523, the first martyrs of the Reformation.