Hieronymous Emser

1477-1527. German editor and essayist, and Luther's bitterest opponent. After study at Tübingen (1493) and Basle (1497), he taught classics at Leipzig. As George of Saxony's secretary at Dresden, he was present at the 1519 Leipzig debate with Duke George. Emser broke with Luther and exposed him in a defense of papal primacy. Luther responded in the famous retort, “On the stinking Goat Emser,” burning Emser's writings with the canon law and papal bull of excommunication in 1520. When Luther's “December Bible” of 1522 appeared, Emser prepared a German version identical in appearance, even using Cranach* woodcuts. Luther scorned this “correction” in On Translating: an Open Letter. In 1523 Emser wrote a Defense of the Canon of the Mass Against Huldreich Zwingli. Zwingli answered in 1524 with the Antibolon. Emser's polemics ended only with his death at Dresden.