Johann Tetzel

c.1465-1519. Dominican friar. His one claim to fame is his hawking of indulgences* at Jüterbock, near Wittenberg, but just beyond the borders of Saxony. His exaggerated claims stirred Martin Luther's pastoral concerns (many Wittenbergers had bought indulgences from Tetzel) to such a degree that he formulated a set of theses for academic debate. These are the Ninety-Five Theses* of 31 October, 1517. Tetzel was subcommissary of the regions of Magdeburg and Halberstadt, and the indulgences were ostensibly meant for the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, although the elector of Mainz profited in part from payment of debts to the Fuggers.