Willibald Pirckheimer

1470-1530. German scholar. Born at Eickstätt, he studied at Pavia and Padua. In Nuremberg he promoted the study of the classics as his father, Johann, before him had done. Willibald's sisters were said to have been among the best educated women of Germany. Six of the seven entered religious orders; the most famous was Charitas, who brought about Willibald's return to Roman Catholicism after he had for a few years followed Martin Luther. Three of his five daughters became nuns. His Bellum Helveticum seu Suitense, published in 1610, earned him the title of “the German Xenophon.” His Oratio Apologetica, written a year before his death, is a defense of his sister's convent and the Old Religion. Pirckheimer and Albrecht Dürer* were close friends. Pirckheimer's translations of classical writers and his original historical, scientific, and artistic studies put him into the front ranks of the German humanists.