Wilhelm Xylander

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Wilhelm Xylander
Engraving from Bibliotheca chalcographica
Born 26 December 1532
Died 10 February 1576(1576-02-10) (aged 43)
Nationality German
Other names Guilielmus Xylander, Wilhelm Holtzmann
Occupation Arts Professor
Known for First translation of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius into Latin

Wilhelm Xylander (born Wilhelm Holtzman, graecized to Xylander; 26 December 1532 10 February 1576) was a German classical scholar and humanist. He served as rector of Heidelberg University in 1564. [1]



Born at Augsburg, he studied at Tübingen, and in 1558, when very short of money (caused, according to some, by his intemperate habits), he was appointed to succeed Jakob Micyllus in the professorship of Greek at the University of Heidelberg; he exchanged it for a chair of logic (publicus organi Aristotelici interpres) in 1562. [2]

In Heidelberg church and university politics, Xylander was a close partisan of Thomas Erastus. [3]

Xylander was the author of a number of important works, including Latin translations of Dio Cassius (1558), Plutarch (1560–1570) and Strabo (1571). He also edited (1568) the geographical lexicon of Stephanus of Byzantium; the travels of Pausanias (completed after his death by Friedrich Sylburg, 1583); the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (1558), the editio princeps based on a Heidelberg manuscript now lost; a second edition in 1568 with the addition of Antoninus Liberalis, Phlegon of Tralles, an unknown Apollonius, and Antigonus of Carystus—all paradoxographers); and the chronicle of George Cedrenus (1566). He translated the first six books of Euclid into German with notes, the Arithmetica of Diophantus, [4] and the De quattuor mathematicis scientiis of Michael Psellus into Latin. [2]



  1. Drüll, Dagmar (2002). Heidelberger Gelehrtenlexikon 1386-1651. Berlin: Springer. pp. 562–3. ISBN   3540435301.
  2. 1 2  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Xylander, Guilielmus". Encyclopædia Britannica . 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 889.
  3. Gunnoe, Charles (2011). Thomas Erastus and the Palatinate: A Renaissance Physician in the Second Reformation. Leiden: Brill. p. 201. ISBN   9789004187924.
  4. Weil, André (2006). Number Theory: An approach through history from Hammurapi to Legendre. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 31.