Dax, Leonhard (d. 1574)
Leonhard Dax, a Hutterite preacher and a native of Munich, was a Catholic priest for 15 years, his last office being in Tschengels (Tyrol). Attracted by the moral earnestness and loyalty of the Anabaptists, he joined them in 1558. He was present at the execution of Hans Mändl. In Moravia, at Nemschitz near Prälitz, he was ordained to the ministry by the Hutterian Brethren in 1564, and in 1567 was sent to the Palatinate to visit the Anabaptists there. Early in November he was arrested for his work of evangelization and detained through the winter with his wife and other Anabaptist men and women in the castle prison at Alzey. The Calvinist superintendent, probably Gerrit Dircks Versteghe, cross-examined him repeatedly, and Dax defended his faith with skill, resisting all attempts to convert him to the Reformed faith. He boldly voiced his opposition to the use of force in matters of faith. He could not be moved by threats or bribes, and declared to the astonished superintendent, "I am ready not only to defend my faith and God's pious people with words, but also to suffer death for them." On 25 February 1568, they were all released. Dax kept a record of his disputation with the city pastor of Alzey, manuscript copies of which are found in the libraries at Gran, Pressburg, Olmütz and Budapest. An extract from it is printed in Sammlung für die Geschichte, vornehmlich zur Kirchen- und Gelehrtengeschichte (Nördlingen, 1779): 380-99. Dax died 4 August 1574 at Dämberschitz in Moravia.
The account of the imprisonment of Dax as found in the Hutterite chronicle states that Dax also wrote several hymns. These, however, have not been found.
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Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I, 397.
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Horsch, John. Kurzgefasste Geschichte der Mennoniten Gemeinden: nebst einem Abriss der Grundsätze und Lehren, sowie einem Verzeichniss der Litteratur der Taufgesinnten. Elkhart, Ind.: Mennonite Pub. Co., 1890: 128.
Müller, Lydia. Der Kommunismus der mährischen Wiedertäufer Leipzig: M. Heinsius Nachf. Eger & Sievers, 1927: 117.
Zieglschmid, Andreas Johannes Friedrich. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Philadelphia: Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, 1943: 424 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 21. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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APA style: Hege, Christian. (1956). Dax, Leonhard (d. 1574). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/dax_leonhard_d._1574.