Rabe, Ludwig (1514-1592)

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Ludwig Rabe (Rabus) (1514-92) was born at Memmingen, Germany, went to Strasbourg about 1540 to assist Matthaus Zell, a reformer and Lutheran pastor, and became his successor in 1548. In 1556 he was appointed church superintendent at Ulm. As a church leader he opposed the doctrines of the Anabaptists and the Schwenckfelders.

Rabe is to be specially mentioned for his martyr book. In 1552 he published at Strasbourg Tomus I de S. Dei conjessoribus, veterisque ecclesiae martyribus. A German edition of this first volume appeared at Strasbourg in 1554, entitled Historien der Heyligen Auszerwöllten Gottes Zengen, Beknnem und Märtyrern. The first volume was followed by seven more. There are a number of reprints, of which the best known is the folio edition in two volumes (Strasbourg, 1571-72) titled Historien der Märtyrer. All the editions are illustrated by woodcuts and deal with 209 persons. Rabe's book is somewhat different in character from other martyr books such as the Offer des Heeren and van Braght's Martyrs' Mirror. Rabe listed not only persons who had suffered and died for their faith, but also men like Luther who had been defenders of the faith (the discussion on Luther occupies 488 pages of volume IV).

Rabe's martyr book includes three Dutch Anabaptist martyrs, Wendelmoet (Weynken) Claes and the two noble ladies of Beckum (all in volume III, 1557). The account on Wendelmoet follows an old pamphlet under the title Ein wunderliche Geschycht . . . von . . . Wendelmoet Clausen dochter. For the article on Maria and Ursula van Beckum Rabe used other sources than those used by the Offer des Heeren. He adapted two songs, both found in the Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Neerlandais (Vol. II, 553- 59). The first song begins, "Allhie will ich übersummen, was ich in kurtz hab vernummen, von zweyen Junckfrauen sagen," and the second, "Nunlasst uns frohlich heben an und Gott zu Lobe singen, von zweyen Junckfrauwen wolgethon." It is possible that the account on Wendelmoet Claesdochter in the Offer des Heeren, which does not occur here until the fourth edition (1570), was borrowed from Rabe's book.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1562, 1567, 1570, 1578, 1580, Amsterdam, 1590, n.p., 1591, Amsterdam, 1595, Harlingen, 1599: 4221, note 1, 509, note 1.

Haeghen, Ferdinand van der., Thomas Arnold and R. Vanden Berghe. Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais. II. Receuils. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1890: v. II, 533-82.

Pijper, F. Martelaarsboeken. The Hague, 1924: 120-33.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Rabe, Ludwig (1514-1592)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 31 May 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rabe,_Ludwig_(1514-1592)&oldid=162673.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Rabe, Ludwig (1514-1592). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 May 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rabe,_Ludwig_(1514-1592)&oldid=162673.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 240. All rights reserved.

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