TREMELLIUS, JOHN IMMANUEL
TREMELLIUS, JOHN IMMANUEL (1510–1580), Italian Hebraist and apostate Jew. Born in Ferrara and educated at the University of Padua, Tremellius became a Catholic in about 1540, his godfather being Cardinal Reginald Pole, archbishop of Canterbury. A year later, he abandoned Catholicism for Protestantism, and in 1542 was appointed professor of Hebrew at the University of Strasbourg. The European wars of religion drove Tremellius to England, where Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, a leading Protestant, gave him lodgings for a time in Lambeth Palace. Following the death of Paulus *Fagius, Tremellius served as king's reader in Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, where he remained from 1549 until the Catholic reaction under Queen Mary (1553), when he left for Germany. He was professor of Old Testament at the University of Heidelberg between 1561 and 1576, but paid a second visit to England in 1565. As a Calvinist, he incurred Lutheran displeasure at Heidelberg and was expelled in 1576, concluding his teaching career at Sedan.
Tremellius' main work was his Latin translation of the Bible from Hebrew and Syriac (Old Testament with F. Junius, Frankfurt on the Main, 1575–59; New Testament, Geneva, 1569), of which many editions were published. He also issued an Aramaic and Syriac grammar (Geneva, 1569). His Latin Bible had a profound impact on Hebrew studies in England during the 17th century.
DNB, S.V.; W. Becker, Immanuel Tremellius (Ger., 18902); H.P. Stokes, Studies in Anglo-Jewish History (1913), 207–9; F. Secret, Les Kabbalistes Chrétiens de la Renaissance (1964), 201, 229; Baron, Social2, 13 (1969), 167, 396; Roth, England, 146f.
[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.