1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Froben, Joannes

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FROBEN [Frobenius], JOANNES (c. 1460–1527), German printer and scholar, was born at Hammelburg in Bavaria about the year 1460. After completing his university career at Basel, where he made the acquaintance of the famous printer Johannes Auerbach (1443–1513), he established a printing house in that city about 1491, and this soon attained a European reputation for accuracy and for taste. In 1500 he married the daughter of the bookseller Wolfgang Lachner, who entered into partnership with him. He was on terms of friendship with Erasmus (q.v.), who not only had his own works printed by him, but superintended Frobenius’s editions of St Jerome, St Cyprian, Tertullian, Hilary of Poitiers and St Ambrose. His Neues Testament in Greek (1516) was used by Luther for his translation. Frobenius employed Hans Holbein to illuminate his texts. It was part of his plan to print editions of the Greek Fathers. He did not, however, live to carry out this project, but it was very creditably executed by his son Jerome and his son-in-law Nikolaus Episcopius. Frobenius died in October 1527. His work in Basel made that city in the 16th century the leading centre of the German book trade. An extant letter of Erasmus, written in the year of Frobenius’s death, gives an epitome of his life and an estimate of his character; and in it Erasmus mentions that his grief for the death of his friend was far more poignant than that which he had felt for the loss of his own brother, adding that “all the apostles of science ought to wear mourning.” The epistle concludes with an epitaph in Greek and Latin.