Cornelius, Henry

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim

the Rod activities:

the astrologer, author, lawyer and astronomer.

the date of birth:

September 14, 1486(1486-09-14)

the Place of birth:


the Country:


the date of death:

February 18, 1535(1535-02-18) (48 years)

the Place of death:


the Heinrich Cornelius at Wikimedia Commons

Heinrich Cornelius, better known under the pseudonym Agrippa Nettesheim. Agrippa von Nettesheim; 15 September 1486, Cologne — February 18, 1535, Grenoble) — a versatile scholar, an alchemist, a writer, a doctor, a natural philosopher, occultist, astrologer and attorney. The name Agrippa took in honor of the founder of his native city.



  • 1 Biography
  • 3 References in literature
  • 4 references
  • 5 References



Agrippa led a life of adventure, wandering in search of a secured position and a generous patron to different cities of Italy, France, Germany, Flanders and England, being alternately in the military, a Professor, a lawyer, a practicing physician (without proper diploma), historian and T. 

First drew the attention of theological lectures at Dole in Franche-comté, but their acrid satyrs recovered against himself and the monks, accused of heresy, was forced to leave the city to move to England. After having been engaged for some time teaching theology at Cologne, took a trip to Italy, where, having entered military service, received the rank of captain to the rank of knight.

Enemies he has gained as fast and as friends, with the result that it became known as the glory of the warlock.

In his famous essay "On the vanity of Sciences" ("De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum") (Cologne, 1527), representing a wicked satire on the then state of science, was subjected to charges before Charles V and fled to Lyon, but was there arrested and imprisoned. Having received his freedom through the intercession of friends, he moved to Grenoble and lived there until the end of days. Also wrote the book "On occult philosophy" ("De Occulta Philosophia").

in addition to the two mentioned works, left several small treatises, more or less paradoxical, extensive and valuable correspondence.

the Imagination of his contemporaries and immediate descendants saw him as "the warlock's and sorcerer and adorned his life with lies, similar to what was told about doctor Faustus. Thus, it was argued that some of them written books on demonology had a mind of its own and consciously brought to the death of their owners, who were hit after the author's death. Henry Morley also recounts a legend according to which Agrippa allegedly sold his soul to Satan, were kept at home huge black dog demon who took his soul to Hell.



was close to the humanists (Rachlin, Erasmus, had the curiosity and independence of thought, and fought against bigotry and scholastic prejudices. However, Agrippa kept to themselves and did not definitely on the side of humanism or the reformation. Thanks to sharp performances, made a lot of enemies and was exposed to frequent persecution from both the Church and secular authorities. With great courage he opposed the belief in witchcraft and made excuses for one of the T.  - called "witches". His worldview was largely typical for the time mystical in the spirit of Raymond Lully and Rahlina; however, he was able to be critical of contemporary science (see one of his main works "On the vanity of Sciences", exploring the common ground of scientific knowledge). In another essay — "On occult philosophy", Agrippa sets out in detail the system of magic; his own view on the subject unclear; some areas of correspondence, one can conclude that he denied the value of magic, the belief shared by many of the most enlightened of his contemporaries.


public works

Agrippa — one of the figures that inspired Goethe in the creation of the tragedy "Faust". Mentioned among the authors, whose works he studied Victor Frankenstein. In the novel by Valery Bryusov's "the Fiery angel" is one of the significant actors. Also displayed in the eponymous Opera by Sergei Prokofiev. The thought of Agrippa from the book "of occult philosophy" was taken as the epigraph to the second novel by Umberto Eco's novel "Foucault's Pendulum".

as Agrippa found in the computer game Amnesia: The Dark Descent.



  • J. Orsières. Agrippa Nettesheim. / Per. B. Runt edited by V. Bryusov. — Moscow: Musaget, 1913. — 109 C.
  • the
  • Morley, Henry "Cornelius Agrippa: The Life of Henry Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim" (in two volumes) London: Chapman & Hall, 1856.


  • Biography of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
When writing this article uses material from the Encyclopedic dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron (1890-1907). The article is based on materials of the first edition of the Great Soviet encyclopedia.

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