The Life of the Reformer and Universal Scholar

Melanchthon House Bretten

Melanchthon's Childhood

The Melanchthon House
in Bretten

On February 16, 1497 Phillipp Schwarzerdt (Greek: Melanchthon) was born as the first of five children (1499 Anna, 1500 or 1501 Georg, 1506 Margarete and 1508 Barbara) in the house of his grandparents in the Electoral Saxon Residential town of Bretten.
Melanchthon's first name was chosen in honor of the sovereign Phillipp.

Melanchthon's father, Georg Schwarzerdt, born in Heidelberg, was a master of gunnery founding and skilled in forging light-weight strong armour. Because of his skills George Schwarzerdt was elevated to the office of electoral master of armoury and thus needed to remain in Heidelberg. Melanchthon's mother came from the wealthy merchant family of Reuter.
Melanchthon's grandfather ensured a thorough education in Latin for Melanchthon, Georg, and two grandsons of the family Reuter by hiring the tutor Johannes Unger from Pfortzheim. The death of Melanchthon's father and grandfather ended the childhood of the eleven-year old Melanchthon.

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