Jacob Masen

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Jacob Masen[1] (28 March 1606 - 27 September 1681) was a German Jesuit, known as a prolific writer in Latin.[2] As well as poetry and drama, he wrote works of history, criticism and theology.


He was born at Dahlen in Jülich, and studied in Cologne. Having entered the Order of Jesus, he taught poetry and rhetoric in the Lower Rhine region. In 1648 he took his final vows, and acted as a preacher in Cologne, Paderborn and Trier.[2] He died, aged 75, in Cologne.


He completed a substantial antiquarian work on Trier by Christoph Brouwer.[3]

His epic poem Sarcotis (1654) became notorious in the 18th century, after William Lauder alleged that John Milton had plagiarised it in writing Paradise Lost.[4]

With Jacob Bidermann, he was one of the most important Jesuit dramatists influencing German drama.[5]


  1. ^ Also Jakob, or Jacobus Masenius; he used a pseudonym Joannes Semanus.
  2. ^ a b James J. Mertz, John P. Murphy, Jesuit Latin Poets of the 17th and 18th Centuries: an anthology of neo-Latin poetry (1989), p.153.
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Christoph Brouwer". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. .
  4. ^  "Lauder, William (d.1771)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  5. ^ Leonard Foster, Neo-Latin Tradition and Vernacular Poetry, p. 100, in Gerhart Hoffmeister (editor), German Baroque Literature: The European Perspective (1983).

Further reading[edit]

  • Richard Dimler, Jakob Masen's Imago figurata From Theory to Practice. Emblematica Vol. 6(2) 1992, 283-306.

External links[edit]