Jacob Masen

Jacob Masen S. J. (Latin Masenius, pseudonym: Ioannes Semanus, born March 28, 1606 Dahlen, † September 27, 1681 in Cologne) was an influential Jesuit poeticists, theologian and historian.


Masen visited the Cologne Jesuit Latin Tricoronatum ( Epiphany School ) and then joined in 1629 in Trier itself in the Order. First, he taught rhetoric and poetics, and after ordination in 1648 he served as a priest and writers in Cologne, Paderborn and Trier. His historical interests we owe two important writings on the history of Trier. He worked to bring about the reunification of the Christian churches and lectured on this subject before the Frankfurt Reichstag 1658. His speech in 1661 printed in Latin (" Medi Tata concordia " ) and soon translated (Johann Caspar Hunter, "Blessed legatee Association of Protestirenden with the Catholischen ", Aschaffenburg 1662). His attachment to his hometown Dahlen documented his ode about the devastating conflagration in Dahlen on June 5, 1647 he wrote to his old friend Peter Syben and in which he complains Dahlen's decline as a result of the Thirty Years' War and of that very fire. Known far beyond the regional boundaries was Masen by his work on the history of the Archdiocese of Trier ( 1652), of the diocese of Paderborn ( 1677), his assignment for the preparation of a report on the possibilities of a reunion of Catholics and Protestants ( 1658) as well as his biographies of Emperor Charles V and Ferdinand I.. at the age of 75 years, Jacob Masen died on September 27, 1681 in Cologne from dysentery.


However, it is primarily his seal theoretical writings that make up its scientific significance. So his Speculum veritatis is Imaginum occultae today used as an index for the development of baroque imagery and emblems; the eloquentiae in the three-volume Palaestra ligatae designed poetics adapted inter alia, Aristotle's theory of tragedy for the requirements of the Jesuit drama. This Masen also refers repeatedly to his own dramas, it regarded obviously as exemplary - but the Palaestra have also, in contrast to many other poetics of time, a detailed appendix with examples of antique and contemporary dramas. 1654 was also released as part of its Palaestra eloqentiae an epic Sarcotis, which describes the case of the human race: a theme that John Milton in his Paradise Lost ( 1667) also recorded and as for the literary criticism of the 19th century raised the question of whether this major work English literature plagiarism of the epic of Masen is about.

  • Ars nova argutiarum. Cologne 1649
  • Palaestra eloquentiae ligatae. 3 volumes. Cologne 1654
  • Palaestra oratoria. Cologne 1659
  • Speculum veritatis Imaginum occultae. Cologne in 1681, third edition.