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date: 07 December 2019

Froben, Johannlocked

(b Hammelburg, Franconia, c. 1460; d Basle, Oct 27, 1527).
  • Gordon Campbell


(b Hammelburg, Franconia, c. 1460; d Basle, Oct 27, 1527).

German humanist printer. He moved to Basle in 1491 and trained as a printer and scholarly editor in the Amerbach family workshop. After the death of Johannes Amerbach in 1513, Froben established himself as an independent publisher with a particular interest in the printing of Biblical and patristic works (notably a nine-volume edition of St Jerome), and engaged Hans Holbein the younger (see Holbein family §(3)) and Urs Graf to design decorative initials and borders for his books; Holbein also painted his portrait (of which a copy is in Windsor Castle). Froben became a close friend of Desiderius Erasmus, who lived in Froben’s house, and was the publisher of Erasmus’s Greek New Testament (the first to be published). Froben also published tracts by Luther, but when Luther and Erasmus clashed over the doctrine of grace, Froben supported Erasmus. After Froben’s death the publishing house was managed by his descendants until ...

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