The Correspondence of Johann Permeier (89 letters)

Primary Contributors:

Noémi Viskolcz

Johann Permeier (1597–1644?)

Born in Upper Austria, and a practitioner of law in Vienna until 1627, the Austrian chiliast Johann Permeier is known to have travelled to Poland, to the Dutch Republic, and across the German states. He was a talented organizer and a propagandist of heretical ideas such as ‘weigelianism’ and millenarianism, and he founded a virtual society (the Societas Regalis Jesu Christi) with contemporaries such as Abraham von Franckenberg (Ludwigsdorf, Silesia), Lorenz Grammendorf (Berlin), Florian Crusius (Danzig), and Mechior Beringer von Königshofen (Pressburg, Hungary).

Partners and Additional Contributors

Dr Noémi Viskolcz is a Professor of the University of Miskolc, Hungary. Her main interests lie in early modern intellectual and cultural history. She is the author of four monographs: The Library of Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld (1605–1655) (Budapest, 2003); Plans to Renew the Evangelical Church in Germany in the Seventeenth Century (Budapest, 2006); Areas of patronage in the aristocratic court. The library of Ferenc Nádasdy (Budapest and Szeged, 2013); and The presses of Ferenc Nádasdy (Budapest, 2015).

Cultures of Knowledge would like to thank Noémi Viskolcz for contributing this metadata collated in the course of her research.


The letters recorded currently in this catalogue, 89 in total, span the years 1637 to 1641, and are all to be found in the collection of the Bibliothek und Archiv der Franckeschen Stiftungen. Written in German, 56 are letters from Permeier, and 30 are letters written to him. Among the recipients were Abraham von Franckenberg, Florian Cruisus, Matthaeus Merian, Lorenz Grammendorf, and Melchior Beringer von Königshofen.


There was no contemporary print publication of these letters.

Scope of Catalogue

It is intended ultimately that full transcriptions for these letters, created by Noémi Viskolcz, will be mounted in this EMLO catalogue.

Further resources

Editions of some of the letters:

Wotschke, Theodor, Der Polnischen Brüder Briefwechsel mit den märkischen Enthusiasten, Deutsche wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift für Polen, 22 (1931), pp. 1–66.

Wotschke, Theodor, Die Frankfurter Folioausgabe der Arndteschen Postille und der österreichische Protestantismus, Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für die Geschichte des Protestantismus in Österreich, 55 (1934), pp. 65–8.

Secondary works

Richard van Dülmen, ‘Prophetie und Politik. Johann Permeier und die ‘Societas regalis Jesu Christi’ (1631–1643)’, Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte, 71 (1978), pp. 417–73.

Bálint Keserű, ‘In den Fußstapfen der Rosenkreuzer — Johann Permeiers Tätigkeit und Vorhaben im Karpatenbecken’ in Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, ed. Rosenkreuz als europäisches Phänomen im 17. Jahrhundert (Amsterdam, 2001), pp. 287–306.

Noemi Viskolcz, Tervek az evangélikus egyház megújítására a 17. században [Plans to Renew the Evangelical Church in Germany in the Seventeenth Century] (Budapest, 2006).

Leigh T. I. Penman, ‘A seventeenth-century prophet confronts his failures: Paul Felgenhauer’s Speculum poenitentiae, Buß-Spiegel (1625)‘ in ed. Clare Copeland and Jan Machielsen Angels of Light? Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in the Early Modern (Leiden: Brill, 2012), pp. 167–98.

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