German scholar, theologian, and diplomat. A leading figure in the Reformation, he was a close friend of Luther and Melanchthon. He took part in drawing up the Confession of Augsburg in 1530 and later attempted, in negotiations with Emperor Maximilian II, to reconcile the Lutheran and Catholic churches. He made many translations from Latin and Greek, notably the first complete edition of the plays of Plautus (1552).
He was born Joachim Liebhard in Bamberg. As his family had long held the office of chamberlain at the court of the bishops of Bamberg, he changed his name to Camerarius, the Latin form of the German word Kämmerer (chamberlain).
He studied Greek at Leipzig, then went to Wittenberg, attracted by the reputations of Luther and Melanchthon – he was later Melanchthon's biographer. In 1524 he published a Latin translation of Demosthenes' first Olynthiac Oration. The following year his commentary on Cicero's Tusculan disputations brought him into contact with Erasmus.
The wars of religion then forced him to leave Wittenberg and in 1526 Melanchthon made him professor of Greek and Latin at the new Protestant college in Nuremberg. In 1530 he attended the Diet of Augsburg and collaborated on the formulation of the Augsburg Confession. A moderate voice in Lutheranism, even as late as 1568 he was discussing with Emperor Maximilian II the possibility of a reconciliation between the Catholic and Protestant churches. In 1535 he moved to Tübingen and in 1541 to Leipzig, where he eventually died.
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