Jakob Ceporin

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Jakob Ceporin (Jakob Wiesendanger, 1499-1525) was a Swiss humanist. In the town of Dinhard, Ceporin was the son of a wealthy farmer. He studied at the school of Latin at Winterthur before attending the Universities of Cologne and Vienna.

He acquired knowledge of Hebrew after studying with the German humanist Johannes Reuchlin in Ingolstadt, knowledge of which would prove useful to him when he later became an inhabitant of Zurich, a stronghold of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland. He worked in Basel as a proof-reader in the service of a printing house. Around the second half of 1523, Ceporin married Elsbeth Scherer, a former Dominican nun of the monastery of Töss. This marriage produced a daughter –Veronika- who later became the wife of the scholar Konrad Klauser.

On 14 April 1525, Ceporin was appointed as the first Reader of Greek and Hebrew at Zwingli's school of theology in Zurich. Though a young man when he was appointed, his skill in languages had impressed his contemporaries; Zwingli was especially impressed by his wide knowledge. Ceporin’s short book on Greek grammar (published 1522) was reprinted in many editions and was still in use in the eighteenth century in Swiss schools. Ceporin died unexpectedly at the early age of 26, on 20 December at Zurich.

After the fashion of the time, Wiesendanger chose the name Ceporin as the Greek equivalent of his Swiss surname (from κηπουρός "gardener").[1]


  1. ^ Wiesendanger is a locational surname, "of Wiesendangen"; the toponym is from Wisuntwangas "wisent pasture", but was assimilated to the word Wiese "meadow" in popular etymology.