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AGRIPPA VON NETTESHEIM, HENRY CORNELIUS (1486-1535). German writer, soldier, physician and magician. For many years in the service of Maximilian I, the German King who sent him, 1510, on a diplomatic mission to England. From 1511 to 1518, he was in Italy in the service of William VI of Monferrato and of Charles III of Savoy. His early interest in the occult sciences brought him into open conflict with the Church at Dôle, Pavia and Metz. He practiced medicine in Cologne, Geneva, Freiburg and Lyon for short periods, until Margaret, Duchess of Savoy and regent of the Netherlands, appointed him archivist and historiographer to the Emperor. Eventually he went to France where he was arrested for some disparaging words about the queen-mother, but was soon released. He was married three times and had a large family. Agrippa's famous De occulta philosophia, which brought him into antagonism with the Inquisition, was written about 1510, partly under the influence of the author's friend, John Trithemius, then abbot of Würzburg, but its publication was delayed until 1531, when it appeared at Antwerp (also Lugduni: Fratres Beringo, 1533. 3 vols.). His other principal work is De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum, etc. (Antwerp, 1531), wherein he denounces the accretions of theological Christianity. He also wrote De nobilitate et praecellentia feminei sexus (Coloniae, 1532). An edition of his works was publ. at Leyden in 1550, with several later editions.

From Collected Writings Vol. 1, pp. 443-444.