Laurentius Corvinus

Laurentius Corvinus

Laurentius Corvinus (Lorenz Rabe; Wawrzyniec Korwin; 1465 – 1527) was a Silesian scholar who lectured at Cracow Academy when Nicolaus Copernicus began to study there.

Lorenz Rabe was born in Neumarkt (Środa Śląska) in Lower Silesia. He Latinized his name and became known as Corvinus (Latin for the German word Rabe, or raven), as was standard custom in educational circles for centuries. He was from 1505-1508 employed in Copernicus' home town of Toruń (Thorn) from 1505-1508. Corvinus helped to publish Copernicus’s Latin translation of the Byzantine Greek poetry by Theophylactus Simocatta, the Letters. Corvinus transmitted Copernicus’s translation to the printer’s shop of Johann Haller in Kraków to be published in 1509. This became possible due to the fact that Corvinus received the master of liberal arts degree in 1489, after he had started his studies at the Cracow University in 1484.

Corvinus was a close friend of another Silesian, Johannes Sommerfeld, who also taught at Kraków while Copernicus was there. He was influenced by Conrad Celtis and Copernicus befriended the group of humanists. As a student and later magister at Cracow University he was acquainted with astronomy; as magister he lectured at the faculty for several years, including the first years of Copernicus’ studies in Kraków.

He worked as teacher and rector at Schweidnitz (Świdnica) and Breslau (Wrocław). He published humanistic writings and poems, some of them of religious nature. While he had taken the position as city secretary of Toruń for a few years, he nevertheless transferred back to Breslau, when a position became open, because of his young wife's homesickness.

Corvinus died in Breslau.


Corvinus transmitted Copernicus’s translation to printer in Cracow, published in 1509. Bd. 2, S. 0935

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