PLITT, GUSTAV LEOPOLD: German Lutheran; b. at Genin, near Lübeck, Mar. 27, 1836; d. at Erlangen Sept. 10, 1880. He studied theology at the universities of Erlangen (1854-56, 1857-58) and Berlin (1856-57), and early in 1861 became privat-docent at the former institution, lecturing chiefly on church history and especially on the Reformation period and the life of Luther, and also on exegesis. At the same time he developed his literary activity, publishing Melanchthons Loci communes in ihrer Urgestalt (Erlangen, 1864) and soon after his main work, Einleitung in die Augustana (2 vols., 1867-68). In 1867 Plitt was appointed associate professor. Besides continuing his work as an author, evidenced in his Aus Schelling's Leben, in Briefen (3 vols., Leipsic, 1869-70) and Kurze Geschichte der lutherischen Mission, in Vorträgen (Erlangen, 1871), he took an active part as preacher at the university and in influencing practical church life. In 1867 he became the head of the Bavarian Verein für Judenmission, and was equally energetic in behalf of home missions and philanthropic enterprises, being also one of the founders of the institution of army deacons in the Franco-Prussian war. In 1875 he was advanced to a full professorship, and in the same year published his Grundriss der Symbolik für Vorlesungen (Erlangen, 1875), which had been preceded by Die Apologie der Augustana, geschichtlich erklärt (1873). Meanwhile he had continued his studies on the period of the Reformation, and contemplated combining them into a biography of Luther which should appeal to the cultured public as well as to scholars. This work, begun by him, was completed after his death by his friend E. F. Petersen of Lübeck, appearing under the title, Martin Luthers Leben und Wirken (Leipsic, 1883). In 1877 he became associated with Johann Jakob Herzog (q.v.) in the preparation of the second edition of the Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, a task for which wide theological knowledge, unwearying energy, and breadth of view rendered him peculiarly adapted. He had been able, however, to help to finish only half the work when he died.

(F. FRANK†.)