PRÆTORIUS, ABDIAS (GOTTSCHALK SCHULZE): German Lutheran; b. at Salzwedel (54 m. n.n.w. of Magdeburg) Mar. 28, 1524; d. at Wittenberg Jan. 9, 1573. He was educated at Frankfort-on-the-Oder and Wittenberg, coming under the influence of Melanchthon and remaining an ardent Philippist (see PHILIPPISTS) throughout his life. After being teacher (1544-48) and rector (1548-53) in his native city, he was called to be rector of the Altstädtisches Gymnasium at Magde- burg, teaching Greek and Hebrew, preparing a new system of government for the school (1553), and holding public disputations, especially on theological topics; until, in 1558 or 1557, he went to Frankfort-on-the-Oder as professor of Hebrew. Here he soon became the theological protagonist of the Melanchthonian faction in the controversy between the Lutherans and Philippists (q.v.; and see MUSCULUS, ANDREAS), but with the triumph of Lutheranism over Philippism in 1563, Prætorius' position in the university became untenable. Previous to this, however, he had been repeatedly employed by the elector, Joachim II., in affairs of Church and State, attending the three disputations held in Joachim's presence at Berlin with the papal legate Commendone and a Jesuit in Feb., 1561, as well as disputing on the Eucharist at Frankfort in November of the same year with envoys of the king of Hungary. In June of the following year he was sent to Warsaw as the elector's ambassador, and early in September, in a like capacity, signed the protocol of the convention held at Fulda, while in October Joachim took him and his opponent Agricola to the Diet of Frankfort. In 1563, with the fall of Philippism in Frankfort, Prætorius removed to Wittenberg, though he still remained on terms of personal friendship with the elector. He was a member of the philosophical faculty, and became dean in 1571.

(P. WOLFF†.)