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Franz Junius, Senior

FRANZ JUNIUS, SENIOR (in French, Francois du Jon) (1545-1602), a Hugenot scholar. He was born at Bourges in France on the 1st of May 1545. He had studied law for two years under Hugo Donellus (1527-1591) when he was given a place in the retinue of the French ambassador to Constantinople, but before he reached Lyons the ambassador had departed. Junius found ample consolation in the opportunities for study at the gymnasium at Lyons. A religious tumult warned him back to Bourges, where he was cured of certain rationalistic principles that he had imbibed at Lyons, and he determined to enter the reformed church. He went in 1562 to study at Geneva, where he was reduced to the direst poverty by the failure of remittances from home, owing to civil war in France. He would accept only the barest sustenance from a humble friend who had himself been a protege of Junius's family at Bourges, and his health was permanently injured. The long-expected remittance from home was closely followed by the news of the brutal murder of his father by a Catholic fanatic at Issoudun; and Junius resolved to remain at Geneva, where his reputation enabled him to live by teaching. In 1565, however, he was appointed minister of the Walloon church at Antwerp. His foreign birth excluded him from the privileges of the native reformed pastors, and exposed him to persecution. Several times he barely escaped arrest, and finally, after spending six months in preaching at Limburg, he was forced to retire to Heidelberg in 1567. There he was welcomed by the elector Frederick II., and temporarily settled in charge of the Walloon church at Schonau; but in 1568 his patron sent him as chaplain with Prince William of Orange in his unfortunate expedition to the Netherlands. Junius escaped as soon as he could from that post, and returning to his church remained there till 1573. From 1573 till 1578 he was at Heidelberg, assisting Emmanuel Tremellius (1510-1580), whose daughter he married, in his Latin version of the Old Testament (Frankfort, 1579); in 1581 he was appointed to the chair of divinity at Heidelberg. Thence he was taken to France by the duke of Bouillon, and after an interview with Henry IV. was sent again to Germany on a mission. As he was returning to France he was named professor of theology at Leiden, where he died on the 13th of October 1602.

He was a voluminous writer on theological subjects, and translated and composed many exegetical works. He is best known from his own edition of the Latin Old Testament, slightly altered from the former joint edition, and with a version of the New Testament added (Geneva, 1590; Hanover, 1624). The Opera Theologica Francisci Junii Biturigis were published at Geneva (2 vols., 1613), to which is prefixed his autobiography, written about 1592 (new ed., edited by Abraham Kuypers,1882 seq.). The autobiography had been published at Leiden (1595), and is reprinted in the Miscellanea Groningana, vol. i., along with a list of the author's other writings.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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