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MARTIN OF TROPPAU, or MARTIN THE POLE...

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 795 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARTIN OF TROPPAU, or MARTIN THE POLE (d. 1278), chronicler, was born at Troppau, and entered the order of St Dominic at Prague. Afterwards he went to Rome and became papal chaplain under Clement IV. and other popes. In 1278 Pope Nicholas III. appointed him archbishop of Gnesen, but he died at Bologna whilst proceeding to Poland to take up his new duties. Martin wrote some sermons and some commentaries on the canon law; but more important is his Chronicon pont/ificum et imperatorum, a history of the popes and emperors to 1277. Written at the request of Clement IV. the Chronicon is jejune and untrustworthy, and was mainly responsible for the currency of the legend of Pope Joan, and the one about the institution of seven electors by the pope. Nevertheless it enjoyed an extra-ordinary popularity and found many continuators; but its value to students arises solely from the fact that it was used by numerous chroniclers during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. In the 15th century it was translated into French, and as part of the Chronique martiniane was often quoted by controversialists. It has also been translated into German, Italian and Bohemian. described by the historian Henry Adams, writing of the Chase trial, as at that time the " most formidable of American advocates." Though he received a large income, he was so improvident that he was frequently in want, and on the 22nd of February 1822 the legislature of Maryland passed a remarkable resolution—the only one of the kind in American history—requiring every lawyer in the state to pay an annual licence fee of five dollars, to be handed over to trustees appointed " for the appropriation of the proceeds raised by virtue of this re-solution to the use of Luther Martin." This resolution was rescinded on the 6th of February 1823. Martin died at the home of Aaron Burr in New York on the loth of July 1826. In 1783 he had married a daughter of the Captain Michael Cresap (1742–1775), who was unjustly charged by Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, with the murder of the family of the Indian chief, John Logan, and whom Martin defended in a pamphlet long out of print. See the biographical sketch by Henry P. Goddard, Luther Martin, the Federal Bull-Dog (Baltimore, 1887), No. 24 of the " Peabody Fund Publications," of the Maryland Historical Society.
End of Article: MARTIN OF TROPPAU, or MARTIN THE POLE (d. 1278)
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