Bishop Rem(us) of Chiemsee

Aegridus Rem(us) of Augsburg was a man of great learning and skills. He had an outstanding education. He was an important advisor to Cardinal Lang of Salzburg on matters of religion and Catholic Church reform. He served the last ten years of his life as the Bishop of Chiemsee (a diocese about half way between Munich and Salzburg) within the realm of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Cardinal Mattaus Lang. He was intimately involved in efforts to reform the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation.


On this page is a sketch of his life. Click the links for more details.

Aegridus Rem (Aegridus translates to English as Giles) was born to the Augsburg Patricians Lucas Rem and Magdelena Welser. This family is shown both by the original family name Rem (Rehm) and by the Latinized version Remus. Rem is a German clan name found in southern Germany. The Latinizing of names was commonly done in time of the Renaissance. The Rem(us) was a patrician family that thrived on the trade between Augsburg and Venice. Aegridus was born around 1485 (not 1500 as listed in some sources). He had a brother Hans (Johan) Rem who married into another patrician family of Augsburg and Munich, the family of Matthaus Lang. Click here to find out more about the Rem(us) family in Augsburg.

Aegridus Rem was educated at three universities, the universities of Padua (1509/1513) in Northern Italy, University of Pavia (1512/1513) just south of Milan, and University of Paris by 1514. His fields were theology and law. He was a humanist and corresponded with the most famous humanist of the time, Erasmus.

Aegridus Rem upon the completion of his education became a key advisor for Cardinal Matthaus Lang of Salzburg. At the time (1515), the Catholic Church was badly in need of reform. Problems of drink, financial mismanagement and the keeping of concubines were widespread as well as just plain neglect of religious duties.

Aegridus Rem also spent time in Rome in 1523/24 as a representative of Cardinal Lang. In that capacity, he met the Pope and conveyed messages between the Pope and the Cardinal. He failed, however, to convince the Pope to allow the Bishops to discipline the clerics and monastics within their domain. Instead, the Pope left the discipline to the secular authorities. This was why Luther was protected in spite of his views and why many German municipalities and states were easily converted to Lutheranism. This is also why reform efforts within the church failed until the Council of Trent well after Rem's death.

Both Lang and Rem whole-heartedly supported the need for church reform and began to institute such a reform within the archdiocese of Salzburg. Rem was the key architect of the reform documents such as those of the Muehldorf Convention of 1522. Click here for a picture of Muehldorf in that era. In spite of such actions, the movement started by Luther gained momentum. All this religious turmoil led to the Peasant's War and the peasant's three month siege of the high fortress of Salzburg (Rem was inside the fortress for those three months). Click on the latter link to find out more about the creation of term Stierwascher and what that had to do with Bishop Rem. His siege experience was very influential in getting Dr. Aegidius Rem to write "Bellum rusticum Saltzpurgense", which appeared on 11 November 1525.

Within a year of the resignation of Berthold Purstinger, the Bishop of Chiemsee, Aegridus Rem was appointed the new Bishop of Chiemsee (1526). He was still active in reform at both the diocese and archdiocese level. He died in Chiemsee on 9 September 1535. Here is a map of the Archbishopric of Salzburg including Chiemsee Dioses.

Bishop Rem's major work still exists in several libraries in Germany. It is titled "Rusticum Salztburgense descriptum" published in Saltzburg in 1525.


 Large parts of the above were adapted from From Sallaberger, Johann Kardinal Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg : (1468 - 1540) ; Staatsmann und Kirchenfürst im Zeitalter von Renaissance, Reformation und Bauernkriegen / Salzburg ; München : Pustet, 1997. - 544 S. : Ill. ISBN 3-7025-0353-6


 Please send any queries to Bill Remus at

August 9, 2007