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La Perrière, Normandy, France
|Died||September 8, 1574 (aged 94–95)|
|Occupation||Theologian, teacher, humanist, pedagogian|
Corderius is the Latinized form of name used by Corderius (born circa 1479, died 8 September 1574), a theologian, teacher, humanist, and pedagogian from Lausanne, Switzerland, of French origin. He taught in the Academy and the School of Lausanne, where he was a director.
Cordier was born to a peasant family in La Perrière, Normandy. He completed his theological studies at Paris. Once he was a priest he exercised his ministry at a parish of Ruan and continued his studies, especially focused on grammar.
He gave up his priestly functions near 1540 when Paris, having heard of his competence, called him for teaching grammar in diverse locations. In 1523, Cordier was admitted to the College of la Marche as the Chair of Rhetoric. He taught John Calvin, and Calvin dedicated his Commentaries on the Epistle to the Thessalonians to him. In 1528 Cordier took charge of the Grammar School of Navarre. He taught in various locations in France, never stopping at any city for a long time.
In 1553, while he was directing the School at Nevers, he came back to Paris where he met Robert Estienne. Estienne was a lexicographer and Protestant printer, who edited the works of Mathurin Cordier and convinced him to convert to Protestantism. He married Thomasse Pelet, and they had a daughter named Suzanne.
Denounced for his ideas, Corderius fled France at the beginning of 1527 and took refuge in Geneva, Switzerland. There he taught alongside Calvin and William Farel. Corderius was in charge of a class in the School of de Rive. Over the next few years he saw rising hostility toward Protestants. He left the city and joined William Farel in Neuchâtel. Corderius was named as the director of the schools of the town.
In October 1545 the Vaud appointed Corderius as director the School of Lausanne. He held that position 1545 to 1547. At the same time, Corderius was a teacher and director at the “ Twelve," a boarding school. The state paid for the living costs of the pupils, who were allowed to confess or go on with their ministries. The boarding school was suppressed in 1587, same year the Academy was inaugurated. The state granted Corderius a retirement pension in recognition of his 12 years of service. During this period Pierre Viret acted as Corderius' pastor.
Corderius was a brilliant pedagogian and grammarian who contributed much to the recognition of pedagogy, rhetoric, and linguistics.
In 1559, Corderius left the Vaud with Pierre Viret and Theodore Beza. They went to Geneva because of difficulties with the government of Berne. Once in Geneva, Corderius met John Calvin again. In 1565 the Geneva Council offered Corderius another teaching position, and he accepted. Thus Corderius spent the last period of life as he had twenty years before, teaching a class. He died on September 8 of 1574. Corderius was buried at the cemetery of Plainpalais, as he wished, near the presumed location of Calvin's tomb (Calvin did not want the location of his tomb to be known).
He possessed special tact and liking for teaching children, and wrote several books for them; the most famous is his Colloquia (Colloquiorum scholasticorum libri quatuor), which has passed through innumerable editions, and was used in schools for three centuries after his time. Cordeir continued teaching at Bourdeaux and Paris.
He also wrote: