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Johannes Matthaeus Wacker von Wackenfels (1550 - 1619) "was an active diplomat, scholar and author, with an avid interest in history and philosophy. A follower of Neostoicism, he sought to resolve the doubts he still had about his conversion to Catholicism", according to STUDIA RUDOLPHINA - Bulletin of the Research Center for Visual Arts and Culture in the Age of Rudolf II.

He was born in Konstanz (Constance) and studied in Strasbourg, Geneva and Padua. He wrote courtly poems and his manuscripts contain many philological and historical studies (examples:- "Dissertatio de nummo Ptolomaei" - which he also illustrated, presently held at the Öesterreichische Nationalbiliothek in Vienna, various philosophical treatises and "De cruce et fruce veterum" - known only from correspondence).

Wacker was a friend of Johann Kepler who dedicated to him his "Strena seu nive sexangula" (1611). He became the Protegé of Johannes Crato of Krafftheim and joined his circle of humanists in Breslau (Wrocław).

As a travel companion of Niklas of Rhediger's son he was on his peregrinatio academica.


  • 1576 he returned to Breslau and became the confidant of bishop Andreas von Jerin.
  • 1591 he became chancellor of the Silesian upper [Landeshauptmann|Oberlandeshauptmannschaft] (governor).
  • 1592 he converted to the Catholic faith.
  • 1594 he was knighted and promoted into the nobility.
  • 1597 appointment as a royal court adviser.


His daughter, Helen Mary, was a famous child prodigy who died at the age of eleven. His second wife was Katharina of Troilo, one of the most influential families in Breslau. His brother-in-law was capitular Nikolaus of Troilo.

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