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   Johann Scheffler was born at Breslau in 1614, the oldest of three children of a 62 year old Protestant nobleman who after years of military service in Poland had retired to his native Silesia and married the 24 year old daughter of a Breslau physician.

   Even during his public school years young Scheffler wrote voluminous poems in the flowery style of that day, and although he studied medicine at Strassburg, Leyden and Padua, his interests during those university years were directed both toward poetry and toward the lively religious controversies which followed upon the establishment of Protestantism.

   During the years of 1649-1652 Scheffler practised medicine as physician to the Herzog of Oels but left that employ in 1653, embracing Catholicism and adopting the name Johann Angelus Silesius. He later held such honorary offices as that of Court Physician to Emperor Ferdinand III. of Austria and Master of Ceremonies at the court of the Prince Bishop of Breslau, but he devoted most of his energies to the publishing of at least 55 controversial tracts against Protestant protagonists. In those writings his father's choleric temperament reappears, whereas the earlier Cherubinischer Wandersmann emphasizes his quieter poetic talent and his profound analytic philosophy.

   His later years appear to have been embittered and lonely, and his death occurred in 1677 at the St. Matthias monastery of Breslau, into which he had withdrawn from public life.