Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano. *

Non ego sum veterum, non assecla, amice, novorum.
Seu vetus est, verum diligo, sive novum.

Hisce Nobilissimo et doctrina ac virtute
Praestantissimo Albi hujus Possessori, Clarissimi

ejus aemulo, memoriam sui commendare, affectum
testari, et fausta quaeque adprecari voluit

Hermannus Alexander Röell,
SS. theologiae Professor.

Trajecti ad Rhenum
a. d. 26. octobr. 1714.

 * The source of this quotation is Juvenal, Saturae 10.356. A paraphrase of this quotation is also used by Count Pál Teleki in p. 83.

 * The Greek expression gnêsiô teknô is used by St. Paul in the introduction of two letters (1Tim 1:2, Tit 1:4), meaning “to [a/my] true son”. In the KJV it is translated as “unto my own son in the faith” and “to mine own son after the common faith”.

 * The Hebrew Ro'i 'el is probably a free quotation of Gen 16:13; in the original one reads 'El ro'i, with an inverse word order. This expression is one of the names of God, its exact meaning is uncertain. Most versions render it as “God of Seeing” or “a God who sees” while the KJV translates it as “Thou God seest me”.

The two words of the motto were probably deliberately inverted, as a pun with the name of the professor: (Röell <-> Roi el)! This is also confirmed by the fact that the Hebrew motto stands in the same line of his signature, like an alternative signature.


We have to pray that we might have a healthy soul in a healthy body. *

I am no follower, my friend, neither of the old, nor of the new, / I rather follow what is true, let it be old or new.

With this I want to recommend myself into the memory of the very noble, learned and virtuous possessor of this book, real son and heir of the virtues of his renowned and celebrated father, as a token of my friendship, by wishing him all the best

Hermann Alexander Röell
professor of divinity

Motto: “Ro’i ’el”. *

In Utrecht, on October 26, 1714.











p. 111. Utrecht, October 26, 1714

Röell, Herman Alexander
(1653-1718), German Reformed theologian

Herman Alexander Röell was born in 1653 in his father's estate in Dölberg, Mark county, a son of the Brandenburgian General of Cavalry Johann Röell, of Alsacian origin, and of Elisabeth Bruggemans. At an early age he lost both of his parents: his mother died in 1655, and his father was killed in war in 1657. He studied in the nearby towns of Unna and Hamm, then from 1670 theology in Utrecht and Groningen, and after that, driven by the adversities of war, in Bremen, Marburg, Heidelberg, Zurich – where he was a student of Johann Heinrich Heidegger (1633-1698) and Johann Kaspar Suicer (1620-1684) – and finally Hamm and Leiden. In 1677 he was offered a ministry in Cologne, but he could not accept it because of illness. In 1679 he went to Herford to become court pastor of Abbess Elisabeth, daughter of Frederick King of Bohemia (1619-20, “the Winter King”). She stood in close connection both with René Descartes and with Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669). Here he remained until her death. In 1680 he studied six months in Bremen, then became court pastor of Princess Albertine of Orange, widow of Prince William of Nassau, Lieutenant of Frisia. In 1682 he became pastor of Deventer, and also taught theology in the local high school. Here he discussed the De foedere et Testamentis Dei by Cocceius. In 1685 he was invited to Franeker as professor of philosophy and theology. In the meantime he obtained doctoral degree of philosophy and theology. His inaugural address delivered in Franeker, published both in Latin and in Dutch, won for him both great appreciation and many attacks. In 1704 he was invited into the more orthodox Utrecht as professor of theology, but not even this gesture could lessen the attacks against him either at the university, or outside of it. He kept his position in Utrecht until his death. He died in Amsterdam on July 12, 1718. His three sons all became professors, the first of philosophy and theology, the second of law, and the third of medicine. The first of them, Dionysius Andreas (1689-1733), later Mayor of Deventer, made great effort to defend his already deceased father.

Röell was one of the most outstanding and freely thinking scholar of his age. In philosophy he was Cartesian, and in theology Cocceian, while he tried to prove the compatibility of the two standpoints, by accepting the truth of revelation, while defending the competence of reasoning. He changed many controversial writings with his colleague in Franeker, the elder Campegius Vitringa. His teachings were regarded erroneous, heretical, and so dangerous, that they were condemned by some twenty synods as well as in a treatise: Judicium ecclesiasticum, quo opiniones quaedam Cl. Herm. Alex. Roelli synodice damnatae sunt, laudatum a professoribus theologiae in Acad. Lugd. Batava: Johannes à Marck, Franciscus Fabricius, Johannes Wesselius, Taco van den Honert. Leiden, 1723. – He was a friendly and peaceful man, but did not give up his principles. His motto is also a reply to the accusations against him: Non ego sum veterum, non assecla, amice, novorum: seu vetus est, verum diligo, sive novum. (I am no follower, my friend, neither of the old, nor of the new: I rather follow what is true, let it be old or new.) He also had many Hungarian relations. He published the Prophetia sancti prophetae Zachariae explicata by Sámuel Szatmárnémethi. Some of his works: Dissertatio theologica de generatione Filii, et morte fidelium temporali. Diss. theol. altera de generatione … Franeker, 1689, 1690. – Kort en eenvoudig berigt van het verschil over de geboorte des Soons en tydelicke dood der geloovige. Amsterdam, 1691. Utrecht, 1691. – Orat. inauguralis Franequerae habita de religione naturali seu rationali. – Dissertatio theologica de Regno Dei. Franeker, 1699. – Oratio inauguralis Ultrajecti habita de theologia et theologiae supernaturalis prae naturali praestantia. Utrecht, 1704. – Explicatio catecheseos Heidelbergensis. Opus postumum. Utrecht, 1728.

Röell wrote his own motto in the Album. Sámuel Szatmárnémethi had made his note in the Album still in Kolozsvár (Cluj), before the departure of Pápai Páriz (p. 89).

• ADB • Boeles II 309 • Jöcher • NNBW X 821 • Sluis-Postma