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Philip Melanchthon is a secondary protagonist in the 2003 film Luther.

He was portrayed by the German actor Lars Rudolph.

Melancthon was a colleague of Martin Luther when the latter became a professor at the University in Wittenburg. As Luther became disgusted with the materialism of the Roman Catholic Church Melanchthon worked along side him, becoming one of his earliest supporters.

After the apparent murder of Luther at the hands of armed bandits, their colleague Andreas Karlstadt became radicalized without Luther around to act as a check on him. Karlstadt berated a student for wearing a crucifix. Melancthon later confronted Karlstadt for doing that, stating that Luther never would've berated a student as he had. Karlstadt replied that if Melancthon wasn't with him he was against him. Luther eventually emerged from hiding and threw Karlstadt out of Wittenburg.

In 1530 Emperor Charles V called all the princes of the Holy Roman Empire to a Diet in Augsburg. As Luther was an outlaw he could not attend as Augsburg was outside the territory of Saxony where he was protected from arrest. Melanchthon was sent in his place and represented Luther at the Diet. When the electors of the Empire all refused the demands of Charles to crush Luther's movement, Melanchthon came forward to present the Augsburg Confession to the Emperor.

Seeing which way the wind was blowing the Emperor had little choice but to accept the Confession he had been presented with. His troops escorted Melancththon to Wittenburg in order to present the good news to Luther. Seeing the horses Luthor thought he was about to meet his end, but Melanchthon rode to him yelling that they had succeeded and that nothing could stop what they started now.

Trivia

  • The real Phillip Melanchthon would eventually be one of the celebrants at Luther's funeral services following his passing in 1546.
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