ACONTIUS, JACOBUS (c. 1520-1567). Humanist and reformer. Virtually nothing is known about Acontius's early life. In 1557 he turned Protestant and left his native Italy, going to Basel, then to Zurich. In 1559, after the succession of Elizabeth I (q.v.), he moved to England, where he found employment as a military engineer. Aside from an important book on knowledge, De methodo, his major work was Satanae stratagamata (The Stratagems of Satan), which was published in Basel two years before his death. Frequently reprinted, the book was the most eloquent and formidable plea for religious freedom and toleration in the 16th century.