Caspar Barlaeus

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Caspar Barlaeus

Caspar Barlaeus (February 12, 1584 – January 14, 1648) was a Dutch polymath and Renaissance humanist, a theologian, poet, and historian.

Polymath Individual whose knowledge spans a significant number of subjects

A polymath is an individual whose knowledge spans a significant number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. The term entered the lexicon in the 20th century and has now been applied to great thinkers living before and after the Renaissance.

Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but also deals with religious epistemology, asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but also willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind. While theology has turned into a secular field, religious adherents still consider theology to be a discipline that helps them live and understand concepts such as life and love and that helps them lead lives of obedience to the deities they follow or worship.



Born Caspar (Kaspar) van Baerle in Antwerp, Barlaeus' parents fled the city when it was occupied by Spanish troops shortly after his birth. They settled in Zaltbommel, where his father eventually would become head of the Latin school. Caspar studied theology and philosophy at the University of Leiden. After his study, he preached for 1.5 years in the village of Nieuwe-Tonge, before returning to Leiden in 1612 as an under-regent of a college. From 1617 he also was professor in philosophy at the university. Because of his remonstrant sympathies, he was forced out of this job in 1619. He then studied and graduated in medicines (in Caen), but never practiced professionally.

Antwerp Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with a metropolitan area housing around 1,200,000 people, it's the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels in Belgium.

Zaltbommel Municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Zaltbommel is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands.

Latin school School type in Europe from the 14th to 19th centuries

The Latin school was the grammar school of 14th- to 19th-century Europe, though the latter term was much more common in England. Emphasis was placed, as the name indicates, on learning to use Latin. The education given at Latin schools gave great emphasis to the complicated grammar of the Latin language, initially in its Medieval Latin form. Grammar was the most basic part of the trivium and the Liberal arts — in artistic personifications Grammar's attribute was the birch rod. Latin school prepared students for university, as well as enabling those of middle class status to rise above their station. It was therefore not unusual for children of commoners to attend Latin schools, especially if they were expected to pursue a career within the church. Although Latin schools existed in many parts of Europe in the 14th century and were more open to the laity, prior to that the Church allowed for Latin schools for the sole purpose of training those who would one day become clergymen. Latin schools began to develop to reflect Renaissance humanism around the 1450s. In some countries, but not England, they later lost their popularity as universities and some Catholic orders began to prefer the vernacular.

From 1631, he was professor of philosophy and rhetoric at the Amsterdam Athenaeum, Athenaeum Illustre ), which is commonly regarded as the predecessor of the University of Amsterdam; the Athenaeum had its seat in the fourteenth-century Agnietenkapel. In January 1632, Barlaeus, along with Gerard Vossius, held his inaugural speech at the Amsterdam Atheneum. Barlaeus later encouraged Martinus Hortensius to lecture –and give an inaugural speech- at the same institution.

Athenaeum Illustre of Amsterdam Old university of Amsterdam

Athenaeum Illustre, or Amsterdamse Atheneum, was a city-sponsored 'illustrous school' founded after the beeldenstorm in the old Agnieten chapel on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231 in Amsterdam. Famous scientists such as Caspar Barlaeus, Gerardus Vossius, and Petrus Camper taught here.

University of Amsterdam university in Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam is a public university located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The UvA is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the VU University Amsterdam (VU). Established in 1632 by municipal authorities and later renamed for the city of Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam is the third-oldest university in the Netherlands. It is one of the largest research universities in Europe with 31,186 students, 4,794 staff, 1,340 PhD students and an annual budget of €600 million. It is the largest university in the Netherlands by enrollment. The main campus is located in central Amsterdam, with a few faculties located in adjacent boroughs. The university is organised into seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry.


Barlaeus published many volumes of poetry, particularly Latin poetry. He also wrote the eulogy that accompanies the 1622 portrait of cartographer Willem Blaeu.

Latin poetry

The history of Latin poetry can be understood as the adaptation of Greek models. The verse comedies of Plautus are considered the earliest surviving examples of Latin literature and are estimated to have been composed around 205-184 BC.


A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person(s) or thing(s), especially one who recently died or retired or as a term of endearment.

Willem Blaeu Dutch cartographer, atlas maker and publisher (1571-1638)

Willem Janszoon Blaeu, also abbreviated to Willem Jansz. Blaeu, was a Dutch cartographer, atlas maker and publisher. Along with his son Johannes Blaeu, Willem is considered one of the notable figures of the Netherlandish/Dutch school of cartography in its golden age.

Barlaeus was involved in various aspects of cartography and history. He translated Antonio de Herrera's Description of the West Indies in 1622. In 1627, Barlaeus provided the text for the atlas of Italy created by Jodocus Hondius. In 1647, he wrote an account of the Dutch colonial empire in Brazil, inspired by the leadership of John Maurice of Nassau (Johan Maurits) at Recife. The Rerum per octennium in Brasilia et alibi nuper gestarum sub praefectura, as it is called, contains numerous maps and plates of the region. [1] The engravings of Brazilian northeastern locales, fleets, battles, and maps were for 160 years the main references to Brazilian landscapes available in Europe, and are well known by Brazilians today as the most important examples of pre-national art. Franciscus Plante wrote a similar work in the same year called Mauritias, and included the maps already published in Barlaeus' work. These were maps of Ceará , Pernambuco , Paraíba , and Pernambuco Borealá. Plante also incorporated a portrait of John Maurice that had already been included in Barlaeus' work.

Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas historian

Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas was a chronicler, historian, and writer of the Spanish Golden Age, author of Historia general de los hechos de los castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del mar Océano que llaman Indias Occidentales, better known in Spanish as Décadas and considered one of the best works written on the conquest of the Americas. It is worth noting that Herrera never visited or lived in any part of the Americas. Therefore his work was largely conjectural.

Atlas A collection of maps

An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a bundle of maps of Earth or a region of Earth.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

In 1638, Barlaeus wrote Medicea Hospes, sive descriptio publicae gratulationis, qua ... Mariam de Medicis, excepit senatus populusque Amstelodamensis. Published by Willem Blaeu, it includes two large folding engraved views of the ceremonies on the occasion of the French queen mother Marie de Medici's triumphal entry into Amsterdam in 1638. Considered an important moment in Dutch history, Marie's visit lent de facto international recognition of the newly formed Dutch Republic. Marie de Medici actually traveled to the Netherlands as exile, but spectacular displays and water pageants took place in the city's harbor in celebration of her visit. There was a procession led by two mounted trumpeters; a large temporary structure erected on an artificial island in the Amstel River was built especially for the festival. This building was designed to display a series of dramatic tableaux in tribute to her once she set foot on the floating island and entered its pavilion.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Royal entry Ceremonies accompanying a formal entry by a ruler into a city

The Royal Entry, also known by various names, including Triumphal Entry, Joyous Entry, consisted of the ceremonies and festivities accompanying a formal entry by a ruler or his representative into a city in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period in Europe. The entry centred on a procession carrying the entering prince into the city, where he was greeted and paid appropriate homage by the civic authorities. A feast and other celebrations would follow.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland. Amsterdam is colloquially referred to as the "Venice of the North" due to its large number of canals which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Death and legacy


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  1. "Rerum per octennium in Brasilia et alibi nuper gestarum sub praefectura". Scribd. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  2. "Franciscus Plante". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-04-18.