Johannes Narssius

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Johannes Narssius [1] (9 November 1580, Dordrecht – 1637, Batavia, Dutch East Indies) [2] was a Dutch physician and Neo-Latin poet, initially a Remonstrant minister.

Dordrecht City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Dordrecht, colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the Western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth-largest city of the province, with a population of 118,450. The municipality covers the entire Dordrecht Island, also often called Het Eiland van Dordt, bordered by the rivers Oude Maas, Beneden Merwede, Nieuwe Merwede, Hollands Diep, and Dordtsche Kil. Dordrecht is the largest and most important city in the Drechtsteden and is also part of the Randstad, the main conurbation in the Netherlands. Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and has a rich history and culture.

Batavia, Dutch East Indies Capital of the Dutch East Indies

Batavia, also called Betawi in the city's local Malay vernacular, was the capital of the Dutch East Indies. The area corresponds to present-day Jakarta. Batavia can refer to the city proper, as well as its suburbs and hinterland, the Ommelanden, which included the much larger area of the Residency of Batavia in today's Indonesian provinces of DKI Jakarta, Banten and West Java. In Betawi Malay, the area constituting the former Residency of Batavia is called Tanah Betawi.



He was born Johan van Naars(s)en in Dordrecht on 9 November 1580, [3] and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Leiden. [4] He may have lived in the house of Gerardus Vossius in 1602. [5] A disciple of Jacobus Arminius, his theological beliefs came into question in 1605. [6] In one of the early Leiden debates involving Arminius, he responded to Johannes Kuchlinus. [7]

Gerardus Vossius Dutch classical scholar

Gerrit Janszoon Vos, often known by his Latin name Gerardus Vossius, was a Dutch classical scholar and theologian.

Jacobus Arminius Dutch theologian, inspirator of Arminianism, champion of tolerance

Jacobus Arminius,, the Latinized name of Jakob Hermanszoon, was a Dutch theologian from the Protestant Reformation period whose views became the basis of Arminianism and the Dutch Remonstrant movement. He served from 1603 as professor in theology at the University of Leiden and wrote many books and treatises on theology.

Narssius was a subscriber to the Confessio orthodoxa of Conrad Vorstius, successor to Arminius at Leiden, and was strongly reprimanded for that by the Synod of Harderwijk. [4] He was pastor at Grave and then Zaltbommel, but lost his posts because of his combative Remonstrant approach. [5] He reportedly travelled to England to present Arminian documents to Archbishop George Abbot, meeting a very hostile reception. [8] After the general exile of Remonstrants from the Netherland he was at the Arminian colony of Friedrichstadt in Holstein. [9]

Conrad Vorstius Dutch theologian

Conrad Vorstius was a German-Dutch heterodox Remonstrant theologian, and successor to Jacobus Arminius in the theology chair at Leiden.

Harderwijk Municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Harderwijk is a municipality and city almost at the exact geographical centre of the Netherlands.

Grave, Netherlands Municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Grave is a municipality in the Dutch province North Brabant. The municipality had a population of 12,395 in 2017. Grave is a member of the Dutch Association of Fortified Cities.

He spent time in Poland, and Sweden, where he was court poet. [10] In Riga he knew Rütger Hemsing (1604–1643), another physician-poet, and an associate of Galileo. [11] He corresponded with Ole Worm on archaeology. [12] Under the name Hans van der Ast he took letters from Frederick V, Elector Palatine in Germany to his wife Elizabeth of Bohemia, who was in The Hague. [13]

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Riga City in Latvia

Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 637,827 inhabitants (2018), it is also the largest city in the three Baltic states, home to one third of Latvia's population and one tenth of the three Baltic states' combined population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava river. Riga's territory covers 307.17 km2 (118.60 sq mi) and lies 1–10 m above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain.

Returning to the Netherlands, he took a position with the Dutch East India Company. He travelled to the Indies, where he died. [4]

The Dutch East India Company was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early 17th century. It was established on March 20, 1602 as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. It has been often labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade, shipbuilding, and both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine.. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, VOC became the world's first formally-listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. It was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalisation in the early modern period.


Narssius belonged to the "Dordrecht School" of Latin poets, which included also the Remonstrant Samuel Naeranus. [14] He is remembered for Gustavidos sive de bello Sueco-austriaco libri tres 1632) and Gustavidos liber quartus (1634), published in Hamburg, which were Latin epic poems. [15] He also wrote a tragedy Gustavus saucius (1629 and 1632) on Gustavus Adolphus, for whom he was physician and historiographer, from 1625 or 1626. [16] [17] [18]

Samuel Naeranus (1582–1641) was a Dutch Remonstrant minister and neo-Latin poet, exiled in 1619 after the Synod of Dort.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

Tragedy form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences

Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy often refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of Western civilisation. That tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has often been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form; Hellenes and Christians, in a common activity," as Raymond Williams puts it.

Other poetical works were:

An epitaph of his was collected in Robert Monro, Monro his Expedition with the Worthy Scots Regiment. [21] It was for John Sinclair, third son of George Sinclair, 5th Earl of Caithness, killed at Newmarke in the Palatinate, in 1632. [22]


  1. Narssius or Narsius is a latinized version of Van Naarsen, also spelled (Van) Naarssen, Naersen, or Naerssen. Forename variants include Johann, Johan, Joann, Joannes.
  2. Collection of biographies (in Dutch), Digitale bibliotheek voor de Nederlanse lettern
  3. A. J. van der Aa (1872). Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden: bevattende levensbeschrijvingen van zoodanige personen... (in Dutch). J. J. van Brederode. p. 3.
  4. 1 2 3 4 (in German) de:s:ADB:Narsius, Johannes
  5. 1 2 Gerardus Joannes Vossius (1577-1649) by C. S. M. Rademaker (1967).
  6. The works of James Arminius, D. D., formerly professor of divinity in the University of Leyden vol. 1 (1825), p. 264, footnote; Google Books.
  7. Keith D. Stanglin, Arminius on the Assurance of Salvation: the context, roots, and shape of the Leiden debate, 1603-1609 (2007), p. 123; Google Books.
  8. James Nichols citing Gerard Brandt's History of the Reformation, Calvinism and Arminianism Compared in their Principles and Tendency (1824), p. clvii;
  9. Johann Lorenz Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History: ancient and modern (1832 translation by James Murdock), p. 507; Google Books.
  10. Kenneth E. Hall, Stonewall Jackson and Religious Faith in Military Command (2005), p. 87; Google Books.
  11. 1 2 (in German) Gero von Wilpert, Deutschbaltische Literaturgeschichte (2005), p. 79; Google Books.
  12. Bjarne Stoklund, Ethnologia Europaea, Volume 33 (2001), p. 17; Google Books.
  13. Nadine Akkerman, The Letters of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, Volume II (2011), pp. 39–40 note 6; Google Books.
  14. Sibbe Jan Visser, Samuel Naeranus (1582-1641) en Johannes Naeranus (1608-1679): twee remonstrantse theologen op de bres voor godsdienstige verdraagzaamheid (2011), pp. 201–2; Google Books.
  15. Hans Helander, The Gustavis of Venceslaus Clemens
  16. Geschiedenis van het drama en van het tooneel in Nederland. Deel 1 (1903), by J. A. Worp; note 1 on p. 236.
  17. Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius. Deel 3 (1961) (ed. P. C. Molhuysen and B. L. Meulenbroek), p. 34 note 2.
  18. Karen Skovgaard-Petersen, Historiography at the Court of Christian IV (1588-1648): studies in the Latin histories of Denmark by Johannes Pontanus and Johannes Meursius (2002), p. 440; Google Books.
  19. (in Polish) Catalogue entry.
  20. Yale catalogue entry.
  21. History of Caithness , notes by James Traill Calder.
  22. Scotsmen Serving the Swede (PDF), p. 51.

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