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Cornelis Pijnacker

(497 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography As a young man, Cornelis Pijnacker studied theology and law in Leiden and Heidelberg. In 1598, he began an academic career in Leiden, and in 1614 he moved to Groningen University, where he became rector two years later. Between 1622 and 1627, he was Dutch ambassador to Algiers with instructions to seek a peace treaty preventing further piracy and the release of Dutch citizens held as slaves or taken captive for ransom. He made two trips to the central towns of the Mediterranean corsairs…

 Journael ofte Dagh-register van de tweede Schipvaert op Oost-Indien

(1,486 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Journal of the second voyage to the East Indies’ Jacob Corneliszoon van Neck Date: 1601 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionJacob van Neck wrote an account of the major events of his first trip to the Indonesian archipelago, from 1 May 1598 to 16 July 1599, as a report to the Amsterdam directors of the undertaking. This is often referred to as an account of the ‘second trip’ because it was in fact a follow-up to the first Dutch voyage under the leadership of Cornelis de Houtman (1595-7). The first report of this first voyage undertaken by van Neck (only preserved in English translation, True re…

 Disputatio theologica prima[-quinta] de Pseudislamismo seu Mohammedanismo (...) sub praesidio (...) Iacobi Revii

(520 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘First [-fifth] theological disputation on Pseudo-Islam or Muḥammadanism … under the supervision … of Jacobus Revius’ Johannes Maurus Date: 1654-6 Original Language: Latin Description These five  disputationes on Islam were prepared between February 1654 and January 1656 for academic debates. The president of the series was Jacobus Revius, Regent of the Leiden Statencollege, the national college for students of theology. They were printed, as was usual, in about 100 copies. Johannes Maurus based the format on the Five Pillars of Islam: the first two texts are on …

 Utilissima consultatio de bello Turcis inferendo, et obiter enarratus Psalmus XXVIII

(1,843 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Utilissima consultatio de bello Turcis inferendo'A most useful discussion concerning proposals for war against the Turks, including an exposition of Psalm 28' Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus Date: March 1530 Original Language: Latin Description After victory at the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Ottoman Empire had taken control of large sections of Hungary and Transylvania. On their return to Central Europe in the summer of 1529, Ottoman troops took the rest of Hungary by force and laid siege to Vienna. Parts of the city walls w…

Johannes Coccejus

(245 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography Johannes Coccejus was born in Bremen as Johann Coch. He studied languages, philosophy and theology in Bremen, and after 1626 in Franeker. In 1630, he became a professor at the Gymnasium Illustre in Bremen, where he taught ‘sacred philology’, concentrating on Greek and Hebrew. In 1650, he moved to Leiden. As a Calvinist theologian, he attempted to stay in touch with humanist trends in church and society, often showing more interest in biblical studies than in strict Calvinist orthodoxy. He is best known for his divergent opinion on the …

 Spraeck ende woord-boek inde Maleysche ende Madagaskarsche talen met vele Arabische ende Turcsche woorden

(701 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Grammar and dictionary of the Malay and Malagasy languages with many Arab and Turkish words’ Frederick de Houtman Date: 1603 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionDuring his nearly two-year imprisonment in Aceh (1599-1601), de Houtman acquired a good command of Malay. On the basis of this, he wrote Spraeck ende woord-boek inde Maleysche ende Madagaskarsche, a practical guide to the language, comprising 243 pages in the 1603 edition. The work follows the format of 12 conversations followed by a Malay-Dutch vocabulary, a model used in Europe, and by…

 Naukeurige beschrijvinge van ...

(2,738 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘An accurate description of...’ Olfert Dapper Date: 1668-88 Original Language: Dutch Description Olfert Dapper was a prolific writer of books on ‘foreign parts’, although he never travelled outside The Netherlands. His books are compilations of materials gathered from a variety of sources, such as travelogues, letters and interviews. Between 1668 and 1688, he published a series of eight volumes, all beginning with Naukeurige  beschrijvinge  van ... (‘An accurate description of …’). Dapper started his series with a description of mainland Africa and the Africa…

 Corpus Diplomaticum Neerlando-Indicum

(1,482 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
VOC Treaties;Collected contracts of the Dutch Indian Administration, 1596-1799 Corpus Diplomaticum Date: 1596-1799 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionOn 23 June 1596, Cornelis de Houtman arrived in Bantam, West Java, at the head of the first Dutch fleet to reach Indonesia. On 1 July 1596, the first of many treaties with Asian rulers was signed with the sultan of Bantam, pioneering a practice of peace-making between the locals and the VOC (Dutch East India Company) that lasted from 1602 to 1799. These treaties …

François Valentijn

(604 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
François Valentyn Date of Birth: 17 April 1666 Place of Birth: Dordrecht Date of Death: 6 August 1727 Place of Death: s'Gravenhage (The Hague) BiographyFrançois Valentijn (also Valentyn) was born into a middle-class family in the important Dutch harbour town of Dordrecht. His father was rector at the local grammar school. François studied theology in Leiden and Utrecht, and in May 1685, as a 19-year-old minister, he left for the Dutch East Indies, arriving on 30 December. He was appointed to the eastern island of Ambon…

Frederick de Houtman

(1,172 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
BiographyFrederick de Houtman is best known for the second of his four trips to Indonesia. He was born in the Dutch town of Gouda shortly before the ‘alteration’ of 1572, when the town officially accepted the Calvinist ‘Reformed’ faith in place of Roman Catholicism. He attended grammar school, where he studied Latin and modern sciences, including arithmetic. He grew up a Reformed Protestant and in 1590 moved to Alkmaar, where in 1592 he married Vroutgen Frederick, the daughter of a wealthy businessman still loyal to the Catholic faith.In December 1592, he followed his brother Corn…


(451 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Reijsbeschrijvinge'Description of the journey of Cornelis Stout' Cornelis Stout Date: About 1680 Original Language: Dutch Description The work, 51 double folio pages long in the surviving manuscript, which is probably an autograph, is the diary of the sad history of Stout’s failed voyage to the Dutch colony in Surinam, where the young family planned to start a new life. Shortly after they left their homeland, their ship was seized by Algerian pirates and all their belongings were taken. The pork and wine on boa…

 Amboinse oorlogen door Arnold de Vlaming van Oudhoorn

(1,106 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘The Ambonese wars of Arnold de Vlaming van Ourhoorn’ Livinus Bor Date: 1663 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionLivinus Bor’s book on the Ambonese wars (its full title is  Amboinse oorlogen door Arnold de Vlaming van Oudhoorn als superintendent over d’oosterse gewesten oorlogaftig ten eind gebracht, ‘The Ambonese wars waged in a violent manner by Arnold de Vlaming van Ourhoorn as superintendent of the eastern districts’), printed in small type, and consisting of xxxix + 369 pages, is written as a tribute to Arnold de Vlaming, the superi…


(835 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus Date of Birth: 27 October 1467 Place of Birth: Rotterdam Date of Death: 12 July 1536 Place of Death: Basel Biography Erasmus’s father, Gerard, was a priest in Gouda, now in the Netherlands, then part of the territory of the Count of Holland, one of the petty semi-independent states within the German Empire. His mother, Margaret, was the daughter of a physician in Zevenbergen. This situation did not allow that their second child should be born in their house, so the mother moved for some t…

François Pelsaert

(796 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Francisco Pelsaert Date of Birth: Approximately 1595 Place of Birth: In or near Antwerp Date of Death: 1630 Place of Death: Batavia (present-day Jakarta) BiographyFrançois Pelsaert was born into an impoverished middle-class family in Antwerp and as an adult probably sought a career in Holland. In 1616, he sailed with a fleet of the VOC to the Indies, arriving in Banten in April 1617. He was later appointed to the Western sections of the VOC and travelled to Surat, from where he was posted as an assistant to the office …

 Acehnese, Dutch and Malay authors on the Aceh War (1873-1903)

(3,707 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Acehnese, Dutch and Malay authors on the Aceh War (1873-1903) Date: 1873-1903 Original Language: Dutch, Malay and Acehnese DescriptionAccording to the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of London of 1824, the Sultanate of Aceh, in the north-western region of the island of Sumatra, lay outside the colonial sphere. However, in 1871 a new treaty between the two colonial powers gave the British the African Gold Coast, while the Dutch received a free hand to move into Aceh. By 1858, the Dutch had established control westward as far …

 Documenta Malucensia and the Jesuit Makasar documents

(2,668 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Documenta Malucensia and the Jesuit Makasar documents Date: 1542-1682 Original Language: Dutch Description Documenta Malucensia ( DM) was compiled by Hubert Jacobs in 1974-84 in three chronological volumes, totalling about 2,200 pages: volume 1, 1542-77; volume 2, 1577-1606; and volume 3, 1606-82. The  Jesuit Makasar documents (1615-82) ( JMD), also collected by Jacobs in 1988, appear as a single volume, running to about 320 pages. They draw on documents found mainly in the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI), together with others from …

Documenta Malucensia and the Jesuit Makasar documents

(25 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Documenta Malucensia and the Jesuit Makasar documents Karel Steenbrink

 Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien

(1,799 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Old and New East-Indies’ François Valentyn Date: 1724-6 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionValentijn’s  Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien, vervattende een naauwkeurige en uitvoerige verhandelinge van Nederlands mogentheyd in die gewesten (‘Old and New East-Indies, presenting an accurate and extensive treatment of the Dutch government in those regions’) is the largest work written by an individual European on Asia between 1500 and 1900. It occupies five volumes, though most copies have the last three volumes bound in two books. R…

 Cort verhael vant gene wedervaren is Frederick de Houtman tot Atchein int eylandt Sumatra in den tijdt van ses ende twintich maenden die hy aldaer gevanghen is gheweest

(877 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Brief account of the experiences of Frederick de Houtman in Aceh during the 26 months of his captivity’ Frederick de Houtman Date: 1601 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionTwo pages into Cort verhael, his 49-page account of his second voyage to the Indonesian archipelago, Frederick de Houtman engages in a three-page description of the Maldives, expressing much admiration for the many beautiful mosques on these tiny islands. He then recounts his arrival in Aceh on 24 June 1599, paying much attention to the ceremonies of the …

Johannes Maurus

(477 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography This Johannes Maurus should be distinguished from his better-known namesake, the Spanish convert from Islam to Christianity known as Juan Andrés or Johannes Andrea Maurus, author of the treatise  Confusión o confutación de la secta Mahomética y del Alcorán (1515). This ‘Dutch’ Johannes is mentioned in archival sources as the ‘Arab’, the ‘Turc’ and sometimes as ‘Jan Cornelisz’. He asked for baptism in Delft in 1643, where the sources give his age both as 23 and 19. He appears to have been a popular young man who received sub…
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