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 Repen Ripangi

(887 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘The Ripangi poem’ Repen Ripangi Date: 1886 or before Original Language: Javanese Description Repen Ripangi is a poem written in the style of traditional Javanese literature, following strict rules in which the length of each line and the rhyme are fixed, and suited for sung performance. It is divided into seven cantos, and occupies 60 pages in the printed edition. The first three cantos describe the religious teacher Ripangi, the familiar name for Aḥmad al-Rifaʾi, who successfully establishes a  pesantren or boarding school in the village of Kalisalak in central Java. H…

Willem Bilderdijk

(601 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: 7 September 1756 Place of Birth: Amsterdam, The Netherlands Date of Death: 18 September 1831 Place of Death: Haarlem, The Netherlands BiographyBorn in 1756, Willem Bilderdijk was the son of a physician who had political vision and ambitions, but who worked mostly as a tax collector. At the age of six, Willem seriously injured his left foot and, for the next ten years, he had to remain at home, where he developed his knowledge through wide reading. He proved to be multi-talented, excelling in drawing, poe…

 Christianismi restitutio

(1,261 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Christianismi restitutio‘The restitution of Christianity’ Miguel Servet, Reves ab Aragonia Hispanum, Michael Servetus Villanovensis Date: 1553 Original Language: Latin Description In 1553, Servetus published his major (and fatal) work on the restitution of Christianity. The first and longest section of 287 pages discusses in seven ‘books’ the doctrine of the Trinity. The second, third and fifth sections concentrate on the end times, the just rule of Christ superseding the signs and realm of the Antichrist. Sections…

Michael Servetus

(888 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Miguel Servet, Reves ab Aragonia Hispanum, Michael Servetus Villanovensis Date of Birth: 1509 or 1511 Place of Birth: Villanueva de Sijena (Sigena), Aragón Date of Death: 27 October 1553 Place of Death: Geneva Biography Miguel Servet, or according to the Latin style of his name Michael Servetus, was born in Aragón, northern Spain, in the small village of Villanueva de Sijena, probably in 1511. After basic education about which little is known, in the late 1520s he studied arts and law in Toulouse. Also in the 1520s, he entered t…

No (longer) fear, but control and care. Europeans and Muslims in South East Asia, 17th and 18th centuries

(3,287 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
The VOC ( Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, Dutch East India Company, 1602-1799) and its European partners were often seen primarily as a trade link between Europe and Asia. They brought Asian spices, and later also coffee, tea, valuable timbers, textiles, garments and other commodities to Europe, for which the Europeans initially paid in precious metals or diamonds and later also in goods produced by the developing European industries. One of the first Dutch traders to come to Aceh to buy spices, Fr…

 Het Geopende en Wederleyde Muhammedisdom of Turckdom

(596 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Islam or Turcism opened and rejected’ Simon Oomius Date: 1663 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionOomius wrote this work, which is 991 pages long, with the twin purposes of correcting false representations of Islam and of giving examples of piety among Muslims, all for the benefit of his fellow Christians. But he also wrote to argue against the teachings and practices of Islam, because in his view Islam was built upon a combination of fragments of heresies and false teachings. His major sources were the wor…

Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek

(26 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsNederlandsch-Indisch PlakaatboekKarel Steenbrink

Simon Oomius

(331 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: 1 March 1630 Place of Birth: Heenvliet, The Netherlands Date of Death: 25 November 1706 Place of Death: Kampen, The Netherlands BiographySimon Oomius (also Omius, Ooms) was born into a family of teachers and Reformed ministers. He studied Eastern languages, philosophy and theology in Leiden and Utrecht between 1647 and 1652, and in 1674 was awarded a doctorate in theology from Harderwijk University. He served as a minister in Purmerland (1654-74), in the Dutch army (1674-7) and in Kampen (from 1677 until his death). In Leiden, he studied Arabic and Islam with Jacob …

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…

 Het Mekkaansche feest

(832 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
'The Meccan festival' Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje Date: 1880 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionAt the age of 23, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje published and defended his doctoral dissertation at Leiden University on the Meccan ḥajj. In this book of 191 pages, he sought to reconstruct the original Arab festival at Mecca that preceded the preaching of Muḥammad, as well as to identify the changes that were introduced to it by the Prophet Muḥammad in the last five years of his life.The first chapter discusses references to the ḥajj within the Qur’an. Here, Snouck Hurgonje emphasise…

 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…

Salomon Keijzer

(418 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: 18 January 1823 Place of Birth: Kampen, Holland Date of Death: 25 February 1868 Place of Death: Delft, Holland BiographySalomon Keijzer (also written as Keyzer and Keyser) was born into a Jewish family. In September 1843, he became a student in Leiden University, where he combined study in the law faculty with the study of Hebrew and Arabic. On 11 June 1847 he defended two doctoral dissertations, one on the Codex Justinianus and one on Talmudic jurisprudence. After teaching Greek for some time at a private institution, while also following courses in Ja…

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…

 Islam in the writings of Saloman Keijzer

(1,554 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Salomon Keijzer Date: 1854 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionIn a short period of 12 years, between 1853 and 1864, Salomon Keijzer published 13 works on normative Islam, as well as an abridged reprint in three volumes of the great work by François Valentyn,  Oud en nieuw Oost-Indiën (‘The old and new East Indies’). For his first publication on Islamic law, he took an Arabic work by the 14th-century scholar, Muḥammad ibn Yaʿqūb al-Fayrūzābādī (1329-1414), which was among the Leiden collection of Arab manuscripts. He wrote a quite free Dutch translation 426 …


(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 …

J.B.J. van Doren

(408 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Jan Baptist Jozef van Doren Date of Birth: 2 March 1791 Place of Birth: Gent/Gand Date of Death: 14 August 1873 Place of Death: Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands BiographyNothing is known about Jan Baptist Jozef van Doren’s family, or his early life. In 1808, he began a military career when he entered the French-Belgian revolutionary army. After the defeat of Napoleon, he continued his profession in the Dutch-Belgian army. The Dutch King Willem I (r. 1815-40) decorated him for his bravery at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. Ho…

 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

 Het voor en tegen van de uitbreiding des evangelies onder de Javanen; Bij wien ligt de schold van de gruwelijke gebeurtenissente Bandjermasin?

(923 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Concerning the spread of the Gospel among the Javanese’; ‘Who is the cause of the terrible events in Banjarmasin?’ Jan Baptist Jozef van Doren Date: 1852; 1861 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionIn his brief pamphlet  Het voor en tegen van de uitbreiding des evangelies onder de Javanen (‘Concerning the spread of the Gospel among the Javanese’), only some 20 pages long, Van Doren attacks the prominent Protestant Reformed minister and politician Wolter Robert van Hoëvell, as well as some other contemporary authors, for their views about mi…

 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…

Dutch and Malay authors on the Paderi Wars in west Sumatra

(45 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information    Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsDutch and Malay authors on the Paderi Wars in west SumatraKarel Steenbrink

 Javanese court chronicles on the rising power of the Dutch

(3,654 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Javanese court chronicles on the rising power of the Dutch, 17th and 18th centuries Date: 17th and 18th centuries Original Language: Javanese DescriptionThis entry concentrates on Javanese works produced for the major courts of the Sultanate of Mataram, located in the Yogyakarta-Surakarta area. These court chronicles were not written for entertainment, devotion or moral edification, unlike the many works on Muslim romantic figures such as Amir Hamzah, Iskandar Zulkarnain, Sultan Ibrahim, Muhammad Hanafiyya and many …

Jan Pieterszoon Coen

(808 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
BiographyJan Pieterszoon Coen was born in Hoorn, one of the seven towns with a representative in the VOC (Dutch East India Company). His father was a trader, and in 1601 he sent Jan to Rome to be educated in international commerce. The young Coen learned double-entry bookkeeping, a skill that would serve him well in future endeavours.In December 1607, Coen departed for the East Indies on a fleet of 13 ships as a junior official of the VOC. In April 1609, the fleet visited the harbour of the small archipelago of Banda, the sole provider of nutmeg at …

Dutch and Malay accounts of the conflicts known as the Banjar War, 1859-1905

(48 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsDutch and Malay accounts of the conflicts known as the Banjar War, 1859-1905Karel Steenbrink

 De Atjèhers

(1,683 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
'The Acehnese' Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje Date: 1893-4 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThe sultanate of Aceh (also written as Atjeh or Acheh) in northern Sumatra had remained independent from the Portuguese, Dutch and other powers since the mid-16th century. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of London of 1824, when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British and Bencoolen to the Dutch, its independence was still guaranteed. However, around 1870 the Dutch wanted to prevent the ‘smuggling’ of pepper and other commodities from Sumatra to the fr…

Corpus Diplomaticum

(27 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsCorpus Diplomaticum Neerlando-IndicumKarel Steenbrink

L.W.C. van den Berg

(927 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: 10 October 1845 Place of Birth: Haarlem Date of Death: 3 March 1927 Place of Death: Delft BiographyLodewijk Willem Christiaan van den Berg was born into a family of artists; his father was a painter and his mother worked as a musician. As a child, he lost the sight in one eye, hit by an arrow while playing. This may have contributed to his calm and very serious character, contrasting with the somewhat Bohemian lifestyle of his parents. He was a brilliant student in languages and law, and in 1868 gained his doctorate with a dissertation on Islamic law ( De contractu 'do ut des' jure…

 Discoers aan de E. Heeren Bewinthebberen touscherende den Nederlantsch Indischen staet

(1,419 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Memorandum to the noble governors about the condition of the Dutch Indies’ Jan Pieterszoon Coen Date: 1 January 1614 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionJan Pieterszoon Coen wrote many letters and reports for the VOC central office in Amsterdam, and the substantial memorandum of 1 January 1614 was known as his vision statement for the VOC. It occupies 24 pages in his biography (Colenbrander,  Jan Pietersz. Coen . Levensbeschrijving, pp. 451-74; all the references that follow are to this edition), and is divided into 14 sections. The first five discuss the VOC…

 Ambtelijke adviezen van C. Snouck Hurgronje

(2,276 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Official advice of C. Snouck Hurgronje’ Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje Date: 1889-1906 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionFrom 1889 to 1906, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje was Advisor on Native Affairs in the Dutch East Indies. Even after his return to the Netherlands, he continued as advisor to the Dutch minister of colonial affairs until his death in 1936. Some 1,400 pieces of advice are listed in the Ministry’s archives. Of these, 675 are of minor importance or just repeat earlier texts, 75 are lost, and only …

 Verbondt ende vast accoordt (and similar titles)

(1,070 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
VOC treaties with Muslim rulers of Indonesia Frederick de Houtman Date: 1605-20 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionFrederick de Houtman attracted most attention for his second trip to Indonesia, while his two periods as colonial administrator, in Ambon and the Moluccas, are only documented in his own official reports. These are stored in the National Archives of the Netherlands in The Hague and published partly in the collected works of Jan Pietersz. Coen ( Bescheiden omtrent zijn bedrijf in Indië, ed. H.T. Colenbrander, The Hague, 1919-34, 6 vols).One report of 1607 gives a s…

 Writings of L.W.C. van den Berg

(1,896 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- L.W.C. van den Berg Date: 1873-95 Original Language: Various languages Description De beginselen van het Mohammedaansche recht, volgens de imāms Aboe Hanīfat en asj-Sjāfe‘ī ‘Handbook of Muslim law according to the Ḥanafī and Shāfiʿī schools’ Published in 1874, this book was written in 1871-2 when the author was teaching Islamic law at the Gymnasium Willem III in Batavia (xv + 269 pages long). The only comparable work in European languages at the time was N. von Tornauw’s  Das moslemische Recht (Leipzig, 1855), though his book concentrates on Shīʿa law. Van den Berg’s boo…

Jesuits in Indonesia, 1546–2015

(10,512 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Karel Steenbrink [email protected] Last modified: December 2016The Portuguese, as part of their journey eastwards in search of spices for trade and souls to be converted to Christianity, conquered Malacca…
Date: 2019-06-18


(4,375 words)

Author(s): Karel Steenbrink
Since the arrival of Islam in the Indonesian archipelago, Arabic has been used as a religious language for the basic rituals and for technical instruction of specialists in the religious sciences. It has, however, remained restricted to the religious realm, the major vehicle of contact being Tamil rather than Arabic. Many Indonesian commercial terms bear witness to the influence of southeast Indian Muslims in the period before Malay developed into the lingua franca of the archipelago and, after …
Date: 2018-04-01

Ahmad Rifaʾi (or Ripangi)

(1,135 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel A.
Ahmad Rifaʾi (or Ripangi) (c. 1786–1876), one of the most radical Islamic reformers of nineteenth-century Java, was born in Kendal, Java, and died in exile in Ambon. Ripangi, as he is usually known in Java, was the sixth son of Raden Kyai Haji Muhammad Abu Sujak, also known by his Javanese name, Raden Sutawijaya, a penghulu (the highest level of religious official) in the Residency of Kendal. The position of penghulu in Kendal was subsequently held by a son of Sutawijaya’s older brother, and it was this penghulu who, in the 1820s, ordered Ripangi imprisoned for some time in Semara…
Date: 2021-02-14

Thomas Hees

(773 words)

Author(s): van den Boogert and Karel Steenbrink, Maurits
Thomas van Hees Date of Birth: 1634 Place of Birth: Weesp, near Amsterdam Date of Death: Buried 3 September 1693 Place of Death: Nieuwer-Amstel, near Amsterdam Biography In 1612, the Dutch Republic was granted its first capitulations ( ahdname) by the Ottoman sultan, according trade privileges to Dutch merchants residing in the Levant and the assurance that slaves would be freed without payment. The North African (‘Barbary’) principalities of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli acknowledged the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan, but were auto…

Georg Everhard Rumphius

(801 words)

Author(s): Karel Steenbrink, Lucien van Liere and
Jeuriaen Everhard Rumpf; Georg Eberhard Rumpf Date of Birth: 1 November 1627 Place of Birth: Wolfersheim, Germany Date of Death: 15 June 1702 Place of Death: Ambon Island, Indonesia BiographyGeorg Rumphius was born Georg Rumpf in 1627 in Wölfersheim, Hessen, Germany, and spoke Dutch from an early age because his mother had family in the Dutch Republic. His youth was troubled by the Thirty Years War, as well as a wave of plague in 1635. He learned Latin and studied at the gymnasium in Hanau. In 1645, at the age of 18, he joi…

 De Ambonse historie ..., and De generale lant-beschrijvinge ...

(1,407 words)

Author(s): Karel Steenbrink, Lucien van Liere and
‘A history of Ambon’, and ‘A general description of the Islands of Ambon’ Jeuriaen Everhard Rumpf; Georg Eberhard Rumpf Date: 1678 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThe two works De Ambonse historie, behelsende een kort verhaal der gedenkwaardigste geschiedenissen, zo in vreede als oorlog voorgevallen, sedert dat de Nederlandsche Oost Indische Comp. het besit in Amboina gehadt heeft, and  De generale lant-beschrijvinge van het Ambonese Gouvernement behelsende en wat daaronder begrepen zij, mitsgaders een Summarisch verhaal van de Ternataanse en Port…

Joannes Cotovicus

(631 words)

Author(s): van den Boogert and Karel Steenbrink, Maurits
Jan van Cotwyck, J(oh)an van Cotwijck, Ioannes Cotovicus, Jean Cootwich, Ioan van Kootwyck Date of Birth: Around 1550 Place of Birth: Utrecht Date of Death: 1629 or thereafter Place of Death: Unknown Biography Very little is known about Jan van Cotwyck, who was probably born around the middle of the 16th century. He was a learned Catholic priest from the diocese of Utrecht, where the ‘alteration’ or change to Calvinism took place on 15 June 1580 with a ban on the public practice of Roman Catholicism. In 1609, he published Eenen geestelijke[n] schilt waer mede alle simpele catholijcke…

 Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum et Syriacum

(1,329 words)

Author(s): van den Boogert and Karel Steenbrink, Maurits
‘The journey to Jerusalem and Syria’ Jan van Cotwyck, J(oh)an van Cotwijck, Ioannes Cotovicus, Jean Cootwich, Ioan van Kootwyck Date: 1619 Original Language: Latin Description Van Cotwyck’s Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum et Syriacum; in quo variarum gentium mores et instituta; insularum, regionum, urbium situs, unà ex prisci recentiorisq[ue] sæculi usu; unà cum eventis, quæ auctori terrâ mariq[ue] acciderunt, dilucidè recensentur. Accessit synopsis Reipublicæ Venet[a]e runs to 518 pages and begins with an admonition to the reader about the dangers of travel…

 Journael ofte Dagh-Register van de Reyse naar Algier van Thomas Hees, gedaan int jaar 1675

(829 words)

Author(s): van den Boogert and Karel Steenbrink, Maurits
‘Account or diary of the journey to Algiers of Thomas Hees, undertaken in the year 1675’ Thomas van Hees Date: 1675-80 Original Language: Dutch, with at least one fragment, vol. 1, pp. 91-5, in French Description Thomas Hees kept a diary between mid-1675 and 27 February 1680. The diary is a mixed record of his way of life en route to Algiers and while residing there, and also of the efforts he made for the release of slaves and the discussions concerning the forthcoming treaty with the ruler of Algiers. These were probably notes w…
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