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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

 Historisch verhael van den steden Thunes, Algiers ende andere steden in Barbarien gelegen

(628 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘History of Tunis, Algiers and other towns of Barbary’ Cornelis Pijnacker Date: 1626 or 1627 Original Language: Dutch Description After his second mission to Algiers in 1626, Pijnacker composed his monograph  Historisch verhael van den steden Thunes in the same year or the year after.  It is not the story of his travels (which was published in print in 1650 as the anonymous booklet  Reyse naer Africa) but rather of his diplomatic mission and the general culture of the two cities of Tunis and Algiers. It consists of 54 unnumbered chapters, of which chapters 46-…

 Oratio de religione Turcarum

(707 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Lecture on the religion of the Turks’ Johannes Coccejus Date: About 1625 Original Language: Greek Description As a 22 year-old student in Bremen, Coccejus delivered a lecture in Greek on the religion of the Turks, partly as a linguistic exercise. This formed the basis for Oratio de religione Turcarum (constituting 11 pages in print), written as an admonition for the reformation of church and state in his time. The origin of Islam and its immense progress at the time presented a great challenge for Christians. Using secondary sources, Coccejus summarises the life of Muḥammad an…

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…

Cornelis Stout

(453 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography Cornelis Stout is only known through his account of a trip he planned to Surinam to start a life as a planter, with his wife and two children. The family left Rotterdam on 28 October 1678. On 9 November, their boat was captured by Algerian pirates, and on 22 December they were taken to Tunis to be sold as slaves. Nobody wanted to buy the family and they were taken to Algiers, where they were brought to the royal court. The ruler said they should be kept together and they were bought by a member of the family of a certain Captain Monstafaris. From February 1679, they were under the orders…

Olfert Dapper

(483 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography Not much is known about Olfert Dapper. He was born in Amsterdam and baptised in the Lutheran Church on 6 January 1636, probably very soon after his birth. He studied medicine at Utrecht University and then returned to Amsterdam. It is not certain that he actually worked as a medical doctor, but the abbreviation Dr appears before his name in his numerous works. Dapper never left his home country and never married. In 1663, at the age of 27, he published a well-received book on the history of Amsterdam, some 650 pages in folio. The book was reprinted…

Dutch versus Portuguese colonialism. Traders versus crusaders?

(5,647 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
The year 1492 was immensely significant in global history. It marked the end of the Reconquista, the long process of ending Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula, and also the beginnings of the expansion of European rule over the new territories discovered by Christopher Columbus, first in the Americas and then, after 1498, in Asia. Is there a connection between the two? Or rather, should we consider the Portuguese and Spanish expansion of trade and power into regions of Asia (and also Africa) as a continuation of the Reconquista? This idea was encapsulated succinctly by a student o…

 De Trinitatis erroribus libri septem

(1,026 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
De Trinitatis erroribus libri septem'Seven books on the errors of the Trinity' Miguel Servet, Reves ab Aragonia Hispanum, Michael Servetus Villanovensis Date: 1531 Original Language: Latin Description De Trinitatis erroribus libri septem, 119 small double pages ( recto and  verso) in all, attack the doctrine of the Council of Nicea as a major mistake in the development of Christianity. In the first book (44 double pages), biblical texts are compared with classical theology, with Peter Lombard as its main representative. In the secon…

 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…

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…

 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 …

 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…


(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…


(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…

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…

 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…


(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: 2020-12-18

Javanese court chronicles on the rising power of the Dutch, 17th and 18th centuries

(46 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 RelationsJavanese court chronicles on the rising power of the DutchKarel Steenbrink

Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck

(693 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Jacob Corneliszoon van Neck Date of Birth: About 1564 Place of Birth: Amsterdam Date of Death: 15 March 1638 Place of Death: Amsterdam BiographyJacob Cornelisz. van Neck was born into a prominent family in Amsterdam. Very little is known about his youth except that his father died when he was two years old and his mother when he was about 11. He received a good general education and then special training in nautical sciences, and he became involved in various forms of trade.The oldest company for trade with Southeast Asia selected him as the admiral for its second fleet of ei…

 Dagh-register van ‘tgene hier in Batavia ‘tsedert Primo January 1624 gepasseert is gelyck mede verscheyden tydingen van andere Qartieren becomen et cetera

(2,011 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Daily account of what has taken place here in Batavia since 1 January 1624, as well as some reports about other settlements’ Dagh-register Date: 1624-1799 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionOn 6 December 1621, Governor General Jan Pieterszoon Coen ordered all settlements of the VOC to keep a diary ( Dagh-register) of important events. This was to include reports about local politics and trade rivals, especially the British but also the French, Danish, Portuguese, Gujarati and others. An account was entered for every month, detailing the shi…


(730 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
‘Travels’ Nicolaas de Graaff Date: Unknown; before 1688 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThe first 100 pages of this book (its full title is  Reisen van Nicolaus de Graaff, na de vier gedeelten des Werelds, als Asia, Africa, America en Europa, mitsgaders sijn Oostindische spiegel) contain brief and concise reports of de Graaff’s first 13 voyages. The following 130 pages cover his last three voyages.  Oost-Indise spiegel (98 pages) is re-printed with new pagination in the same volume. On his first voyage, de Graaff arrived in Aceh, Sumatra, where he saw th…

Livinus Bor

(327 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
BiographyLittle is known about the childhood and early career of Livinus Bor. He entered the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1639 as a naval cadet and worked in modest positions in Ternate after arriving in the Indies. In 1650, he became the secretary to Arnold de Vlaming van Oudshoorn, superintendent for the three governors in East Indonesia: Banda, Ambon and Ternate. He joined his superior when, in early 1652, the sultan of Ternate was brought to Batavia to sign a treaty in wh…


(1,502 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
'Account of India and a history of the Mughal Empire' Francisco Pelsaert Date: Probably 1627 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThe Dutch in Batavia (present-day Jakarta) considered the Dutch settlements in Arabia, Persia and India to be western settlements ( Westerkwartieren) of the expanded VOC. In the mid-1620s, the central office in Batavia requested that reports be sent from these regions. Within this context, Pelsaert wrote his Remonstrantie, a report from Agra as the central location of the Mughal Empire. The work has no true title and there is no title page in the manuscript. R…

Nicolaus de Graaff

(319 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Nicolaas de Graaff Date of Birth: 18 August 1619 Place of Birth: Alkmaar, Netherlands Date of Death: Shortly before 14 October 1688 Place of Death: Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands BiographySon of a seaman, Nicolaus de Graaff entered the service of the Dutch East India Company, Hoorn Chapter, as a chirurgijn, the lowest degree of medical worker, commonly connected to a barber’s shop. He made 16 voyages, from several months to several years long, visiting nearly the whole known world of the time: from Greenland to Brazil, Denmark and the Mediterrane…

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

(42 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 RelationsAcehnese, Dutch and Malay authors on the Aceh War (1873-1903)Karel Steenbrink

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

(3,928 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Dutch and Malay accounts of the conflicts known as the Banjar War, 1859-1905 Date: 19th century Original Language: Dutch DescriptionIn order to situate works on Christian-Muslim relations related to the Banjar War, it is necessary briefly to outline the historical context in which they were written. Almost at the same time as the Portuguese arrived in the Malay Archipelago (Malakka 1511, Ternate 1522), the princedom of Banjar accepted Islam as its official religion. In 1526, a complicated transfer of rulers took place. During a war of succ…

 Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek

(1,692 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Compendium of decrees by the Government of the Dutch East Indies Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek Date: 17th/18th century Original Language: Dutch DescriptionAfter exploratory trips to Asia between 1595 and 1600, traders in the young Dutch Republic established the VOC ( Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie; Dutch East India Company). The VOC built, or captured from the Portuguese, fortifications along the route, or in key locations, for the spice trade from Arabia and India to the Malay Archipelago. Jan Pieters­zoon Coen and his Dutch fo…

Repen Ripangi

(29 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsRepen RipangiKarel Steenbrink

 Dutch and Malay authors on the Paderi Wars in west Sumatra

(1,947 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
- Dutch and Malay authors on the Paderi Wars in west Sumatra Date: First half of the 19th century Original Language: Dutch DescriptionDuring the 17th century, the west Sumatran coastal town of Ulakan was a significant catalyst in the spread of Islam in the region through its famous mystical teacher Syaikh Burhanuddin (1646-1704). In the later 18th century, students from Ulakan promoted religious study in the mountainous central regions of west Sumatra, targeting perceived deviations from the pure practice of Islam. These included the four major vice…

 De Marokkane

(905 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
'The Moroccan woman' Willem Bilderdijk Date: 1805 Original Language: Dutch DescriptionThis didactic poem of 33 quatrains is a dialogue between a Christian prisoner in Morocco, who is waiting for his ransom to arrive, and a Moroccan Muslim woman. She expresses her love for him, but also fears that he despises her religion. She asks: ‘Why do you honour Allāh, but do not include Muḥammad?’ The Christian responds that he believes in Allāh, the One, but also honours His only born son, Issa. The woman declares that Muslims know the stories about Jesus, like Christians, and respect him.After they…


(34 words)

Author(s): Steenbrink, Karel
Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Dagh-register van ‘tgene hier in Batavia ‘tsedert Primo January 1624 gepasseert is gelyck mede verscheyden tydingen van andere Qartieren becomen et cetera Karel Steenbrink

 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…

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 …

 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…

 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…

 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…

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…

 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…
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