Joannes de Laet

Joannes de Laet (15811649) was a Flemish geographer and director of the Dutch West India Company. Philip Burden called his History of the New World, "...arguably the finest description of the Americas published in the seventeenth century" and "...one of the foundation maps of Canada". de Laet was the first to print maps with the names Manhattan, New Amsterdam (now New York) and Massachusetts.

Life

Joannes de Laet was born in Antwerp in 1581, a son of cloth merchant Hans de Laet. In 1584, upon the fall of Antwerp to Spanish troops, the family like tens of thousands protestant Flemings, fled to the Northern Netherlands and settled in Amsterdam. There Johannes attended the Latin school. He matriculated as a student of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Leiden in 1597. One of his teachers there was the great humanist scholar Joseph Justus Scaliger, with who he maintained a correspondence until the latter's death. After his graduation, his father sent him to London in 1603 to gain experience as a merchant. There he married the daughter of a well-to-do Anglo-Dutch merchant, but returned to Leiden in 1607 upon her too early death. De Laet increased his fortune by investing in land reclamations and overseas trade and became one of the founding directors of the Dutch West Indies Company in 1620, an office he retained until his death in 1649. The city of Leiden sent him as an elder-delegate to the great Synod of Dort (1618-1619).

In his leasure time, de Laet spent much of his time in his study room, well-stocked with books, manuscripts, maps, globes and paintings. He published widely on topics ranging from church history to world history, edited Pliny's Historia naturalis and Vitruvius' De architectura, wrote a detailed account of the New World and compiled an (unpublshed) Old English-Latin dictionary--to mention just a selection of his forty publications. His correspondents include the English antiquaries William Camden, Sir Henry Spelman, Sir William Boswell, Abraham Wheelock, Sir Simonds D'Ewes, James Usher, Patrick Young, John Morris and the Danish antiquary Ole Worm.

Works

History of the New World

His History of the New World was published in several editions by Bonaventure & Abraham Elseviers, Leiden. The first edition was published in Dutch in 1625 as Nieuwe Wereldt ofte Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien, uit veelerhande Schriften ende Aen-teekeningen van verscheyden Natien; a second edition also in Dutch, came out in 1630 as ''Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien door Joannes de Laet. Tweede druk: In ontallycke placesen verbetert, vermeerdert, met eenige nieuwe caerten, beelden van verscheijden dieren ende planten verciert.'' [1]

A Latin edition from 1633, prepared by himself, was entitled Novus Orbis seu descriptionis Indiae Occidentalis Libri XVIII authore Joanne de Laet Antverp. Novis talulis geographicis et variis animantium, Plantarum Fructuumque iconibus illustrata; in 1640 he published a French edition, in his own translation, as L'Histoire du Nouveau Monde ou description des Indes Occidentales, contenant dix-huict livres, enrichi de nouvelles tables geographiqiues & figures des animaux, plantes & fruicts. [2]

Each successive edition had significantly updated maps.

Other works

  • The Empire of the Great Mogul, translated by J.S. Hoyland with S.N. Bannerjee. Taraporevela, Bombay, 1928. Reissued Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi, 1975, ISBN 81-7069-041-2.

References

  • J. A. F. Bekkers, Correspondence of John Morris with Johannes de Laet (1634-1649) (Assen, 1970).
  • Rolf H. Bremmer Jr and P. G. Hoftijzer, eds., Johannes de Laet (1581-169): A Leiden Polymath, special issue of Lias. Sources and Documents Relating to the Early Modern History of Ideas, vol. 25/2 (1998), 135-229, with contributions on the contents of his scholarly correspondence, his role in the Synod of Dort, his polemics with Hugo Grotius on the origin of the Native Americans, on his personal library, and on his Vitruvius edition.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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Anthem
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Geography - (from the Greek words Geo (γη) or Gaea (γαία), both meaning "Earth", and graphein (γράφειν) meaning "to describe" or "to write"
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Dutch West India Company (Dutch: Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie or GWC) in English the Chartered West India Company 1621 – 1793 was a company of Dutch merchants. Among its founding fathers was Willem Usselincx (1567-1647?).
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Philip D. Burden is a geographer, author of The Mapping of North America: A List of Printed Maps 1511-1670, the authoritative work on its topic.

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The Mapping of North America: A List of Printed Maps 1511-1670 (1996).
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Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. The Americas cover 8.3% of the Earth's total surface area (28.
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As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th Century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700 in the Gregorian calendar.

The 17th Century falls into the Early Modern period of Europe and was characterized by the Baroque cultural movement and the beginning of
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Manhattan is a borough of New York City, New York, USA, with New York County. With a 2000 population of 1,537,195[2] living in a land area of 22.96 square miles (59.
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New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam) was the 17th century Dutch colonial town that later became New York City.

The town developed outside of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island in the New Netherland territory (1614–1664)
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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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''Motto(s): Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (Latin: By the sword she seeks peace under liberty)''


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Leiden University (Dutch: Universiteit Leiden), located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands[1].
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The Synod of Dort was a National Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618/19, by the Dutch Reformed Church, in order to settle a serious controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of Arminianism.
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William Camden (2 May 1551 – 9 November 1623) was an English antiquarian and historian. He wrote the first topographical survey of the island of Great Britain and the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.
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Sir Henry Spelman (born Congham, ?1562; died 1641) was an English antiquary, noted for his detailed collections of medieval records, in particular of church councils.

Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was called to the Bar and until 1612 acted as a public servant.
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Abraham Wheelocke[1] (1593-1653) was an English linguist. He was the first Adams Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge, from around 1632. According to Robert Irwin[2]
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Sir Simonds d'Ewes, 1st Baronet (December 18 1602, Milden, Suffolk, England - April 18 1650) was an antiquary and politician. He was bred for the bar, was a member of the Long Parliament and left notes on its transactions. d'Ewes took the Puritan side in the Civil War.
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James Ussher (sometimes spelled Usher) (4 January, 1581–21 March, 1656) was Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625–1656.
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An antiquarian or antiquary is one concerned with antiquities or things of the past. Also, and most often in modern usage, an antiquarian is a person who deals with or collects rare and ancient "antiquarian books".
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Ole Worm (May 13, 1588–August 31, 1655), (pronounced "Olə Vorm") who often went by the Latinized form of his name Olaus Wormius, was a Danish physician and antiquary.
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The Viceroyalty of New Granada (Spanish: Virreinato de la Nueva Granada) was the name given in 1717 to a Spanish colonial jurisdiction in northern South America, corresponding mainly to modern Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
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