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Topical Matters In Dedicatory Letters Of Latin Plays In The Early Modern Netherlands

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Chapter Summary

Letters of dedication are a specific form of correspondence, added as a paratext to another text. In late Antiquity the practice continued, but its character changed: the dedication became a separate letter apart from the text proper. In the fifteenth century the dedication made a comeback in the shape that it had reached in late Antiquity: as a separate letter. The Northern Netherlands had a special position in the European context because in the Republic, with no monarch and the nobility playing little part as patrons of the arts and sciences, many works were dedicated to public bodies and their members. This chapter looks at the biblical plays of Hugo Grotius. It presents a survey which shows that when closely examined the letters of dedication reveal something of the views of the Latin schoolmasters and other humanists on religious and political matters.

Keywords: Antiquity; biblical plays; dedicatory letters; Hugo Grotius; Latin plays; Netherlands



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