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Context, Conception And Content Of Hadrianus Junius’ Batavia

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Chapter Summary

The Batavia, the book Hadrianus Junius from Hoorn was commissioned to write by the States of Holland in 1566, belongs to what Anthony Grafton eloquently characterised as 'the smoothly classical texts of humanist history, with their gleaming marble façades of unfootnoted Latin. Junius' picture of these Batavians is of course based almost exclusively on the testimonies of the ancient writers 'and not on the speculations of the Moderns or on the silly tales of the Annalists. To medieval chroniclers Holland's past was a dark and frightening story of giants, trees growing horizontally under the ground, donkey eared kings and forbidding woods with bloodthirsty robbers and animals. The Burgundian 'empire' was a patchwork of diverse territories spread over an enormous area, extending from the North Sea almost to the Mediterranean. In 1566, political tension between the capital Brussels and the Seventeen Provinces reached a climax.

Keywords: Batavia; Brussels; Burgundian empire; Hadrianus Junius; Holland



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