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A Sidelight on Grotius in Paris

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This article consists of an annotated edition and translation of a previously unpublished Latin letter to G. J. Vossius from Christianus Ravius, refuting the accusation made by Johann Seyffert in his pamphlet attacking Grotius, Classicum Belli Sacri adversus Hugonem Grotium Papistam ([Amsterdam], 1642), that Grotius, while representative of the Swedish government in Paris, had advised Ravius to convert to Catholicism. The historical introduction outlines the details of and probable reasons for Seyffert's published attacks on Grotius, Grotius's attitude towards those attacks (as expressed in his correspondence), and the implications for his relationship with the Swedish government and Baron von Degenfeld, commander of the German Protestant mercenary soldiers in the service of the French crown. It also recounts what is known of Ravius's stay in Paris during which he met Grotius, and raises the question why Ravius delayed making a response to Seyffert until well after Grotius was dead.

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