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Outlines of Hugo Grotius' Poetry

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In recent decades, interest in Neo-Latin studies shows a distinct upward tendency. Still, the poetry of Dutch humanists constitutes a literature which is difficult to access. However, much work has been done in the past years to open up the poetry of Hugo Grotius. Within a few years the first phase of the edition in the series De Dichtwerken van Hugo Grotius will have been completed with the publication of the juvenilia, the poetry written between 1591 and 1608. Consequently, a well-rounded whole of Grotius' poetry will have become accessible for research and systematic reference. In the meantime, as no in-depth study of Grotius' poetry as preserved in manuscript form and printed edition has ever been undertaken before, a first attempt of closer research and a systematic inventory of the material provided a mass of new data. This led to the repudiation of quite a few traditional conceptions concerning the nature and merits of Grotius' poetical efforts and the correlation of the respective editions of poems. Some major results of this research are presented here in general outline. They are all enlarged on in full detail in my Grotius Poeta (The Hague 1981) and Inventory of the Poetry of Hugo Grotius (Assen 1982). Reference is made to both of these works throughout this article, which has no claims for itself but to offer an overall picture by means of an introductory essay. Therefore footnotes are omitted here altogether.


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