Meursius - Encyclopedia




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MEURSIUS [JOHANNES VAN MEURS] (1579-1639), Dutch classical scholar and antiquary, was born at Loosduinen, near the Hague. He was extremely precocious, and at the age of sixteen produced a commentary on the Cassandra of Lycophron. In 1610 he was appointed professor of Greek and history at Leiden, and in the following year historiographer to the states-general. In consequence of the disturbed state of his country he welcomed the offer (1625) of Christian IV. of Denmark to become professor of history and politics at Sorb, in Zealand, combined with the office of historiographer royal. He died at Sorb on the 10th of September 1639. Meursius was the author of classical editions and treatises, many of which are printed in J. F. Gronovius's Thesaurus antiquitatum graecarum. Their lack of arrangement detracts from their value, but they are a storehouse of information, and Meursius does not deserve the epithets of "pedant" and "ignoramus" which Scaliger applied to him. Meursius also wrote on the troubles in the Netherlands and the history of Denmark.

Complete edition of his works by J. Lami (1741-1763). See Van der Aa's Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden (1869), and J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Class. Scholarship (1908), ii. 311.

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