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14 - Literary Writings

from Part III - Grotius as a Man of Letters, Theologian and Political Writer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2021

Randall Lesaffer
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Janne E. Nijman
Affiliation:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

This Chapter’s objective is to present Grotius’ literary writings as an integral part of his intellectual legacy and to highlight its pertinence to the understanding of his social tenets and moral programme. It addresses this objective from two perspectives, by verifying the heavy moral and political overtones of Grotius’ literary outpourings and by falsifying claims as to the irrelevance, let alone anomaly of the literary input in his legal and political writings. To prove its point, the paper establishes the programmatic overlap of both domains throughout Grotius’ life. It closely links the literary themes from his early years, whether as a playwright or historiographer, to the political bottlenecks of the Dutch Revolt and the socio-religious riddles of the Remonstrant Troubles. It underpins its thesis with reference to Grotius’ later plays on fratricide and exile as reflecting on the pits and peaks of his dramatic personal life. Finally, it identifies the intellectual epitome of Grotius’ literary outpouring in his comprehensive programme to salvage the Greek literary tradition in the social maelstrom of his times, a fitting counterpart to his ambitions to lay down a legal framework of universal appliance and a creed to serve all Christian denominations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Further Reading

Bloemendal, J., and Norland, H. (eds.), Neo-Latin Drama in Early Modern Europe (Drama and Theatre in Early Modern Europe 3; Leiden, 2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bloemendal, J., and Smith, N. (eds.), Politics and Aesthetics in European Baroque and Classicism Theory (Leiden, 2016).Google Scholar
Ford, P., and Taylor, A. (eds.), The Early Modern Cultures of Neo-Latin Drama (Leuven, 2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Oosterhout, M., Hugo Grotius’ Occasional Poetry (1609–1645 (Nijmegen, unpublished dissertation, 2009).Google Scholar
Parente, J.A., Religious Drama and the Humanist Tradition. Christian Theatre in Germany and the Netherlands 1500–1680 (Leiden, 1987).Google Scholar

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