All Scholars

CLÜVER, Philliipp

  • Image
  • Date of Birth: 1580
  • Born City: Gdansk (Danzig)
  • Born State/Country: Poland
  • Parents: A Munzmeister, & wife
  • Date of Death: December 31, 1622
  • Death City: Leiden
  • Death State/Country: Holland
  • Education:

    Study at Leiden; wide European travels.

  • Professional Experience:

    University Librarian and Geographer, Leiden, 1611-22.

  • Publications:

    Commentarius de tribus Rheni alveis, et ostiis (Leiden,1611); Germania Antiqua libri tres (Leiden, 1616); Siciliae Antiquae libri duo (Leiden, 1619); Sardinia et Corsica Antiqua (1619); Italia Antiqua (1624); Introductio in Universam Geographiam (1624-9).

  • Notes:

    Clüver (variously: Phillippus Cluverius; also Cluvier, Cluwer, Klüwer) traveled extensively in Germany and Poland as a young man. He went to Leiden with the intention of studying law, but under the influence of J.J. Scaliger (1540-1609) he turned to geography, particularly that of the ancient world, in which discipline he became a pioneer. His father refused support when his son turned away from the law, so Clüver travelled for a time in Hungary and Bohemia and even served at least two years in the military there. He was made University Librarian and Geographer at Leiden, but he continued to travel, publishing his firt workin 1611. Following the publication of his geography of ancient Germany in 1616, he was given a lifetime pension by the university. Two years later, while traveling in Bohemia he translated into Latin (so it would be widely circulated in polyglot Europe) a defense by Baron Popel Lobkowitz (1566-1628), a Catholic nobleman who had given refuge to the Catholic perpetrators of the 1618 defenestration in Prague and lost his ancestral property. By 1620 the Baron’s lands and property were restored, but back in Leiden, Clüver narrowly escaped punishment for his act through the offices of his influential father. He continually travelled all over Europe, always on foot, taking notes on the most minute geographical details in the British Isles, France, Germany, and Italy. These notes, combined with his extensive classical sources (e.g., Tacitus’s Germania for Germany), produced the first historical geographies of the ancient world. Beginning with the lower Rhine in Roman times, he devoted his life to geographies of ancient Germany, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, and Italy. Clüver also published maps to accompany an edition of Ptolemy’s Geographica. His Introductio was published posthumously (Clüver died at age 42.) in six parts and was a widely used text and reference work, establishing its author as a major figure in modern geography.

  • Sources:

    Sandys 2.313; Partsch in Albrecht Penck, Geographische Abhandlungen (1891); BG 265-6.

  • Author: Ward Briggs