European Scholar

BROEKHUIZEN, Jan Van [JANUS BROUKHUSIUS],

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  • Date of Birth: 1649-11-20
  • Born City: Amsterdam
  • Born State/Country: The Netherlands
  • Date of Death: 1707-12-15
  • Death City: Amsterdam
  • Death State/Country: The Netherlands
  • Education:

    Latin School, Amsterdam.

  • Professional Experience:

    Officer, then Captain in Dutch Army, 1670-97; private scholar 1697-1707.

  • Publications:

    Poematum libri sedecim (Dutch) (Amsterdam, 1677; ed. with biography by D. van Hoogstraten, 1712; the last edition, ed. R.A. Kollewijn, 1883); Jani Broukhusii Carmina (Latin) (Traiecti ad Rhenum Halma, 1684); Ad serenissimum ac potentissimum principem Fridericum Tertium ... Quum Academia Hallensis Magdeburgica Maximi Principis Munificentia & Auspiciis Ipsis Calendis Julii MDCXCIV Solenni Ritu Inauguraretur [Glückwunsch auf Friedrich III., Markgraf von Brandenburg, zum Besuch der Universität Halle, 1. Juli 1694] (Halae Magdeb Salfeld, 1694); Sexti Aurelii Propertii Elegiarum libri quatuor (Amsterdam, 1702; 2nd ed. 1727); D. M. Raimondi Faltzii Numismatum Caelatoris unici S. [Trauerschrift auf Raimond Faltz, Königl. Preuß. Medailleur, +21.05.1703] (Berlin 1704); Albii Tibulli ... quae exstant, ad fidem veterum membranarum sedulo castigata. Accedunt notae, cum variar. lectionum libello, et terni indices (Amsterdam, 1708).

    LettersJani Browkhusii Epistolae Selecta aliarumque epitoma et fragmenta, ed. J.A. Worp (Groningen: 1889 and 1893) 

  • Notes:

    Broekhuizen was born to working class parents. His father died when the boy was very young and he was given over to an uncle who placed him in the Latin School, where he excelled in the composition of Latin verse. According to Sandys, he became so skilled in imitation of Propertius that he became known as “the Propertius of Holland.”  The same uncle deduced that his Latin skills would be excellent training for an apprenticeship with an apothecary, but after living with the apothecary for a few years, he developed no interest in that field and joined the army. His regiment was sent to America in 1674 but returned home before the year was out. He began publishing poems in Dutch that were at once lyrical and moral in the style of the Roman elegists in 1677. In 1678 he was posted to Utrecht where he sought out the German classicist Johan Georg Graevius (1632-1703), who held the chairs of rhetoric, history and politics at the university. In consequence of his involvement in a duel, he was liable for capital punishment under Dutch law. Graevius, however, contacted the classicist and poet Nicholas Heinsius the Elder (1620-81), who obtained a pardon for Broekhuizen. Not long afterwards he became a captain of one of the companies then at Amsterdam. He published his Latin poems, heavily influenced by Propertius and Tibullus, in 1684 and 1711. He edited the Latin poems of Aonio Paleario in 1696 and Sannazaro, published posthumously in 1728. After the Treaty of Ryswick ended the Nine Years’ War between France and the Grand Alliance in 1697, his company was disbanded, and he retired on a pension to a country house near Amsterdam and pursued his classical and literary studies at leisure. At that point he completed editions of the authors he had modelled since his school days.  In Sandys’ words, he tended to”to reduce the poet’s rough and vigorous phrases to an Ovidian smoothness.” He emended typically Propertian phrasing into the smoother style of Ovid. The second edition employed the notes of Heinsius. He produced an edition of Tibullus in 1708.   

  • Sources:

    Jani Browkhusii Epistolae Selecta aliarumque epitoma et fragmenta, ed. J.A. Worp (Groningen: 1889 and 1893); Sandys, 2:329-30.

  • Author: Ward Briggs