Amsterdam as a City of Refuge for Contributors to the Growing Book Industry during “the Golden Age”:
Evidence from the eCartico Website
This paper presents some preliminary work based on an analysis of data collected in a multi-year, online research project (eCartico). eCartico is one of several digital projects in early modern history based at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. I am not associated actively with any of these projects, but I do know one of eCartico’s main contributors.
My purpose in this paper is to highlight this valuable resource for participants at the conference on “Amsterdam as a Haven for Religious Refugees in the Early Modern Period” (10-12 Nov. 2022, held at the Embassy of the Free Mind / Ritman Research Institute in Amsterdam). For more details about the conference, go to https://embassyofthefreemind.com/en/library/271-amsterdam-as-haven.
Updated: 18 Feb. 2023. In “The Year 1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book History” (Jan. 2023) I provide reasons for preferring “adult baptizers” to “Anabaptists” or even “Mennonites” as a general term. In short, the people who baptized adults in the early modern world were diverse. In addition to Mennonites, they included people from Mennonite milieus who rejected that name, and they included Baptists (of course), as well as some Socinians and Collegiants. With this diversity in mind, I have expanded the list below to include women who do not fit into the general framework of Mennonite church history.
On the technical front, I have also updated the URLs from http the https (it looks like the website has been updated).
Names that I have added in Feb. 2023 I have marked with an *. In an older version of this post I had two lists, and I have now integrated these lists into one.
A mainstream assumption in Mennonite studies since the early 20th century (maybe the 1880s, more accurately) is that early modern Mennonite history (i.e., Mennonite history before 1800 or even 1900) was shaped primarily by German culture and German-language sources. This assumption is problematic because it is built on an empirically questionable foundation. In other words, the sources and evidence for this assumption are weak.
The essay for which I prepared this research — “The Year 1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book Production: Perspectives for Reframing Studies of Mennonites and Early Modernity” — has now been printed in three languages. You can find the details by clicking the links for the German, Dutch, and English versions.
We (my co-editors and I) are pleased to announce the publication of a Special Issue of Church History and Religious Culture (101: 2-3) that was released in late July 2021. The theme is “Spiritualism in Early Modern Europe.”
The collection features essays by Theo Brok, Michael Driedger, William Cook Miller, Francesco Quatrini, Nina Schroeder, Anselm Schubert, Christine Schulte am Hülse, Nigel Smith, James Stayer, Stefano Villani, Hans de Waardt, and Gary Waite. The guest editorial team consists of Driedger, Quatrini, Schroeder, and Waite. In addition to spiritualist cultures among Protestants in post-reformation England, Germany, and the Low Countries (approx. 1521-1721), the collection will be of interest to scholars of religious dissent and nonconformity, the variety of ways that researchers discuss “radicalism” in early modern religious cultures, and the debates about “the Radical Reformation” and “the Radical Enlightenment.”
The collection began at a symposium in Amsterdam in the summer of 2019. Other symposium contributors who have published related work in other venues and are therefore worthy of special attention from readers of this collection are:
The guest editorial team would like to thank the journal’s editors and production staff (Ward Holder and Dieuwertje Kooij in particular) for their work in guiding this collection from a proposal to publication!
The text below dates from 2013. It is the previous unpublished version of a paper I presented at the annual meeting of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the moment there are no notes with the text. I plan to update the text to include at least a bibliography. The title of the paper I presented in San Juan is “Mennonite Printers, Anticonfessionalism, and the Persistence of Dissent in the Netherlands.” Except for updating the title for this post, I have only edited the text of the 2013 paper very lightly.
Part of the reason for publishing the 2013 paper as a blog post now is that my grad student, Brookelnn Cooper, is finishing off her MA research paper, and she is making the case for Colom as the printer / publisher of Menno Simons’ Blasphemy. For more about the Blasphemy, see my post about it here.
This post consists of a gallery of early modern Dutch Mennonite artists (or those who were a part of Mennonite milieus, even though they might not have been congregational members). The list is far from exhaustive, but it provides a quick sense of just how involved in the arts Mennonites were. For more details about Mennonite artists, or Anabaptist portrayed in art, click the tags “art” or “portrait”. Read more →
The Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam recently finished an exhibit of 18th-century family portraits. I’m posting a poster from that exhibit, plus 5 portraits of Doopsgezind families who lived in Amsterdam and Haarlem. The artworks are from the collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Museum. I plan eventually to add more details about these portraits and families; my goal is to place the expanded form of this post in the exhibits portion of this website. For now, click on an image to view it in more detail and to find links for more information.
The title of this post is an allusion to Steven Nadler’s A Book Forged in Hell. That 2011 book is about Baruch Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise, a work that scandalized secular and ecclesiastical authorities in the later 17th century — and has influenced philosophers and historians in recent years. The purpose of this post is to share a bibliography compiled by Piet Visser and his students in the 1990s. Piet retired in June 2014 from his professorship at the Mennonite seminary at the Free University in Amsterdam. Before that he was the chief curator of rare books and professor of book history at the University of Amsterdam. It’s in this earlier role that the list that you can find below originated.
Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708) is a major figure in the world of European art history in the era of the Dutch Golden Age. What’s more, he played a significant role in Anglo-Dutch politics around the time of the Glorious Revolution as a supporter of William of Orange / William III. He’s been the subject of a significant number of exhibitions and academic studies recently. For example, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has just finished an exhibit on “The Book Illustrations of Romeyn de Hooghe” (13 Sept. 2014 to 25 Jan. 2015). In this post I introduce an anonymous etching that I think might be by him (or maybe by his student Adriaan Schoonebeek).
Note: Since first publishing this post I have updated it a few times. One revision was from Feb. 8, and more thorough revisions are from Feb. 11 and 23. The main change in the most recent, thorough revisions is to downplay the importance of the 1660 edition of Hortensius.