Hugo Grotius, Annals of the War in the Low Countries

Edition, Translation, and Introduction

Edited by Jan Waszink

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Grotius on the Dutch Revolt and the fundamentality of reason of state

The Annals of the War in the Low Countries is one of Hugo Grotius' lesser-known works. Grotius expresses a contrarian view of the early revolt, which he presents not as a united battle for the true faith and the ancient liberties of the land but as a protracted and painful struggle, not only with the great power of Spain, but also with discord, selfishness and religious fanaticism among the Dutch. To convey this complex and controversial vision of the foundational years of the Dutch Republic, Grotius chose the worldview and the prose style of the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus as his model. His commissioners, however – the States of Holland – did not publish the work when it was finished in 1612; it appeared in print posthumously in 1657.

This is the first edition of Grotius' then-influential and well-known Annals of the Dutch Revolt since its initial publication. It presents a critical edition of the Latin text, a fresh modern English translation, and an introduction which covers all aspects of the work, from its conception to its modern reception, underlining the importance of reason of state for Grotius' thought in general.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Preface vii

1. Hugo Grotius’ Annales et Historiae 
2. The AH and the States of Holland, the Revolt and the Truce Conflicts 
2.1. The main setting 
2.2. The publication plans for the AH in 1612–13 
2.3. The States and History 
2.4. The Truce Conflicts 
3. Hugo Grotius 1
4. Tacitism and Reason of State in the Annales et Historiae 
5. The Statesman-Historian: Grotius and the historian’s role in society 
6. Controversial content and the non-publication of the AH in 1612–1613 
7. Tacitism 
7.1. Tacitist content and ideas 
7.2. Syntax and forms of Grotius’ imitation of Tacitus’ literary style 
7.3. Compositorial aspects and narrative structure 
7.3.1. Is there dramatic structuring in the AH? 
7.4. Conclusion: Grotius’ imitation of Tacitus 
8. Some important characters in the AH 
8.1. William the Silent 
8.2. Philip II 
8.3. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester 
9. Other aspects 
9.1. Grotius and the Twelve Years’ Truce 
9.2. The AH’s relationship with Grotius’ other works 
9.3. Grotius as Historian 
9.4. Is there a sense of ‘Netherlands’ or ‘Dutch’ nationhood in the Annales
10. Sources of the Annales et Historiae 
11. The composition and reception of the Annales et Historiae 
11.1. Original composition and manuscripts 
11.2. Reception during Grotius’ lifetime 
11.3. The survival of the manuscripts 
11.4. The printed editions of 1657–1658 
11.5. The AH and the Vatican Index of Forbidden Books 1657–1659 
11.6. Translations 
11.7. Further reception, 17th–21st centuries 
11.8. Scholarship on the text 
12. Conclusion 

This edition 
1. Principles of this edition 
1.1. Sigla 
1.2. Neo-Latin aspects 
2. About this translation 

Summaries of annales 1–5 
Appendix 1. The extant manuscripts of the Historiae 
Appendix 2. The Vatican Index reports 
Appendix 3. Biographical epilogues on Philip II by Grotius and by Van Meteren 
Appendix 4. The Nijmegen copy of Pompeio Giustiniani’s Bellum Belgicum 
Appendix 5. Pieter Feddes van Harlingen’s ‘Monster’ print of 1619 
Appendix 6. Sententiae and epigrams in Annales 1 and 2 
Appendix 7. Book summaries by the editors of 1657 

Illustration credits 
Index to the introduction 
Index of names to the translation and notes

Format: Edited volume - hardback

Size: 240 × 170 × 30 mm

456 pages

ISBN: 9789462703513

Publication: February 14, 2023

Series: Bibliotheca Latinitatis Novae

Languages: English

Stock item number: 152670

Jan Waszink is a senior researcher at the Historical Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

It is owing to Jan Waszink’s invaluable and indefatigable scholarship on the Annales that the obstacles to its study are now finally removed. There are no more excuses not to read Grotius the historian. - Helmer Helmers, The Seventeenth Century,