Abelin, John Philip

, a historian, born at Strasburgh, and who died about 1646, is perhaps better known by the name of John Louis Gottfried, or Gothofredus, which he used in most of his numerous works. Under his proper name, he published only the first volume of the “Theatre of Europe,” which contains the history of Europe from 1617 to 1628; and the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th volumes of the “Mercurius Gallo-Belgicus,” begun by Gothard Arthus, and containing the annals of Europe, but particularly of France, from 1628 to 1636, Francfort, 1628—1636, 8vo. The Mercurius is in Latin, but the Theatre in German. The second volume of the latter bears the name of Avelin; but Christian Gryphius, in his account of the historians of the seventeenth century, attributes it to John George Schleder, who also compiled some of the subsequent volumes. The best edition of the “Theatre of Europe” is that published at Francfort, from 1662 to 1738, in 21 vols. fol. illustrated by the engravings of Matthew Maittaire. The volumes composed by Abelin, Schleder, and Schneider, are most esteemed; the others, composed by their continuators, have neither the same reputation or merit.

In 1619, Abelin published an explanation of the metamorphoses of Ovid, under the title “P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon plerarumque historica, naturalis, moralis E*<pfflwij,” Francfort, 8vo, with the engravings of J. Theodore de Bry. He signs the dedication to this work, “ | Ludovicus Gottofridus.” In 1628, he was concerned in a German and Latin translation of D’Ativy’s “Etats, Empires, Royaumes, et Principautez du Monde,” under the title of “Archontologia cosmica,” of which there have been three editions, the two last with plates by Merian; but, since the modern improvements in geography, this work is less esteemed. He also compiled or translated the 12th and last volume of the History of the East Indies, published at Francfort 1628, fol. under the title of “Historiarum Orientalis Indiae tomus XII.” This history bears a high price, when complete. The copy in the French imperial library cost 4000 francs. In 1632, Abelin published, in German, his “Description of Sweden,” folio; and the year following, also in German, a “Historical Chronicle,”, from the beginning of the world to the year 1619, folio, with a great number of plates by Merian, of which the letter-press is merely the description. His last work was a “History of the Antipodes, or the New World;” this, which is in German, is a description of the West Indies, and was published at Francfort, 1655, folio. It is thought that he published a German translation of the Plasnum, a comedy by Daniel Cramer, under the fictitious name of John Philip Abel, in 1627; but why he assumed these disguises, we are not told. 1

1

Biographie Universelle, 1811.