Busbequius, Augher Ghislen

, was the natural son of the lord of Bnsbec, or Boesbec, and born at Commines, a town in Flanders, 1522. The early proofs he gave of extraordinary genius induced his father to spare neither care nor expence to get him properly instructed, and to obtain his legitimation from the emperor Charles V. He was sent to study at the universities of Louvain, Paris, Venice, Bologna, and Padua, and was some time at London* whither he attended the ambassador of Ferdinand, king of the Romans, and was present at the marriage of Philip and Mary. In 1554 he was appointed ambassador at Constantinople; but made a very short stay there. Being sent back the following year, his second embassy proved longer and more fortunate; for it lasted seven years, and ended in a beneficial treaty. He acquired a perfect, knowledge of the state of the Ottoman empire, and the true means of attacking it with success; on which subject he composed a very judicious discourse, entitled “De re militari contra Turcam instituenda consilium.” Without neglecting any thing that related to the business of his embassy, he laboured successfully for the republic of letters, collecting inscriptions, purchasing manuscripts, searching after rare plants, and inquiring into the nature of animals, and when he set out the second time to Constantinople, he carried with him a painter, to make drawings of the plants and animals that were unknown in the | west. The relation which he wrote of his two journies to Turkey is much commended by Thuanus. He was desirous of passing the latter part of his life in privacy, but the emperor Maximilian made choice of him to be governor to his sons; and when his daughter princess Elizabeth was married to Charles IX. of France, Busbec was nominated to conduct her to Paris. This queen gave him the whole superintendance of her houshold and her affairs, and, when she quitted France, on her husband’s death, left him there as her ambassador, in which station he was retained by the emperor Rodolph until 1592, when, on a journey to the Low Countries, he was attacked by a party of soldiers, and so harshly treated as to bring on a fever which proved fatal in October of that year. He was a man of great learning, and an able antiquary. The public is indebted to him for the “Monumentum Anciranum,” which would be one of the most curious and instructive inscriptions of antiquity, if it was entire, as it contained a list of the actions of Augustus. Passing through Ancyra, a city of Galatia, Busbec caused all that remained legible of that inscription to be copied from the marble of a ruined palace, and sent it to Schottus the Jesuit. It may be seen in Gruevius’s Suetonius. Gronovius published this Monumentum Anciranum at Leyden in 1695, with notes, from a more full and correct copy than that of Busbec. Busbec also vyrote “Letters from France to the emperor Rodolph,” which exhibit an interesting picture of the French court at that period. An edition of all his letters was published by Elzivir at Leyden, 1633, and at London in 1660, 12mo. His “Itinera Constantinopolitanum et Amasianum” was printed at Antwerp, 1582, 4to; “Legationis Turcicæ Epistolæ,” Francfort, 1595, 8vo, &c. 1


Gen. Dict.—Morri.—Foppen Bibl. Belg.Dict. Hist.—Freheri Theatrum. —Saxii Onomast.