Cluverius, Philip

, or Cluvier), a celebrated geographer, was born of an ancient and noble family at Dantzic, in 1580, and educated by his father with a great deal of care, and sent to Leyden to study the civil law. But Cluver had no inclination for law, and his genius inclining him early to the love of geography, Joseph Scaliger is said to have advised him to make that his particular study, and not to do violence to his inclinations any longer. This advice was followed, upon which Cluver presently set out for the Low Countries, in order to take a careful survey of them but passing- through Brabant, for the sake of paying a visit to Justus Lipsius, he had the misfortune to be robbed, which obliged him to return immediately to Leyden. Meanwhile, his father, incensed by his deserting the study of the law, refused to furnish him with money, which drove him to bear arms, as he afterwards did two years in Hungary and Bohemia. It happened at that time, that the baron of Popel, who was his friend, was arrested by an order from the emperor; and thinking himself extremely ill used, he drew up a kind of manifesto by way of apology, which he sent to Cluver to translate into Latin. This | Cluver having performed, caused it to be printed at Leyden which so displeased the emperor, that he complained by his ambassador to the States, and had Cluvcr arrested. Ciuver, however, was soon set at liberty, upon which he returned to his geographical studies, and travelled through several countries, particularly England, France, Germany, and Italy. He was also a great linguist, being able to talk with ease and fluency, as we are told, no less than ten languages. He died at Ley den, 1623, only forty -three years old, justly esteemed the first geographer who had put his researches in order, and reduced them to certain principles.

His residence in England has been overlooked by his biographers. It was in 1609 that he became a sojourner at Exeter college, Oxford, for the sake of Drs. Holland and Prideaux, whose fame attracted many foreigners to this college; and here he wrote his first work “De Tribus Rheni alveis et ostiis,” which was published at Leyden, in 1611, 4to. It appears also that after his return from Italy, he again visited Oxford, where Dr. Prideaux, probably, who had a high opinion of him, procured him offers of promotion; but his attachment to Leyden induced him to return thither, and the curators of the university there bestowed an annual stipend on him, to assist him in his pursuits. He left a son, John Sigismund Cluverius, who was born during his father’s residence in England, in St. Saviour’s parish, and was matriculated a member of Exeter college in 1633, as “a Londoner born, and the son of Philip Cluverius, a priest.

Cluverius published in his life-time, besides the work already mentioned, “Germania antiqua. Sicilia antiqiia. Italia antiqua,Leyden, 1619, folio. And Vorstins published after his death another work, entitled “Introductio in uaiversam geographiam tarn veterem quam novam, &c.” But, as Cellarius observed, there is not that nicety and exactness shewn in this last work as in his former, especially in his “Italia Antiqua,” and “Sicilia Antiqua.1


Moreri. Freheri Theatrum, —Ath. Ox. vol. I. Blount’s Censura. —Saxii Onomasticon.