Cunæus, Peter

, a very learned lawyer, and professor in the university of Leyden, was born at Flushing, in Zealand, 1586. He was sent to Leyden at the age of fourteen, where he made great progress in the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Syriac languages, under Drusius; and, with his assistance, gained a deep knowledge in the Jewish antiquities. In the early part of his life he was in England, whither he had attended Ambrose llegemortes, his kinsman; and during his stay here, he, in one summer, accurately read over Homer, and most of the Greek poets. It appears that he was at first designed for divinity, by his maintaining theological theses under Arminius in 1605; but religious disputes running high at that time, he conceived a disgust to it, and applied himself to the belles lettres and the law. He was created LL. D. at Leyden in 161), at which time he was chosen professor of eloquence. He was afterwards made professor of politics; and in 1615 of civil law, which employment he held to his death, which happened in 1638. He was the author of several ingenious and learned works; and his little book, “Derepublica. Hebrceorum,” which is still held in high esteem, was made a text-book by the most celebrated professors. Nicolai, Goree, and Basnage have all published editions of it with notes and comments. His “Satyra Menippara in sui saeculi homines inepte erudites” was printed at Leyden in 1632, and as much admired for its wit as learning. He likewise published remarks upon | Nonius’s “Dionysiaca,” and some inauguration and other speeches; with a translation of Julian’s Caesars. He was a man of great parts and learning; and we find Vossius, Casaubon, and other great men, speaking of him in the highest terms of applause, and paying the profoundest deference to his judgment. Scaliger says, that he was extremely learned, but of a melancholy humour. Burman published a volume of his “Epistolag,” which contain literary information and remarks, Leyden, 1725, 8vo. 1


Moreri.—Life prefixed to Basnage’s “Antiquitez Judaiques,” Amst. 1713.— Freheri Theatrum.—Blount’s Censura.—Foppen Bibl. Belg.Saxii Onomast.