Dousa, Janus

, a very learned man, was born of a noble family at Nortwick in Holland, 1545. He lost his parents when very young, and was sent to several schools; and to one at Paris among the rest, where he made a great progress in Greek and Latin. When he had finished his education, he returned to his own country, and married; and though he was scarcely grown up, he applied himself to affairs of state, and was soon made a curator of the banks and ditches, which post he held above twenty years, and then resigned it. But Dousa was not only a scholar and a statesman, but likewise a soldier; and he behaved himself so well in that capacity at the siege of Leyden in 1574, that the prince of Orange thought he could commit the government of the town to none so properly as to him. In 1575 the university was founded there, and Dousa made first curator of it; for which place he was well fitted, as well on account of his learning as by his other deserts. His learning was indeed prodigious and he had such a memory, that he could at once give an answer to any thing that was asked him, relating to ancient or modern history, or, in short, to any branch of literature. He was, says Melchior Adam, and, after him, Thuanus, a kind of living library; the Varro of Holland, and the oracle of the university of Leyden. His genius lay principally towards poetry, and his various productions in verse were numerous: he even composed the annals of his own country, which he had collected from the public archives, in verse, which was published at Leyden 1601, 4to, and reprinted in 1617 with a commentary by Grotius. He wrote also critical notes upon Horace, Sallust, Plautus, Petronius, Catullus, Tibullus, &c. His moral qualities are said to have been no less meritorious than his intellectual and literary; for he was modest, humane, benevolentj and | affable. He was admitted into the supreme assembly of the nation, where he kept his seat, and discharged his office worthily, for the last thirteen years of his life. He died Oct. 12, 1604, and his funeral oration was made by Daniel Heinsius. Of his works, we have seen, 1. “Couiin. in Catullum, Tibullum, et Horatium,Antwerp, 1580, 12mo. 2. “Libri tres Prascidaneorum in Petronium Arbitrmn,Leyden, 1583, 8vo. 3. “Epodon ex puris lambis,” Ant. 1514, 8vo. 4. “Plautinae Explicationes,Leyden, 1587, 16mo. 5. “Poemata,” ibid. 1607, 12mo. 6. “Odarum Britannicarum liber, ad Elizabetham reginam, et Jani Dousae filii Britannicorum carminum silva,Leyden, 1586, 4to; and 7. lt Elegiarum libri duo, et Epigrammatum liber unus; cum Justi Lipsii aliorumque ad eundem carminibus," ibid. 1586, 4to. In some catalogues, however, the works of the father and son seem be confounded.

He left four sons behind him; the eldest of whom, Janus Dousa, would, if he had lived, have been a more extraordinary man than his father. Joseph Scaliger calls him the ornament of the world; and says, that in the flower of his age he had reached the same maturity of wisdom and erudition, as others might expect to attain after a life spent in study. Grotius also assures us, that his poems exceeded those of his father; whom he assisted in composing the Annals of Holland. He was born in 1572; and, before he was well out of infancy, became, through the great care of his father, not only a good linguist and poet, but also a good philosopher and mathematician. To all this he afterwards added an exquisite knowledge of the civil law and of history. Besides a great many poems, which he composed in a very tender age, we have his notes and observations upon several Latin poets. Those upon Plautus were the product of his sixteenth year; and he was not above nineteen when he published his book “De Rebus Ccelestibus,” and his “Echo, sive Lusus imaginis jocose.” His commentaries upon Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, were published the same year. His extraordinary fame and merit caused him to be made preceptor to the prince of Orange, and afterwards first librarian of the university of Leyden. He died at the Hague, in his return from Germany in 1597, when he had not quite completed his 26th year.

Dousa’s three other sons, George, Francis, and Theodore, were all of them men of learning, though not so | eminent as Janus. George was a good linguist; travelled to Constantinople; and published a relation of his journey, with several inscriptions which he found there and elsewhere. Also, in 1607, he printed George Cedrenus’s book, entitled, “De originibus urbis Constantinopolitanae,” with Meursius’s notes. Francis was far from wanting learning: for in 1600 he published the epistles of Julius Caesar Scaliger; his annotations upon Aristotle’s history of Animals; and some fragments of Lucilius, with notes of his own upon them. Theodore, lord of Barkenstyen, published the “Chronicon” of George Logotheta with notes, in 1614; and in 1638 wrote a treatise, called “Farrago echoica variarum linguarum, variorumque auctorum,” &c. 1


Niceron, vol. XVIII. Freheri Theatrum. Foppeu Bibl. Belg. —Moreri. Bount’s Censura. Baillet Jugemens. —Saxii Onomast.