Gorlæus, Abraham

, an eminent antiquary, was born at Antwerp in 1549, and gained a reputation by collecting medals and other antiques. He was chiefly fond of the rings and seals of the ancients, of which he published a prodigious number in 1601, under this title, “Dactyliotheca, sive Annulorum Sigillarium, quorum apud priscos tarn Grsecos quam Romanes usus ex ferro, aere, argento, & auro, Promptuarium.” This was the first part of the work; the second was entitled “Variarum Gemmarum, quibus Antiquitas in signando uti solita, sculpturae.” This work has undergone several editions, the best of which is that of Leyden, 1625; which not only contains a vast mumber of cuts, but a short explication of them by Gronovius. In 1608 he published a collection of medals; which, however, if we may believe the “Scaligerana,” it is not safe always to trust. Some have asserted, that he never studied the Latin tongue, and that the learned preface prefixed to his “Dactyliotheca,” was written by another. Peiresc, as Gassendus relates, used to say, that “though Gorleeus never studied the Latin tongue, yet he understood all the books written in Latin concerning medals and coins;” but this cannot be reconciled with the accounts of him in other authors, nor indeed with probability. Gorlaeus resided principally at Delft, and died there April 15, 1609. His collections of antiques were sold by his heirs to the pirnce of Wales. 2


Gen. Dict. Mereri. —Foppen Bibl, Belg,