Junius, Francis

, son of the preceding, was born at Heidelberg in 1589, and received the first elements of his education at Leyden, apparently with a view to letters; but upon the death of his father in 1602, resolving to go into the army in the service of the prince of Orange, he applied himself particularly to such branches of the mathematics as are necessary to make a figure in the military life. He had niade a good progress in these accomplishments at twenty years of age; when the war being concluded by a truce for twelve years in 1609, occasioned a change in his purpose, and inclined him to cultivate the arts of peace by a close application to study. His first literary employment was to collect, digest, and publish some of his father’s writings. After some years spent thus in his own country, he resolved, for farther improvement, to travel abroad. With that view he went first to France, and then to England, in which he arrived in 1620, and having recommended himself by his learning and amiable manners to the literati there, he was taken into the family of Thomas earl of Arundel, in which he continued for the space of thirty years. During his abode there he made frequent excursions to Oxford, chiefly for the sake of the Bodleian and other libraries; where, meeting with several Anglo-Saxon books, he resolved to study the language, which was at that time neglected. He soon perceived that the Anglo-Saxon tongue would be of service to him for discovering many etymologies necessary to clear up the Flemish, Belgic, German, and English, languages; and therefore devoted himself wholly to that study, He afterwards learned the ancient language of the Goths, Francs, Cimbri, and Prisons; by which he discovered the etymology of several Italian, French, and Spanish words; for the Goths, Vandals, French, Burgundians, and Germans, spread their language in the provinces they conquered, of which some vestiges are still left.

After a careful course of these studies and researches, he announced his having discovered that the Gothic was the mother of all the Teutonic tongues; whence sprang the old Cimbrian, transmitted to posterity by the remains of the Runic, as likewise the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandish, in which the inhabitants of the country expressed their thoughts at that time. From the AngloSaxon, which itself is either a branch of the Gothic or its sister, and daughter of the same mother, sprang the | English, Scotch, Belgtc, and the old language of Friesland. From the Gothic and Saxon languages sprang that of the Francs, which is the mother-tongue of Upper-Germany. He was so passionately fond of this study, that, after thirty years chiefly spent upon it in England, being informed there were some villages in Friesland where the ancient language of the Saxons was preserved, he went thither and lived two years among them. Then, returning into Holland, he met with the old Gothic ms. called the Silver One, because the four gospels are written there in silver Gothic letters. He devoted his whole study in the explication of it, which he completed in a little time, and published it, with notes of Dr. Marshall, in 1665, under the title “Glossarium Gothicum in quatuor evangelia Gothica,” Dordrac, 1665, 4-to. Dr. Marshall’s performance is entitled <e Observationes in evangeliorum versiones per antiquas duas, Gothicam sc. & Anglo-Saxonicam," &c. ibid. Junius returned into England in 1674, in order to peruse such English-Saxon books as had hitherto escaped his diligence, especially those in the Cottonian library. In Oct. 1676, he retired to Oxford. He was now 87, and intended not to leave that beloved university any more. At first he had lodgings opposite to Lincoln college, for the sake of Dr. Marshall, rector of that society, who had been his pupil in the study of the Northern languages, and was then a great critic, as well as Junius, in them. Afterwards, he intended to put some of his notes and collections into order; and, to avoid the interruption of frequent visits, he removed to an obscure house in St. Ebbe’s parish, where he digested some things for the press^ and made a deed of gift of all his Mss. and collections to the public library.*


There is a list of them in —Ath. Ox. under this article. The chief is Lis Glossary, in five languages, explaining the origin of the northern languages. It contains nine volumes, which bishop Fell caused to be tran scribed for the press. His etymologicon Anglicanuin" was published in 1743, in folio, by Edward Lye, M. A. vicar of Little Houghton in Northamptonshire.

In Aug. 1677, upon the invitation of his nephew, Dr. Isaac Vossius, canon of Windsor, he went to his house, and there died of a fever, Nov. 19 following. His corpse was interred in St. George’s chapel, within the castle, and the following year a table of white marble was fixed to the wall, near his grave, with an inscription in Latin. He was not only very learned, but a man of irreproachable character. As a laborious student, perhaps few have excelled | him. He used to rise at four in the morning, both winter and summer, and study till dinner-time, which was at one; after dinner he used some bodily exercise, walking or running, but returned to his studies at three, and did not leave them till eight, when he went to supper, and then to bed. He very seldom stirred abroad, and never but when some business obliged him. Notwithstanding this, he enjoyed a perfect state of health, and was never once sick. Though he spent so long a series of years in this solitary manner, he was a man of a pleasant and social temper, even in his extreme old age. He was free from peevishness, and affable to those who visited him, though he did not like to be interrupted. Besides the “Glossarium Gothicum,” the chief of his printed works are, 1. that intituled “De pictura veterum,1637, 4to. and printed again, with large additions, 1694, at Rotterdam, in folio. He printed likewise an English translation, entitled, “The Painting of the Ancients;” in three books, with additions and alterations, Lond. 1638. To the folio edition was prefixed his life, written by Groevius. 2. “Observationes in Willerami Francicam paraphrasin Cantici canticorum,” Amst. 1655, 8vo. 3. Several letters in “Ger. Job. Vossii & clarorum virorum ad eum epistolae,” Lond. 1690, fol. where Vossius styles our author “vir omnifaria doctrina & generis splendore ornatissimus.1


Gen. Dict. Nicerou, vol. XVI. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. Life by Graevius,