Oisel, James

, a learned civilian, was born at Dantzic May 4, 1631. His father originally intended him for commercial life, and sent him to Holland with that view; but as he betrayed a stronger inclination to study, and employed all his leisure hours in acquiring knowledge that could be of no use in trade, he was permitted to enter upon a regular course of academic instruction at Leyden. At this university, which he entered in 1650, he was enabled to profit by the instructions of those learned contemporaries, Salmasius, Daniel Heinsius, Boxhornius, Golius, &c. and he had not been here above two years before he published an excellent edition of Minutius Felix, in quarto, dedicated to Christina queen of Sweden. Both Niceron and Morhoff accuse him of plagiarism in this work; but Chaufepie defends him, and apparently with justice. Besides the belles-lettres, he studied law, both at Leyden and Utrecht, and took his doctor’s degree at the former in 1654. Next year he visited England and France, and meant to have proceeded to Italy; but hearing at Geneva that the plague raged there, he went a second time to England and France, and | returned to Holland in 1657. He afterwards resided, partly at Utrecht, and partly at Leyden and the Hague, until 1667, when he was appointed professor of law at Grofiingen. The conformity of his ideas with those of Puffendorf occasioned a great intimacy between them. Oisel accumulated a large library, a catalogue of which was published about the time of his death, which happened June 20, 1686. His other works were principally an edition of Aulus Gellius, Leyden, 1666, 8vo, and a treatise entitled “Thesaurus selectorum numismatum antiquorum aere expressorum,” Amst. 1677, 4to, a curious and scarce performance; but originally suggested to him by some booksellers who had purchased the plates of a similar work in German by Joachim Oudaan, and requested Oisel to illustrate them in the Latin language. He had a nephew Philip Oisel, a divine, who published some works on the Hebrew accents and on. the Decalogue. 1


Chaufepie.Niceron, vol. XLII, —Moreri.