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Johan Isaaksz Pontanus[1] (21 January 1571–7 October 1639) was a Dutch historiographer. Pontanus was the son of Margaretha van Delen and Isaac Pietersz, the Dutch consul to Denmark
Denmark
stationed in Helsingør.[2] The painter Pieter Isaacsz (1568–1625) was his older brother.[3] In 1578 his family returned to the Netherlands and Pontanus grew up in Amsterdam.[3] In 1589 he enrolled as a medical student at the University of Franeker[2] and in 1592 at Leiden University
Leiden University
as "Joannes Hellespontius Danus", predating the apparent contraction "Pontanus"[4] (he was said to be born at sea near Helsingør
Helsingør
in the Danish Hellespont, the Øresund).[2] The next year he defended his Dissertatio de rationalis animas facilitate and traveled to Rome, visiting German scholars on his return trip.[2] Subsequently, Pontanus visited Denmark
Denmark
where his parents had returned and became acquainted with Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe
and Arild Huitfeldt. 1596 he spent mostly in England, visiting Canterbury, Oxford and Stanford. The following years he traveled to German, Swiss and French cities, in part escorting three young family members of Brahe.[2] In 1604 he was appointed professor at the Gelderse Academie in Harderwijk, where he remained teaching the rest of his life. He is best known for writing histories of places and countries. His history of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
(1611) was considered the first of this city. It was controversial enough to be blacklisted by the Roman church.[2] In 1618 he was asked to write a history of Denmark, for which he was appointed as the Royal Danish official historian; he continued writing this work until his death but only managed to publish the first part in 1631.[4] In 1621 he was asked to write a history of Guelders
Guelders
which he based largely on work of Paullus Merula en Johannes Luntius and finished in 1639.[2] Pontanus married Anneken van den Herde (or Heerde, Heede) in June 1606. They had at least four children. He died in Harderwijk
Harderwijk
in 1639, nine years before the academy was officially declared the University of Harderwijk.[2] Works[edit]

Analectorum libri III (Rostock, 1599, in-4°). Historia urbis et rerum Amstelodamensium (Amsterdam, 1611, in-fol.). Originum Francicarum libri VI (Harderwijk, 1616, in-4°). De Pygmæis (Harderwyck,1629, in-4°). Rerum Danicarum historia (Amsterdam, 1631, in-fol.): first volume only; the 2nd volume was published in Flensburg (1737, in-fol.). Poematum libri VI (Amsterdam, 1631). Discussiones historicae (Harderwijk, 1637, in-8°) Historia geldrica (Harderwijk, 1639).

Notes and references[edit]

^ In Latin Johannes Isacius Pontanus, in Danish Johan Isaksen ^ a b c d e f g h S.P. Haak, Pontanus, Johannes Isacius of Johan Isaakszoon in Nieuw Nederlandsch biografisch woordenboek, Vol 1 (1911) (in Dutch) ^ a b Pieter Isaacsz
Pieter Isaacsz
at the RKD ^ a b H.F. Rørdam, Pontanus, Johan Isaksen in the Dansk biografisk Lexikon, 1887-1905 (in Danish)

External links[edit]

The Correspondence of Johannes Isacius Pontanus
Johannes Isacius Pontanus
in EMLO

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 39460831 LCCN: n81009735 ISNI: 0000 0001 2278 5636 GND: 104130385 SELIBR: 288960 SUDOC: 032948018 BNF: cb123875836 (data) BPN: 39566890 SN

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