Multilingual practices in the correspondence of Constantijn Huygens and Johan de Witt

Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic


Although Dutch diplomat, courtier and poet Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687) and grandpensionary Johan de Witt (1625-1672) were contemporaries and frequented the same circles, historiography provides little information on their relationship. Moreover, no correspondence between Huygens and De Witt exists. Still, their large international correspondences display a considerable overlap in their networks. Quite remarkably, however, the languages used in their letters differ considerably. This paper will address and explore the similarities and differences between the correspondences of these two statesmen, by focussing on the languages used; the individuals they corresponded with; and their roles and positions in the 17th century society of the Dutch Republic.
Period10 Jan 2019
Degree of RecognitionInternational