PHILIPPUS BALDAEUS (1632-1671)

Naauwkeurige Beschryvinge van Malabar en Coromandel, Der zelver aangrenzende Ryken, En het machtige Eyland Ceylon, Nevens een omstandige en grondigh doorzochte ontdekking en wederlegginge van de Afgoderye der Oost-Indische Heydenen Waar inne der zelver grootste geheymenissen, zoo uyt eygene Geschriften, als t’Zamenspraak, en Bywooninge der voornaamste Bramines, en andere Indiaansche Wet-Geleerden,,getrouwelijk werden aan ‘t licht gebracht. Zijnd hier by gevoeght een Malabaarsche spraak-konst Zeer dienstigh voor alle die het lust met dien Landaard om te gaan.

Met kaarten, en afbeeldingen van Landen, Steden, Drachten, Boomen, Vruchten, na het leven in Indiën afgetekent, en kurieus in kooper gesneden, Door Philippus Baldaeus, Dienaar des Godlijken Woords, eertijds op Ceylon, en nu tot Geervliet. Amsterdam, Johannes Janssonius van Waasberge & Johannes van Someren, Anno 1672.

 

Dedicated to; den Eed. Gestrenge wel-wijze Heere Cornelis de Wit, Gecommitteerde Raad van haar Ed. Groot-Mogende, de Heeren Staten van Holland en Westvriesland, Ruwart, Bailu, en Opper-Dijkgraaf der Landen van Putten, en Schout van de Stadt Geervliet, etc., etc.

 

First edition, folio with engraved title page and engraved portraits of the author and of Gerard Hulft, the conqueror for the VOC of Colombo, the last stronghold of the Portuguese in Ceylon

With twenty-five folded engravings of maps and city plans, three folded pages with Tamil script and numerous beautiful engravings of land-, city-scapes, inhabitants, animals, war- and execution-scenes and of local gods.

In a leather binding with decorative impressions.

 

Note:
The author, a nephew of Robert Junius, the Dutch missionary in Formosa (see item 39 in this catalogue), was a Dutch minister for the VOC in the Malabar and Coromandel districts and in Ceylon. His narrative gives considerable information on the Dutch settlements in Southern India and Ceylon, on the Indian Hindu mythologies and on the Tamil language.

Philip Baldaeus, born in 1632 in Delft, became an orphan at the age of four. He was raised by his grandfather, Michiel Baldaeus in Delft. In 1649 Philip studied philosophy, logic and oriental languages in Groningen and from 1650 till 1654 theology in Leiden. After discussions with the theologian Arnoldus Montanus in Leiden, Philip entered into the service of the Dutch East India Company and together with his newly married wife, Maria van Castel, his cousin, he sailed for Batavia in 1654. Shortly after their arrival in Batavia in 1655, Maria died. Subsequently, Philip was sent to Makassar and Malacca and on board a ship taking him to Ceylon in 1657 he married Elisabeth Tribolet.

By that time Philip was serving as minister under Rijcklof van Goens, the conqueror of Tutucorijn, Manaar and Jaffnapatnam on the coast of Ceylon, Negapatnam on the Coromandel Coast, and Cranganoor, Cochin and Cannanoor on the Malabar Coast (see for a portrait of Rijcklof van Goens, Uit Verre Streken, March 2018, item 4).

Baldaeus extensively describes these campaigns and wars against the Portuguese in the present book. In 1662 Philip Badaeus returned to Ceylon, settled in the north of the island where the Tamil people lived, learned their language and documented their life and culture.

In 1666 Baldaeus returned to the Dutch Republic and preached in the small town of Geervliet till his death in 1671 at the age of 39. Here he also completed this book which was published in 1672, shortly after his death.

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