From the treasury
Poeraet in the War of the Poets

Ei, vrinden, toch: mijn Wijf moet hebben op haer bil. Roemwaerdigh is zij mij in wangunst en trillil. (‘Well my friends, my wife should be spanked. To me she is worthy of fame for her envy and quivering flesh.’) This curious remark can be found in a poem by the clergyman Pieter Poeraet (1684-1747), in an interleaved copy of Epitheta, dat zijn bynamen oft toenamen (‘Ephiteta, these are adjectives or adverbs’), a work by Anthoni Smyters (approx. 1545-1625), published in 1620. Poeraet’s notes and additions were part of his interference with the War of the Poets which disputed whether poems should be written in Latin or in the vernacular and if, in the latter case, they were to be based on the texts of the 16th-century Dutch poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel.

Recently digitized
Bergen op Zoom in French hands

Almost 300 years ago the western part of Europe was anything but a politically stable region. In the 18th century several countries continued battling for power during the many wars of succession. The battles were especially concentrated round the fortified towns, often resulting in long-term sieges. That is why those cities and their surrounding areas were mapped in great detail. This map from 1740 depicting the surroundings of Bergen op Zoom is a nice example.