Hermannus Samsonius to Axel Oxenstierna : Latin Correspondence from 1621 to 1630 with Linguistic and Historical Commentaries

University dissertation from Latin

Abstract: The core of the present work is a first edition of the first part of the Latin correspondence of Hermann Samson, Sweden's Superintendent of Churches in Livonia (1622-1643), with Axel Oxenstierna, the Chancellor of Sweden (1612-1654). The epistles date from 1621 to 1630, covering a period of tremendous change for Samson, Livonia, Sweden and Poland. Each epistle has been equipped with historical and linguistic commentary as well as an English summary of the Latin text. This book is the first detailed scholarly treatment of Samson in English and serves as an introduction to one of Livonia's most important intellectual figures. It also provides the most extensive bibliography of Samson's published works to date. Individual chapters treat (1) Samson's life from his birth in 1579 to early in 1630, the end point for this edition; (2) the reorganization of the Cathedral School in Riga in 1594, where Samson was a student, school inspector and teacher; and (3) polemic exchanges between Samson and the Jesuits from his return to Riga in 1608 until the city's capitulation to Gustavus Adolphus in 1621; (4) the history of the military engagements, ceasefires, and armistices in Livonia between Sweden and Poland.

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