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A Primar Stduy on a Dutch Traveller J.H.Van Linschoten and His Itinerario

Author: LinXiaoXiao
Tutor: WuZhiLiang
School: Beijing Foreign Studies University
Course: Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords: Linschoten Dutch maritime history Goa relation history ofChina-Netherlands
CLC: I563.06
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 11
Quote: 0
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J. H. van Linschoten was a famous Dutch traveller during16-17century. He worked for the local bishop in Goa, India, which was the Portuguese colony, at the time of the1583-1588. During his stay in Goa, he made use of his job to collect lots of information concerning India and the surrounding areas. In1596, he published the trilogy Itinerario. Voyage ofteschipvaert van Jan Huygen van Linschoten naar Oost ofte Portugaels Indien1579-1592, revealing routes and trade information from Europe to Africa, Asia and America. Shortly after publication, the books have had wide influence. Later they have been translated into many languages and reprinted many times.His works broke monopolization of the information on the routes from Europe to India by the Portuguese and the Spanish, which greatly promoted the Netherlands and other countries to explore overseas colonies. Thus it led directly to the establishment of the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch expansion in Asia to challenge the Portuguese authority. As the result the situation of the European powers during the Age of Discovery changed since then. Meanwhile, his work was one of the earliest books about China published in Dutch, and the origin of China studies in the Netherlands. Studies on Dutch maritime history in early years and early period of the history of China-Netherlands trade are very important in the study of relation history of China and Netherlands, while Linschoten’s work is one of the representative works.Because the Dutch education in China is very limited and the language in Linschoten’s books is ancient, including a large number of oriental terms and nautical terminology, there isn’t any special study on Linschoten and his book in mainland academic world. Some relevant researches are based on English literature without direct study of the original manuscript.Purpose of this paper is to reveal the core content, the logical framework and the basic idea of this trilogy, and thus to lay the foundation for future research. Firstly, based on cultural and historical materials of the same period and the previous studies, in particular research of Dutch scholars, this paper fully combs Linschoten’s life, works and historical background. This paper is aprimary study on a Dutch traveller J. H. van Linschoten and his Itinerario, which firstly investigates the basic literature, including different editions of Itinerario and early translations, the literature and materials author used for reference. Then logical framework of the trilogy is analyzed and the core contentis summarized. At the end of this paper, the value of Linschoten’s works is reviewed from the perspectives of western maritime history, early history of Western oriental studies and the history of world.This paper mainly bases on the literature in Dutch. The special case study on Linschoten and his Itinerario is initiated through data research on author’s life, study on different versions of Itinerario and the texts, as well as the discussion on its historical value, which is open to the further study.

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