76 An Unbuilt Temple in Honour of Hugo Grotius at Loevestein On the 22nd of March 1774, the 153rd anniversary of the escape of Hugo Gro- tius from Loevestein Castle, the Amsterdam physician Jacob Ploos van Amstel ( 1 735-1 784) for the second time presented a lecture, which he had held alread- y half a year before at a small cultural society in his native town, Concordia et Libertate. In his speech, which he published a little later as Het uitmuntend ka- rakter en de zonderlinge lotgevallen van Hugo de Groot ("The excellent char- acter and strange adventures of Hugo Grotius"), he presented a paper model for a classical temple, which he hoped would be erected in honour of the great Dutch jurist. It was meant to replace the old medieval castle in which Grotius had been confined for about twenty months, and which in his view should be pulled down immediately as a now vanquished symbol of tyranny. Since 1614, Loevestein had functioned regularly as a kind of state-prison of the Dutch Re- public, but in practice by the end of the eighteenth century it stood empty for most of the time. However, to the progressive
Grotiana – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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