Johannes Secundus

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Janus Secundus

Johannes Secundus (also Janus Secundus , actually Johann Nico Everaerts ; born November 15, 1511 in The Hague , † September 25, 1536 near Saint-Amand ) was a Dutch poet , painter and sculptor . With this versatility he corresponded to the Renaissance ideal of a universal artist. His two brothers, Hadrianus Marius and Nicolaus Grudius , were also famous neo-Latin poets.

His father was Nicolaes Everaerts, a famous lawyer at the time and a friend of Erasmus of Rotterdam . In 1528 the family moved from The Hague to Mechelen , where Secundus wrote his first work with Latin elegies . In 1532 he went to Bourges with his brother to study law. There he acquired his license ( licentia ) and in 1533 went to Madrid to the Spanish court of Charles V , where another brother, Grudius, worked. There Johannes spent two years as secretary to the Archbishop of Toledo. Due to illness, he returned to Mechelen and died near St. Amand in September 1536 at the age of 24.

Secundus was an avid writer and in his short life wrote numerous books with elegies, epigrams , odes , epistles and also many prose works in neo-Latin language .

His most important works are the Basia , a compilation of 19 poems in various meters , in which he deals with the subject of the kiss in imitation of Catullus . The topics include natural fertility, the "arithmetic of the kiss", kisses as a source of food and healing, kisses that bring wounds or death, and the exchange of souls through kissing.

Secundus introduced elements of Neoplatonism and Petrarkism into his work.

Editions and translations

  • Joannes Secundus: Opera nunc primum in lucem edita. Facsimile of the edition Utrecht 1541. De Graaf, Nieuwkoop 1969
  • Simon Bunke (Ed.): Johannes Secundus: Basia. The kisses. Latin text with the German translation by J [ohann] G [eorge] Scheffner. Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-89528-806-7
  • Paul Murgatroyd (Ed., Comm., Transl.): The Amatory Elegies of Johannes Secundus , Koninklijke Brill NV (Leiden), 2000.


  • Eugen Ehrmann, Albert SchumannSecundus, Johannes (Janus) . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 33, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1891, p. 524 f.
  • Eckart Schäfer:  Secundus, Johannes. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , p. 123 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Eckart Schäfer (Ed.): Johannes Secundus and the Roman love poetry. (= NeoLatina 5). Narr, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-8233-6080-9
  • Jan Pieter Guépin: De three poetic broers. Grudius, Marius, Secundus. In letters, Reisverslagen en poems . Groningen 2000.
  • Stella Purce Revard: Secundus, Johannes . In: Encyclopedia of the Renaissance . Gale, Cengage Learning 1999, part 5, p. 448 f.
  • Jan Pieter Guépin : De art van Janus Secundus. De 'Kussen' en other poems . Amsterdam 1991.
  • Alfred MM Dekker: Janus Secundus 1511-1536. De tekstoverlevering van het tijdens zijn leven publiceerde work. Nieuwkoop 1986.
  • Clifford Endres: Joannes Secundus. The Latin Love Elegy in the Renaissance . Hamden 1981.
  • GC Schoolfield: Janus Secundus , Twayne Publishers (Boston) 1980.

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