Johannes Coccejus

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Johannes Coccejus held a chair of Hebrew and theology (from 1643) at Franeker University, and a Leiden chair of theology (1650). His popular Opera omnia, which includes a Hebrew lexicon, were edited in 1673–5, 1689 and 1701. See: NNBW, vol. 1, cols 616–8; BBK, vol. 1, col. 1072; BLGNP, vol. 4, pp. 92–8; LThK, vol. 2, col. 242; Van Asselt, 2001; Feil, 2001, pp. 22–33. Coccejus’s private book collection (about 1,856 lots) was auctioned on 14 April 1671 (Catalogus instructissimae bibliothecae d. Johannis Coccei, 1671). His library included many works for and against Cartesianism as well as a copy of Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) and Philosophia S. Scripturae interpres, 1666. Cf. Breymayer, 1982. The rare auction catalogue of his book collection is kept in: Basle, UL, B.L.VI.51; St Petersburg, National Library,; Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, M: Bc Kapsel 2 (13)).

It is possible that it was Coccejus who introduced Spinoza to Henry Oldenburg (cf. Van Asselt, 2001). He was a relative of Oldenburg by marriage. It is reported in the correspondence of the English knowledge broker Samuel Hartlib that Oldenburg was on close terms with him:

The gent[leman] who is here returned from Paris (Mr. Oldenburg, I mean,) did undertake to write to Coccejus. The next time he comes, I shall examine him, whether he hath been as good as his word. Coccejus being his intimate friend, I would be so civil as not to interpose between them.

Samuel Hartlib to John Worthington, 1/11 July 1660; The Diary and Correspondence of Dr. John Worthington, 1847, pp. 192–4.


Samuel Hartlib


Benedictus Spinoza, de


Henry Oldenburg


Salomon Til, van


Johannes Theodoor Braun