Harald Ilsøe in memoriam
Peter Andersen: Venusinus’s autographs
Today thirteen autograph manuscripts are known by the Danish humanist Jon Jacobsen
Venusinus (d. 1608), cited in older research particularly with reference to his opposition
to exorcism. His enemies compared him to Faust; an admirer described him as ‘the
man with the enchanting name’. He first called himself Coronensis, alluding both to
his upbringing in Landskrona and to his close association with the royal house, but he
changed his name about 1595 to Venusinus, referring both to Ven, the island on which
he claimed to have been born, and Venusia, Horace’s home town. Seven bookplates
provide an insight into this Dane’s personal library. Among his books was a copy of
William Lambarde’s Archaionomia, from which he quotes twenty-four Old English words.
Five entries in his alba amicorum bear witness to his circle of friends, which included
several Calvinists. Three entries contain his hitherto neglected Latin and Greek mottos.
The albums also allow partial reconstruction of his travels abroad. A recently rediscovered
letter to the German Calvinist Johannes Piscator is particularly interesting and
doubles the quantity of known text from Venusinus’s hand.