The Cape in Latin and Latin in the Cape in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Van Stekelenburg, A. V. (2003)

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Journal Article

Different authors work in different ways. Bert van Stekelenburg would usually choose a new topic that interested him, do initial, sometimes fairly cursory, research on the subject, give one or more public lectures and/or read a fairly brief scholarly paper and then spend some years refining the topic by means of extensive research in both local and overseas libraries, carefully building up a scholarly argument in the manner of a sculptor in clay, whose work in the end would be cast in bronze — the scholarly publication that followed. This paper started as a public lecture to the Western Cape branch of the Classical Association of South Africa in March 2002. It had flowed from previous research done on an interesting Latinist who lived at the Cape, Jan Willem (“Johannes Guilielmus”) Van Grevenbroek, on whose life Bert had been working since 1997. After a lecture series was initiated by a paper read at Avila in Spain in 1997, several more popular lectures followed. This research culminated in a scholarly publication, “Een intellectueel in de vroege Kaapkolonie. De nalatenschap van Jan Willem van Grevenbroek (1644-1726)” Tydskrif vir Nederlands en Afrikaans 8, 2001, 3-34. Bert was working on this present article just before he left for his last, fateful ornithological expedition, using the computers of various friends, including that of his present editor, but after his death we have been unable to find the diskette on which he had kept this article, which had seemed to be almost completed. Also, no printouts have been found. This version is the editor’s attempt to make sense of the body of Bert’s talk (of which several versions in his handwriting exist) as well as the copious scholarly notes in English, Afrikaans and Dutch (which he had been in the process of incorporating) and the texts of various poems and other citations that he had used at the March 2002 lecture. Every attempt has been made to keep to the author’s style and contents as he envisaged them and not to allow the editor’s personal opinion to intrude into the paper (Editor).

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