Het Grieks gedomesticeerd | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 53, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



The sixteenth-century Hellenist Adolf van Meetkercke (1528-1591) was a talented humanist and diplomat, who divided his time between philology and politics, excelling in both professions. Meetkercke’s first scholarly work was his ), published in 1565 by Goltzius in Bruges and reedited in 1576 by Plantin in Antwerp. In this work, the scholar from Bruges defended the reconstructed pronunciation today closely associated with Erasmus. After offering a biographical sketch of Meetkercke and briefly recapitulating the pronunciation debate, I discuss his innovative treatise, which was the first freestanding systematic outline of the reconstructed pronunciation. I argue that the was tremendously influential and had an impact beyond the subject of pronunciation. In particular, I intend to illustrate that Meetkercke elaborated a linguistic ideology which advocated the active usage of the Ancient Greek language as a learned lingua franca next to Latin, and which involved appropriating this classical language from the Byzantine teachers who had brought it to western Europe in a ‘corrupt’ state. In the conclusion, I dwell on Meetkercke’s importance for language studies and briefly relate his rather aggressive domestication of Ancient Greek to the position of this language in the present-day Low Countries.


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