2004
Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X

Abstract

Jan Pieter van Male (1681-1735) was an ambitious inhabitant of Bruges who dreamed of being a painter, but who was ordained and ended up as a parish priest in some minor villages in the Flemish countryside. Because of the amount of spare time he had, the outstanding education he had received and his thorough familiarity with the history of Bruges, he was well-equipped to assess the history of Bruges – which he did. Among the many works he wrote are a history of Bruges (Naukeurighe Beschrijvinghe vande Oude ende hedendaeghsche ghestaethede Vande Edele ende vermaerde stadt Brugghe in Vlaenderen) and a work on the city’s great Bruges scholars and artists (Praelthoneel der gheleerde en doorluchtighe Brugghelingen). Both works are prefaced by an extensive introductions in which Van Male explains his aims with regard to historiography. Convinced that knowledge of one’s own history is beneficial, he endeavours to instruct his fellow countrymen in their history, and to be a guide for the youth of Bruges. In doing so, he assumes a critical and scholarly attitude to history and to the sources he uses. As a historian, Van Male worked in a period that is characterised by the transition from amateurish historical writing to a more scholarly historiography.

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2012-10-01
2021-11-29
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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