BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
The blossoming of the sciences and arts in the Northern Netherlands of the seventeenth century is due to a certain extent to the influx of Protestant refugees and other skilled immigrants from the southern provinces and France. In fortification theory we have for example, Simon Stevin, the Van Schooten family and Samuel Marolois (The Hague? ca. 1572- The Hague before 1627). In fact the last was born in the Republic, but his father Nicolaas Marolois came from Valenciennes and had just been banned from France because of his commitment to and dangerous commissions for the Prince of Orange. Since this exile had deprived his father of all his properties in France, the young Samuel grew up in straightened circumstances. In a plea to the Committed Councils of Holland he mentioned the fact that despite his father’s unremitting loyal services to the Republic, he never received any reward or compensation for this. Nevertheless, Samuel managed to become a gifted mathematician and practical engineer. He earned a living as a private teacher of mathematics and fortification. His qualities were certainly recognized and his expertise was asked on several occasions. Together with Simon Stevin he reported on a method to determine the longitude at sea by Jan Hendrickz Jarichs van der Leij for the States General of the Netherlands. In 1611 Marolois obtained a patent for a kind of rolling mill using horse power. However, his ultimate ambition to succeed Ludolf van Ceulen as professor of mathematics and head of the Duytsche Mathematique did not materialize. The equally highly capable Frans van Schooten senior won the leading position at this famous engineering education institution in Leiden, but it must have been a close run thing because Marolois was personally recommended by stadholder Prince Maurits. Moreover, the school had been set up in 1600 by Maurits based on protocols formulated by Stevin, with whom Marolois had worked. He had to content himself with incidental positions that came his way. In 1618 he was sworn in by the Council of State as controller of the artillery. When in 1619 the Van der Leij case became an issue once again, four of the best practical mathematicians were involved – Stevin, Snellius, Dou and Marolois. Although Marolois never worked at the by then famous institute in Leiden where practical mathematics were taught, he delivered one of the first published handbooks on military architecture and land surveying more or less according to its curriculum. Marolois’ treatise on fortification appeared as part of his larger Opera mathematica,a luxurious oblong broadsheet published by Hendrick Hondius in The Hague in 1614-1616.
Jeroen Goudeau (Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL) – 2015
S. Bürger, Architectura Militaris: Festungsbautraktate des 17. Jahrhunderts von Specklin bis Sturm, Munich, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2013, pp. 277-181.
K. Jordan, Bibliographie zur Geschichte des Festungbaues von den Anfängen bis 1914, Marburg, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung e.V., 2003, pp. 168-170.
J. A. van Maanen, Facets of Seventeenth Century Mathematics in the Netherlands, Diss., Utrecht 1987, pp. 6-12.
P. C. Molhuysen, Bronnen tot de geschiedenis der Leidsche universiteit 1574-1811, 7 vols, 1913-1924, vol. 2: 8 Febr. 1610-7 Febr. 1647, ’s-Gravenhage, Martinus Nijhoff, 1916, pp. 43*-44*, 67*-68*.
N. M. Orenstein, Hendrick Hondius and the Business of Prints in Seventeenth-Century Holland, Studies in Prints and Printmaking 1, Rotterdam, Sound & Vision Interactive, 1996, esp. pp. 106-121, cat. nos. 629, 631-633.
E. Taverne, In ’t land van belofte: in de nieue stadt: Ideaal en werkelijkheid van de stadsuitleg in de Republiek 1580-1680, Maarssen, G. Schwartz, 1978, ch. 3.
C. de Waard, “Marolois (Samuel)”, P. C. Molhuysen and P. J. Blok (eds.), Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols, 1911-1937, vol. 2, Leiden, A. W. Sijthoff, 1912, pp. 873-875.