1872 - 1945 (72 years)
Has 2 ancestors and 6 descendants in this family tree.
||Johan Huizinga |
||Prof Dr. |
||7 Dec 1872
||Groningen, Gr, NL
||1 Feb 1945
||18 Aug 2010 |
||Jkvr Mary Vincentia Schorer, b. 1877, d. 1914 (Age 37 years) |
| ||1. Jacob Herman Huizinga, d. Yes, date unknown|
| ||2. Leonhard Huizinga, b. 3 Aug 1906, Groningen, Gr, NL , d. 9 Jun 1980, Wassenaar, ZH, NL (Age 73 years)|
||15 Mar 2003 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- R.N.L., C.O.N., C.H.O.
litt. neerl. do&, hoogleraar algemene en kultuurgeschiedenis te Leiden, voorz. Kon. Ned. Akad. v. Wetenschappen
attended the municipal Gymnasium and entered in 1891 the university, earning his degree in Indo-Germanic languages in 1895. Huizinga then studied comparative linguistics at the University of Leipzig, and after returning from Germany he earned in 1897 his Ph.D. Huizinga's dissertation dealt with the clown figure in Sanskrit drama. His early interest was history, but at the gymnasium his teachers had been so poor, that he changed into linguistics.
During the following years he taught history at a secondary school in Harlem and lectured in 1903-05 on ancient history at the University of Amsterdam. In 1905 he became professor of history at Groningen. After the death of his first wife, Mary Vincentia Schorer (1877-1914), he moved from Groningen to Leiden, where he was appointed in 1915 professor of general history at the university.
From 1916 to 1932 Huizinga was an editor of the periodical De Gids. He traveled in the United States in 1926, but he had already published a study on the national characteristics of the country, Mensch en menigte in America (1918). The journey produced Amerika Levend en Denkend (1926). In 1938 Huizinga became vice-president of the International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation with the League of Nations. Alarmed by the rise of fascism and cultural crisis Huizinga wrote In de schaduwen van morgen (1935), which his son Jacob Herman Huizinga translated into English under the title In the Shadow of Tomorrow.
In 1937 Huizinga married Auguste Schölvinck, 37 years his junior. After the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, the University of Leiden was closed. In 1941 Huizinga gave a speech in which he criticized German influence on Dutch science and he was arrested by the Nazis. Huizinga was released in 1942 but not allowed to return to Leiden. Huizinga died in detention at De Steeg in Gerderland, near Arnheim, on February 1, 1945, just a few months before the end of the war.
In his inaugural lecture at Groningen Huizinga had supported the view, that historical knowledge is essentially aesthetic, intuitive, and subjective. This approach was fully developed in Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen (The Autumn of the Middle Ages), a nostalgic views of the the past world, which he wrote for both the wide public and specialists. Dutch historians received the work coolly but abroad it became a success and was soon translated into English and other languages. The study was inspired by an exhibition of early Netherlandic painting, which Huizinga saw in 1902 in Bruges. It arose his life-long interest in the Middle Ages. The Autumn of the Middle Ages, written in poetic style, portrays vividly the age through contradictions - after witch hunts were finished in the city of Arras, people celebrated it by arranging a competition in moral tales (folies moralisées), and at the same time when religious thinking and fanaticism dominated everyday life, church services and the clergy were mocked. Monks cursed and prostitutes made deals inside church buildings.
Homo Ludens examined the role of play in law, war, science, poetry, philosophy, and art. Huizinga saw the instinct for play as the central element in human culture - all human activities are playing: "Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin: law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primaeval soil of play."
Dutch Civilization in the Seventeenth Century was a collection of essays. In 'My Path to History,' which was first published in Dutch in 1947, Huizinga described his his early fascination with history, his studies and the genesis of The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Although the title of the book paralleled processes in nature, fruition and decline with culture, Huizinga did not believe that history follows certain cyclic pattern exemplified in Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West (1918-1922), or could be understood through Darwinist concepts. He emphasized intuitive understanding, regarding history essentially as a form of mental activity in which a culture views its past. For the modern technological world Huizinga had a strong dislike, and he claimed that educated people in the times of Macaulay (1800-59) and Ranke (1795-1886) understood history better than his contemporaries.