Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Junius, Francis

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1401386Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 30 — Junius, Francis1892Warwick William Wroth ‎

JUNIUS, FRANCIS, or DU JON, FRANÇOIS, the younger (1589–1677), philologist and antiquary, born at Heidelberg in 1589, was the son of Francis Junius (or Du Jon) (1545–1602), the protestant theologian, by his third wife, Joan, daughter of Simon L'Hermite of Antwerp. In 1592 the family removed to Leyden, and the younger Junius there received the first part of his education from his father. He afterwards studied letters and philology under G. J. Vossius (who in 1607 had married his sister Elizabeth), and theology under Teelinghius at Middelburg. In 1620 Junius visited France, and in 1621 came to England, where he entered the house of Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel [q. v.], the celebrated collector, as librarian, and tutor to his son. In the service of this family Junius passed a happy and scholarly life for thirty years. During the time he paid many visits to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and devoted himself to Anglo-Saxon (then much neglected) in connection with his lifelong and much-loved study of the Teutonic and northern languages from a comparative standpoint. In 1637 Junius published his learned ‘De Pictura Veterum libri tres,’ Amsterdam, 1637, 4to, and in 1638 issued an English translation of it by himself, with some additions (‘The Painting of the Ancients,’ London, 4to). A Dutch translation, ‘De Schilder-Konst der Oude,’ appeared at Middelburg in 1641, 4to. To the folio edition of the ‘De Pictura,’ published at Rotterdam in 1694 (posthumous), was for the first time prefixed a ‘Catalogus artificum,’ which Junius had originally drawn up for the Earl of Arundel. In 1642 and in 1644–6 Junius was in the Netherlands, accompanying the young Earl of Oxford as his tutor. He afterwards returned to England, which he left in 1651 to live with his sister (Vossius's widow) at Amsterdam and at the Hague. About this time he visited Friesland, and there spent two years studying the language. In 1655 appeared at Amsterdam the first-fruits of his philological studies, ‘Observationes in Willerami Abbatis Francicam Paraphrasin Cantici Canticorum,’ 8vo, and in the same year he published his edition of Cædmon, ‘Cædmonis monachi paraphrasis poetica Genesios,’ Amsterdam, 4to. Afterwards, obtaining access through his nephew, Isaac Vossius, to the ‘Codex Argenteus’ of the Mœso-Gothic version of Ulphilas, he published an edition of it and also a Gothic glossary:—‘Gothicum Glossarium, quo Argentei Codicis Vocabula explicantur,’ 1664 and 1665; ‘Quatuor D. N. I. C. Evangeliorum Versiones perantiquæ duæ, Gothica scilicet [by Junius] et Anglo-Saxonica [by T. Marshall],’ Dort, 1665, 4to.

In 1674 Junius returned to England, and in October 1676 retired to Oxford, where he at first lodged opposite Lincoln College, of which Dr. Marshall, who had studied the northern languages under him, was rector. He afterwards removed for greater privacy to ‘an obscure house in Beef-hall Lane in St. Ebbe's parish’ (Wood, Athenæ Oxon.) In August 1677 Junius went to stay with his nephew, Dr. Isaac Vossius, canon of Windsor, and died of a fever in his house near Windsor on 19 Nov. of the same year. He was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and a tablet with a Latin inscription was placed on the wall near his grave. Junius was a man of kindly nature and blameless character. A laborious student, he rose at four all the year, worked till one, then engaged in ‘walking or running,’ and again worked from three till eight. A portrait of him, sketched by Vandyck, hangs in the Bodleian Library. An engraving of this by G. Vertue is prefixed to the ‘Etymologicum Anglicanum,’ and there is another, by Burghers, prefixed to C. Rawlinson's ‘Boethius,’ 1698, a work printed from the Gothic and Saxon types left by Junius to the university of Oxford.

While living in Beef-hall Lane, Oxford, Junius made a deed of gift to the Bodleian Library of all his Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and valuable philological collections. A list of these is given in the life of Junius by Grævius and in Wood's ‘Athenæ’ (iii. 1141–3; cf. Macray, Annals of the Bodl. Libr. 1868, pp. 102, 103). Among the manuscripts are the ‘Ormulum’ and ‘Cædmon,’ the latter originally a present to Junius from his friend Archbishop Ussher. Among the philological collections is Junius's own ‘Etymologicum Anglicanum,’ a work first printed in 1743 by Edward Lye [q. v.], Oxford, fol.; it was largely used by Dr. Johnson for the etymologies in his ‘Dictionary’ (see Todd's edition of the Dict. i. 4). A transcript, in nine folio volumes, of the manuscript of Junius's ‘Glossarium quinque Linguarum Septentrionalium’ was bequeathed to the Bodleian Library in 1686 by Bishop Fell.

[Life by Grævius, printed in the 1694 edition of Junius's De Pictura, and in the Etymologicum Anglic.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 1139–1143; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Macray's Annals of the Bodleian Library, 1868, pp. 102, 103, 108, 336; Nichols's Lit. Anecd.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, where other modern authorities are cited; Academy, 27 Sept. 1890, p. 274, on some shortcomings in Junius's transcriptions of Anglo-Saxon texts.]

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