Bernardus Varenius (1622?-1650)

  • There is almost nothing known about the life of Bernhard Varen, who was born around 1622 as son of a vicar in the German town of Hitzacker. But he left behind two important books: a Description of the Kingdom of Japan and the General Geography which layed the foundations of geography as a science.
    The preface of Geographia Generalis was finished on Jan. 8th 1650. Probably Varen died shortly afterwards. The frontispice of that book presumably shows Varen on the left hand side (fig.1 and 2). Like Engelbert Kaempfer and Philipp Franz von Siebold Varenius was a physician. He never left Europe, but collected all his informations from Jesuite letters and other writings on Japan.

    Bernhard Varen (?)


    • Varen's Writings
      1. Descriptio Regni Japoniae. Cum quibusdam affinis materiae, ex variis autoribus collecta et in ordinem redacta. Amsterdam 1649.
      2. Tractatus: In quo agitur: De Japoniorum Religione. De Christianae religionis introductione in ea loca. De eiusdem exstirpatione. Adjuncta est de diversa diversarum gentium totius telluris Religione brevis informatio. Amsterdam 1649.
      3. Geographia Generalis. In qua affectiones generales Telluris explicantur future. Autore Berh. Varenio Med. D. Amstelodami, Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium. 1650. Amsterdam 1650.
    • Varenius Links
    • Literature on Varen and his Writings
    • Reprint of Schwind's German Translation

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