Johann Philipp Abelin

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Johann Philipp Abelin was a German chronicler whose career straddled the 16th and 17th centuries. He was born, probably, at Strasbourg, and died there between 1634 and 1637. He wrote numerous histories under the pseudonyms of Abeleus, Philipp Arlanibäus, Johann Ludwig Gottfried and Gotofredus.

He worked mainly as a translator for the publishing house of Lucas Jennisius, Matthäus Merian and Friedrich Hulsius in Frankfurt. Some of his works, such as a history of India, proved later to be mere translations. His own works consisted mainly of compilations of historical records, but met the likings of the time.



  • Historia Antipodum, 1655, a history of the West Indies
  • Archontologia Cosmicum, translation and revision of Petrus d'Avirth's Monde.

Proprietary works:

Both are compilations of the contemporary records and letters about the events of the war without further historical commentary. In the same style, he later published his best known work

  • Theatrum Europaeum, a series of chronicles of the chief events in the history of the world down to 1619, reedited, updated and republished several times, including a translation into Dutch.

He was himself responsible for the first two volumes. It was continued by various writers and grew to twenty-one volumes (1633–1738), including illustrations by the beautiful copperplate engravings of Matthäus Merian (1593–1650).


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