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Alumni 350 jaar Groningens Ontzet


3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.- Academy building

As part of the celebration, we are organizing a symposium entitled ‘Resistance and Freedom: The 1672 Siege of Groningen and the University’. Four lectures will be given at the Academy Building, with musical accompaniment. A detailed version of the lectures will also be published as a book.

Lecture 1

Dr Benjamin van der Linde — ‘Not only Groningen: The campaign of Bernard van Galen and the role of the German border regions’

Van der Linde discusses the geopolitical context of the conflict between the Republic of the Netherlands and the Diocese of Münster and its allies. The war began in the Holy Roman Empire, but also directly affected large areas, such as Emsland and East Frisia. The Dijlerschans, near the border of the province of Groningen, was conquered, and the invasion of East Frisia could only be averted thanks to the success of the Dutch militia. In East Frisia, Dutch troops were stationed in the garrisons of Emden and Leerort. The conflict was not only an attack on the Republic, and in particular on Groningen, but also involved other border regions.

Benjamin van der Linde is a freelance historian. His research focuses on the relationship between the Netherlands and East Frisia in the early modern period. His most recent book is entitled Das Leibregiment der friesischen Statthalter (The Leibregiment of the Frisian Stadtholders).

Lecture 2

Dr Joop W. Koopmans— ‘“Bommen Berend” as aggressor and the news of 1672’

Koopmans explores in detail the claims, warfare, and diplomacy of the Bishop of Münster, Bernard van Galen. He covers the Münster Wars, the reactions of opponents in the north-east of the Netherlands, and the siege of Groningen in July and August of 1672. Koopmans discusses the latter on the basis of the news that was being spread about the siege in 1672. What was publicly known, and how much did the Dutch population hear via the media of the time? Was the tension and uncertainty of the time comparable to that surrounding the Russia- Ukraine war of 2022?

Joop W. Koopmans is an associate professor of Early Modern History at the University of Groningen. His research and teaching focus on the history of politics and the media in early modern Europe (see interview). His most recent book is entitled Het nieuws verbeeld: Oorlog en vrede in de titelprenten van de Europische Mercurius (1690-1750) (The News Imagined: War and Peace in the Frontispieces of the Europische Mercurius (1690-1760)). He also collaborated on a TV programme about the Eighty Years’ War and Stadtholder Willem Lodewijk.

Lecture 3

Dr Judith Brouwer —‘“Groningen constant/Behout van ’t lant”: responses to the siege’

Brouwer discusses the question of how the population outside Groningen responded to the siege and liberation. In doing so, she further elaborates on the theme of spreading inf ormation of the previous lecture. She answers this question, among other things, based on letters from the Holland and Zeeland regions that never reached their destination, as well as poems and pamphlets. What was the importance of the siege and liberation? How did the events in the north affect the population in other regions? And how did people respond to the information that reached them?

Judith Brouwer is a data curator at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands for an Dutch Research Council (NWO) research project entitled ‘Golden Agents: Creative Industries and the Making of the Dutch Golden Age’, which focuses on the creative industry in Amsterdam during the 17 th century (Golden Age). She is also a research data manager for the research data collection of the Meertens Institute. In 2013, she defended her PhD thesis at the UG, entitled Levenstekens: Gekaapte brieven uit het Rampjaar 1672 (Signs of Life: Highjacked Letters from the Disaster Year 1672). She also collaborated on the TV programmes ‘Brieven boven water’ and ‘De strijd om het Binnenhof’.

Lecture 4

Dr Arjen Dijkstra — ‘The academic community in a state of siege: The University of Groningen in 1672’

Dijkstra describes the siege of Groningen in 1672 from the perspective of the academic community. Students and professors played an active role in the period preceding the siege of Bommen Berend, in defending the city of Groningen, and in the period that followed. One famous story concerns students keeping the enemy troops awake at night by singing loudly. It goes without saying that the involvement of Groningen students and professors went much further than this anecdote. How crucial was the role of the academic community? Furthermore, this retrospect is a perfect opportunity to reflect on how the University of Groningen would have celebrated its newly won freedom. After all, this too is part of our academic history.

Arjen Dijkstra is the director of the University Museum Groningen. His expertise lies in the history of science in relation to society and academic history. His most recent publication is De Hemelbouwer: Een biografie van Eise Eisinga (The Sky Builder: A Biography of Eise Eisinga).

Last modified:27 June 2022 1.00 p.m.
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