1 - 36 (Proemium)These lines announce the occasion: the coronation of King James (July 25, 1603). Grotius’ bina...bisque reflect Claudian tertia...terque, III Cons. 1f.:
Tertia Romulei sumant exordia fasces
Terque tuas ducat bellatrix pompa curules.
[“Let the consular fasces of Romulus open a third year, and for the third time let the warlike procession accompany thy curule litter.”]
12 - 22 Grotius urges the sun to scatter all clouds and bring fine weather, as does Claudian:
Sol, qui flammigeris mundum complexus habenis
Volvis inexhausto redeuntia saecula motu,
Sparge diem meliore coma... (Prob. 1 - 3)
[ “Sun, that encirclest the world with reins of flame and rollest in ceaseless motion the revolving centuries, scatter thy light with kindlier beams...”]
2 James had been crowned king of Scotland in 1567. This coronation as king of England is the second. Ireland is the third sceptre. Nedham translated these lines as:
Three scepters of the Deep their pow’rs do bring,
To make a Trident for a mightie King.
Compare. the first line of Erasmus, Carmen gratulatorium to Prince Philip on his return: O semper memoranda dies plaudendaque semper (Opera Omnia 1703 IV.553).
23ff I.e. Ocean, line 28. The tides, governed by the moon, might in fact be ebbing. Nedham translated these lines as:
Take courage from thy Roial Governor,
As by the influence of a better Star,
And in thy cours about the World explain
To all mankinde, who ’tis that rules the main.
The ocean as father of all things is from Homer, Il. XIV.246f. and Vergil, Geo. IV.382. Cf. Claudian, IV Cons. 20-23.
37 - 60 Deses, if correct, is non-classical. The nom. sing. of the word seems not to occur in classical authors, although the nom. pl. seems common enough.
The poet then expresses his inadequacy for the task at hand, a commonplace recommended by the rhetoricians. Doxopater writes: “It is a rule for a writer of panegyric to always state that the topic at hand is greater than his ability to speak” (Struthers 57, referring to Walz Rhet. gr. 2.449, translation Riley). With 37 O mihi si nullo deses torpore iuventus... compare Claudian’s Prob. 55 - 7:
Non, mihi centenis pateant si vocibus ora
Multifidusque ruat centum per pectora Phoebus,
Acta Probi narrare queam.
“Could my words issue from a hundred mouths, could Phoebus’ manifold inspiration breathe through a hundred breasts, even so I could not tell of Probus’ deeds...”
55ff. In 1591 King James had published his Lepanto, a thousand-line poem in English ballad meter, on the 1571 battle between the Turks and the Holy League under Don John of Austria. The expedition was initially to relieve the Venetian colony of Famagusta on Cyprus, but after that city’s fall, to take revenge for Turkish barbarities on the island (see line 57). This poem established James as a champion of the Protestant cause in Europe. The poem, which enjoyed several editions, was translated into Dutch in 1593 and into Latin by Thomas Murray (Thomas Moravius) in 1604, after the composition of this Inauguratio in 1603. (Murray’s Latin version is in Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum II.180-200. For details see Reid-Baxter). Grotius may have seen the Dutch version, but his references to velivolas acies and fluctus cruentos are vague enough and may have been quoted from any of the numerous Latin poems on the battle of Lepanto (see Wright-Spence).
60 - 97 (Genus)The ancient origins of the Scottish royal dynasty, which has outlasted the Greek and Roman empires. As recommended, Grotius puts the genus right after the proemium. Claudian’s IV Cons. 18-121 contains a long description of Honorius’ ancestors. Compare particularly Inauguratio 60 - 5 with
...Nec tantam vilior unda
Promeruit gentis seriem: cunabula fovit
Oceanus; terrae dominos pelagique futuros
Inmenso decuit rerum de principe nasci. (IV Cons. 20 - 25)
[“No common stream was held worthy to water the homeland of so illustrious a race; Ocean laved their cradle, for it befitted the future lords of earth and sea to have their origin in the great father [viz. Ocean] of all things.”]
Both the Roman and the Scottish families arise and are fostered by the surrounding Ocean.
65ff. References to Scottish history may come from Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica, Camden’s Brittania, a copy of which Grotius possessed, and for the period of Fergus and later from Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historia (probably the 1575 edition) and George Buchanan’s Rerum Scotarum Historia (1582).
67 Genesis 8:5 apparuerunt cacumina montium. Grotius lists three possible origins for the Scots: Noah landed in Scotland, the Celts moved there from Gaul (which is what Boece and Buchanan maintain), or they are a branch of the Scythians, a theory first mentioned in Bede with reference to the Picts, Hist. Eccl. I.1 gentem Pictorum de Scythia. In traditional Scottish history, the race came from Scythia: The Declaration of Arbroath (1320), the first open declaration of Scottish independence, states que (i.e. natio) de Maiori Schithia per Mare tirenum et Columpnas Herculis transiens et in Hispania inter ferocissimas gentes per multa temporum curricula Residens a nullis quantumcumque barbaricis poterat allicubi gentibus subiugari (“It journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage peoples, but nowhere could it be subdued by any people, however barbarous” (transl. National Archives of Scotland). See also Hector Boece, Hist. Scot. I.14 and Buchanan, Rerum Scot. Hist. II.20.
74 See the previous note for the commonplace of Scythians in Scotland. In addition Grotius may be referring to the similarity of the words Scoti and Scythi or deriving “Albion” from Albania, the province on the Caspian Sea (roughly Dagestan), hence a part of Scythia.
80 According to Buchanan Rerum Scotarum Hist. IV.5, around 330 B. C.
91 Nedham translated these lines as:
Though all great things a fall do fear,
Yet James his power must stand,
Beeing enlarged and compos’d
Both of the Sea and Land.
Nedham took cum with potestas, not with manet.
95 James’ grandfather, Matthew Stuart, was associated with the Stuart royal family. His wife, Margaret Douglas, was the daughter of Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England.
97 Probably a generic statement, but possibly a reference to John Barbour’s The Brus, a long epic in Scots-English from ca. 1375, although how Grotius would have been acquainted with this work is a mystery.
98 - 131 (Genesis) James’ birth. Astrological signs (100 -114). Miracles occurred: Cadiz trembled with an earthquake; pearls, gold, and honey flowed abundantly (115 - 131). Compare:
Te nascente ferox toto Germania Rheno
Intremuit movitque suas formidine silvas
Causcasus... (III Cons. 18 - 20)
[“When thou wast born fierce Germany trembled along the Rhine’s full course, Caucasus shook his forests in fear...”]
Also compare the entire paragraph of Praise 70 - 85, where Claudian recounts that at the birth of Serena (Stilicho’s wife, born in Spain) the river Tagus overflowed with gold, the white fleeces of the sheep turned to purple, the ocean cast up pearls on the shore, earth gave up its gold with no need for mining, among other miracles.
100 In 1600 Grotius had translated Aratus, Phaenomena, into Latin, and from this comes his familiarity with astronomy and astrology. However, the astral phenomena mentioned in the next lines generally reflect the time of year when James was born (June 1566), not necessarily the actual horoscope for his time of birth (9:10 am on June 19). Some explanatory details: Virgo (101) is identified with the goddess of Justice Astraea, who abandoned the earth during the Age of Iron (Ovid Met. I.149). Her return is a stock topos of panegyric (cp. Claudian, On the Consulship of Theodorus 132 -4). The claws (chelae) of Scorpio are the ancient equivalent of Libra. For reasons which remain obscure, Capricorn (103) was associated with Caesar Augustus. (It was not his birth sign.) The sun is in Leo (105) in July/August; Hercules killed the Nemean lion at Cleonae. Venus (107) viewing (“eyed” 107) the Getic North refers to James’ marriage with Anne of Denmark. Maya’s son Mercury, the god of merchants, receives her gaze (i.e. is in aspect with Venus) and illuminates the Golden Fleece (“Phrixus’ riches” 109), symbolizing Britain’s prosperity. The lyre of Orpheus (110) refers to the king’s talent for poetry as well as campaigns in Ireland. Thunder’s Bird (111; fulminis ales) is the constellation Aquila. Argo (113) refers to English seafaring; the Cyanean rocks are the Symplegades, which clash together and which Jason’s Argo traversed successfully. The three crowns (114) of Argo are either three bright stars or the three subdivisions of the constellation: carina, puppis, vela.
116 The realm which Phoebus sees last (i.e. in the West) is Hesperia, Spain. The next sentence in Latin mentions Rutupiae or Richborough, the main port of Roman Britain (with Dubris or Dover), in Kent; hence metonymy for Kent or Britain. Miraculous signs at the ruler’s birth are common in late Roman panegyric. Cf. especially Claudian Praise 70 - 85 for the pearls, gold, honey, and subsiding waters (refluos amnes) at Serena’s birth. The Brigantes (120) are a tribe of Roman Britain.
132 - 173 (Anastrophe). Education and early life. James was precocious, exceeding everyone’s expectations, with a great interest in military matters. The crown was his plaything (Ludus erat diadema tibi 136). Compare Claudian’s comments on the childhood of Honorius:
Reptasti per scuta puer, regumque recentes
Exuviae tibi ludus erant... (III Cons. 22-3)
[ “As a child thou didst crawl among shields, fresh-won spoils of monarchs were thy playthings...”]
James’ precocious maturity is just like Jupiter’s (144 - 8). The same is said of Honorius as he became ruler (aged 10!):
Talis ab Idaeis primaevus Iuppiter antris
Possessi stetit arce poli famulosque recepit
Natura tradente deos...
…. tum scindere nubes
Discebat fulmenque rudi torquere lacerto. (IV Cons. 197-202).
[“So the young Jove, issuing from the caves of Ida, stood upon the summit of the conquered sky and received the homage of the gods whom Nature handed to his charge...He was yet learning how to cleave the clouds and hurl the thunderbolt with unpracticed hand.”]
Grotius seems to have thought that the terrified mother was a nice touch. It is certainly a fine example of a variation on a theme.
148 Same simile in Claudian, IV Cons. 197 - 202. Cf. Claudian’s Talis ab Idaeis primaevus Iuppiter antris... (197) with Inauguratio 144. These Curetes (Kouretes, Korybantes, some confusion of nomenclature in ancient sources) were guardians of Zeus/Jupiter (born in Crete; Dictaean = Cretan) who clashed swords and spears to drown out the cries of the infant and hide him from his murderous father Cronus/Saturn.
165f. Permessus is a river arising from Mt. Helicon and sacred to Apollo and the Muses.“Waters” refer to the Castalian spring at Delphi. “Pella’s hand” refers to Alexander. (Pella was the capital of Macedonia.) Alexander conquered the Indian king Porus near the Indus River.
173 These poets quailed before your critical acumen.
174 - 253 (Epitedeumata) James writes poetry and is known as a theologian. He is devoted to study, not to hunting (James was known to be devoted to the chase). He is a skillful helmsman, guiding his people through stormy seas. Compare 215 - 221 to Claudian, especially the phrase arbiter alni:
velut arbiter alni,
Nubilus Aegaeo quam turbine vexat Orion,
Exiguo clavi flexu declinat aquarum
Verbera, nunc recta, nunc obliquante carina
Callidus, et pelagi caelique obnititur irae. (Stil. I 286 - 290)
[ “...as the ship’s pilot, tossed in mid Aegean by the storms of rainy Orion, eludes the waves’ buffeting by the least turn of the tiller, skilfully guiding his vessel now on straight, now on slanting course, and struggles successfully against the conjoint fury of sea and sky.”]
In his judgments James is mild, prone to forgive even the guilty, not subject to hatred and rage (225 - 7). Compare Claudian’s portrait of Stilicho:
...ut non infensus alendis
Materiam praestes odiis; ut sontibus ultro
Ignovisse velis, deponas ocius iram
Quam moveas, precibus numquam implacabilis obstes... (Stil. II 16 - 19)
“Though angered thou feedest with no fuel the flame of hatred; thou forgivest the guilty even before they ask, thou layest aside thy wrath more readily than thou are moved to wrath, thou never turnest a deaf ear to prayers...”]
177 The reference to the Persians is obscure, but the sentence as a whole refers first to James’ Lepanto (“battles and bloody conflicts”) and second to James’ devotional works, such as his Meditations on 20 Chap. of the Revelation (1588) or on XV Chapt. of the Chronicles of the Kings (1589).
193f. The “image” is the Palladium, which embodied the fate of Troy and was stolen by Diomedes and Odysseus. “Shield” refers to the ancile, a shield that fell from heaven during the reign of Numa. The original, along with replicas made to fool thieves, was kept by the Salii in their temple in Rome.
199 The Latin is somewhat obscure. We take it as “O unique faith (Anglicanism) superior to doctrines banned from our royal courts (Catholicism).”
215 References to the ruler as helmsman of the ship of state are too frequent to note. Grotius’ arbiter alni is from Claudian’s I Stil. 286 velut arbiter alni. The tenth, and disastrous, wave is from Ovid , Met. II.529f.
225 See ll. 100f. and note.
231 Lycurgus, the legendary founder of the Spartan way of life.
236 Cerae, “wax” must refer to sculpture, but Apelles was actually a painter from Cos, an island of the Aegean.
248 God gave you England.
251 - 352 (Praxeis) James’ marriage and family life. He has been successful at the vital task of producing an heir, unlike Elizabeth. Compare Grotius’
Hoc tibi certa toro soboles, et fulta verendis
Aula puerperiis. (261f.)
with Claudian’s ...ululata verendis / Aula puerperiis [“A palace rang with joy at that royal deliverance.”] (IV Cons. 140-1, referring to Honorius’ birth)
“A palace rang with joy at that royal deliverance.”
His early years have been like those of a young lion (275 - 280), a direct borrowing from Claudian:
Cum crescere sensit
ungue pedes et terga iubis et dentibus ora
iam negat imbelles epulas et rupe relicta... (III Cons. 77 - 80)
[ “...so soon as he finds talons beginning to grow from out his paws and a mane sprout from his neck and teeth arm his jaws, will have none of this inglorious food, but burns to leave his cavern home...”]
Non vult sine sanguine pasci (280) is a clever variation for Claudian’s imbelles epulas.
James does not owe his elevation to any coup or act of violence, to purchase, or to factional conflict (322 - 334). God and Nature made him king with the consent of all orders of society. Compare:
Haec tamen innumeris per se quaesita tropaeis,
Non generis dono, non ambitione potitus,
Digna legi virtus. Ultro se purpura supplex
Obtulit et solus meruit regnare rogatus. (IV Cons. 46 - 8)
[ “Yet all these lands won by countless triumphs of his own, he gained them not by gift of birth or from lust of power. It was his own merit secured his election. Unsought the purple begged his acceptance of itself; he alone when asked to rule was worthy so to do.”]
(All this refers to Honorius’ father, Theodosius. Honorius himself, the consul, was 14 years old.)
257 James and Anne of Denmark were married in Oslo 23 Nov. 1589, and returned to Scotland on 1 May of the next year. Their eldest son Henry, mentioned in the following lines, was born in 1594 and died in 1612. For a poem about Prince Henry, see the Philological Museum John Barclay Poemata I.4.
263 Like Elizabeth, who lacked an heir.
269 First published in 1599 as a guide for Prince Henry, the Basilikon Doron became a best-seller when James ascended to the English throne. Its three Books address the king’s duty to God (Bk. I, his duty to his nation (Bk. II), and matters of deportment and behaviour (Bk. III). Regalia Dona is Grotius’ translation of the title.
287 References to annals are traditional in panegyric and not necessarily a sign of Grotius’ reading. See Claudian, III Stil. 183d., IV Cons. 311. Ireland receiving civilization (295) refers to the generally unsuccessful 1599 campaign of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, whose treason disquieted the Queen’s final years of rule.
292 The Spaniards have been expelled from Ireland.
301ff. These lines contain the best example of Grotius’ argument for the king as the final goal of all history. Tethys is the Ocean; Armorica is roughly Brittany. Cf. Caesar, Bellum Gallicum V.xiii...maritima [pars] ab eis, qui praedae ac belli inferendi causa ex Belgio transierunt.
321ff. Grotius distinguishes four types of ruler: one chosen by birthright alone (322); one chosen by the plebs for his strong hand (323f.); one enthroned by a faction of the nobility (325f.); a military dictator (326f.). James in contrast was chosen by Nature and God, with the assent of all orders. Late Roman panegyric makes the same point: Claudian, III Stil. 1ff., IV Cons. 45 - 8.
334 The rapid and peaceful transition from Elizabeth I to James I may be a fact of history, but “peaceful transition” is also a trope of panegyric: cp. Claudian, tantoque remoto / principe mutatas orbis non sensit habenas; “though so great a prince [Theodosius] was dead the world knew not that the reins had passed into another’s hands” (I Stil. 149f.).
338 The Stone of Scone, taken to London by Edward I in 1296. Its role in coronations is mentioned in Buchanan, Rerum Scotarum Historia VI.3. Also called marmor by Grotius’ contemporary David Hume of Godscroft. It is actually sandstone.
353 - 392 (Eulogia Britanniae) Praise for the native land is expected in panegyric. As Julian the Apostate says: “The rules of panegyric require that I should mention your native land no less than your ancestors” (Panegyric in Honor of the Emperor Constantius 5b, translation Wright and Spence 1913). In this more elaborate digression Grotius has in mind Claudian’s eulogy of Spain in Praise of Serena. Two examples:
Quid dignum memorare tuis, Hispania, terris
Vox humana valet?
[’“What human voice can worthily sing thy praises, Spain? (50f., cf. Inauguratio 354f.]
Dives equis, frugum facilis, pretiosa metallis...
[“Rich in horses, bounteous in crops, dowered with mines...” (Praise 55., cf. Inauguratio 371 - 3)]
Other parallels could be cited.
356 Nedham translated the following lines as:
Nature herself the mistress of mankind
Hath sever’d Nations, and their bounds design’d.
So the Pyrenean Tops, Alpes, and Rhine,
As bounds to Empires Shee did once assign.
Yet Thee Shee with no River hath confin’d,
Nor loftie Tower that dares the stormie wind.
But having thrown her wide imbraces round
The Univers, here fix’t herself thy Bound,
And mean’t one limit should you both contain,
Thee Nereus hath secluded in the main.
This Bound unbounded is. Great Britain stands
Confined by the Shores of other lands;
And all that may by Winds and Sails bee known
Is an accession of so great a Crown.
366 Insulae Beatae/Fortunatae usually refer to the Canaries or Azores, Spanish possessions at the time.
378f. An obscure allusion. In Pliny N. H. XXXVI.cxliff. gagates is a black stone from Lycia, lightweight and porous, that (among its other virtues) drives snakes away — the point of its mention here. We suspect that Grotius took it to mean “coal,” hence the tacito igne. In the next sentence, when the sun is in Cancer (mid-summer) the days are long and the nights (“shadows”) are short.
390ff. Alexander (“Macedon”) defeated the Persians at Gaugamela (near Mosul). Grotius here vaguely hints at a victory parade in Babylon, Alexander’s capital, comprising the tribes of the East, “Dawn’s flock,” and the West, “worn (i. e. setting) Hyperion’s world.” Line 392 refers to Alexander’s supposed plan to invade the western Mediterranean (Arrian, Anabasis VII.i).
393 - 614 (Argumentatio) This final section includes speeches given by the nymphs representing several nations: Anglia (393 - 429), Scotia (430 - 445), Ierne (Ireland. 446 - 457), Gallia (457 - 471), Cimbria (Denmark, 471 - 4), and Batavia (the Dutch Provinces, 475 - 614) address the king urging war with Spain. Each speech is individualized to suit each nymph’s national character: England proud of her wealth, Scotland proud to be the nurse of kings, Ireland apologizing for her previous barbarous condition, Batavia (by far the longest speech) describing her sufferings and pointing out the resources which she could bring to the war. Compare the long passage in Claudian, Stil. II 230 - 268, where Spain, Gaul, Britain (ferro picta genas, “with cheeks tattooed,” cf. ferro sua membra notanti - Inauguratio 305), Africa, and Oenotria (Italy) approach the goddess Roma and beg her to convince Stilicho to accept the consulship, however unwilling he might be.
399 See line 92, James’ grandmother. The following lines refer to the marriage of Henry VII of Lancaster and Elizabeth of York in 1486, which ended the War of the Roses. As usual, all British history has James as its final goal.
408 I. e., “Do not fail to summon the aid of Englishmen, whom the Scottish James might consider as foreign.” The next sentence means that military victories, not just foreign trade, have brought you your prosperity.
414 The Armada of 1588; l. 416 refers to the sack of Cadiz in 1596 under Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (see line 295); the next sentence to the Virginia Colony. In line 422 Baeti (dative singular of the name of the river Baetis, substituting for Baeticolis – “those who live near the river Guadalquivir”) is synecdoche for “Spaniards”: “are they alone the only ones who care to/are allowed to use their power to explore and exploit?”
426 Mithradates VI Eupator, Rome’s rival in the East during the first century B. C., a model of wealth and power.
445 Despite surrendering under conditions at Snaaskerke in 1600, a Scottish regiment in Prince Maurice’s service was massacred by the Spanish. Grotius wrote a poem on this event, “Clades ante praelium Flandricum accepta.” The anacoluthon in Scotia’s final line might be completed with (for example), et qui te petit incautum male foedere doli... “We also know who evilly attacks you with a treaty of deceit,” the very point made by Batavia in ll. 595f.
450 Or “we will plead our case for our life.” In the orators (Quintilian, Pliny) iugulum petere means “to come to the point, be direct.” Otherwise iugulo might be a dative of purpose, to plead a case “for our lives.” Both seem possible here.
455 Fergus again. See l. 305.
471 A reference to Spanish intervention in France for the Catholic League and against Henriof Navarre [Henri IV of France, regnavit 1589 - 1610.] An army from the Spanish Netherlands drove Henry from Paris in 1590, and another Spanish army defeated Henry’s forces at the battle of Craon. The on-going conflict was ended at the Peace of Vervins in 1598. France “won” in the sense that Philip II of Spain recognized Henri as king of France and withdrew all Spanish forces.
474 Before the Danes were driven out of England, before the Norman conquest.
487 The 1572 massacre at Naarden, North Holland. Spanish troops opened fire on the inhabitants, who had gathered to hear peace proposals. The Spanish then burned the town and everyone in it.
501 Lamoral, Count of Egmont, a leading nobleman, was a member of Spain’s Council of State for Flanders. Along with William, Prince of Orange and Philip de Montmorency, Count of Horn, he protested the introduction of the Inquisition into Flanders, although remaining a devout Catholic. When Philip II sent the Duke of Alba to the Netherlands to repress anti-Catholic agitation, Egmont and Horn stayed in Brussels as a sign of their loyalty to the king. (William had the foresight to leave Brussels.) Nevertheless Alba seized them both and had them beheaded in the Grand Place/Grote Markt in Brussels, 5 June 1568. This atrocity led to widespread uprisings in the Low Countries, only encouraged by Alba’s savagery at Naarden and elsewhere. Grotius details Spanish barbarities at length in his poem “Historia Borrii” (a verse elogium for the 1601 history of the Dutch revolt published by Peter Borrius [Pieter Christiaensz Bor ,1559 - 1635[ which probably expresses the Dutch attitude: “What more can we suffer?”:
Si satis Hesperiae nostro maduere secures
Sanguine, et affines manibus cecidere suorum,
Si fera civiles explevit dextra furores,
Communique pudet sceleri tot vindice nullo
Impensas insontum animas; si poenitet ipsos
Jam monstrata sibi passos exempla magistros:
Quid gratis servire juvat? metus ecquis adegit
Deteriora pati, quam quae potuere timeri? (1 - 8)
[“If the Spanish axes are already sufficiently wet with our blood
And enough kinfolk have already died at the hands of their own;
And if mad violence has created enough civil war
And even in our shared crimes we are ashamed that so many
Innocent souls have perished; and if these very masters of crime
Blush when shown what we have suffered — then why should
We still be voluntary slaves? Does any terror force us to
Suffer anything worse than what we could already fear?]
508 “Pilgrim” for Latin peregrino “foreign.” England, unlike Batavia, is happy in that all her wars are fought on foreign soil.
516 Elizabeth. It is unclear what contacts (if any) there had been between James and the Dutch before his coronation. These lines are primarily a hope for the future. In the next lines the “pious men” are the Protestants; the “realms” are the Dutch provinces in revolt.
535 Grotius describes at length the service of Batavians in the Roman army and elsewhere in his De Antiquitate R. P. Batavicae III.5 - 6. Batavian bodyguards in Dio Cassius, Hist. Rom. LIII.xxiv..7-8. The comment about British kings in the next sentence is from De Antiquitate III.11, whose source is Ammianus Marcellinus XXVII.viii.7.
539 Perhaps a reference to the marriage in 1449 of King James II of Scotland to Mary of Guelders, daughter of Arnold of Egmont, an ancestor of Lamoral Duke of Egmont (line 499).
549 I. e., “To Batavia you entrusted that lad...” The christening of Prince Henry (30 August 1594), an elaborate ceremony at Stirling in Scotland, was attended by representatives of the States General (Grotius 1613 27f.).
563f. “French arms” cp. ll. 470 - 1 and note. The obscure reference to an “Antonius” may conceal the name of an English military commander. Sir Walter Raleigh might be a candidate; he is the Mark Antony, taking care of matters abroad, to James’s Octavian. In 1596 Raleigh had taken part in the attack on Cadiz, and more recently he had redone the defenses of the island of Jersey. Unfortunately for him, he lost the king’s favor and was imprisoned in Summer 1603, after Grotius wrote the Inauguratio.
567 Perhaps before the Inquisition.
593 Aurausius (three syllables; Latin “orange”) is the Dutch leader William of Orange, who was assassinated in Delft, 10 July 1584, by Balthasar Gérard. Batavia thinks this precedent will further alarm James.
601 Elizabeth scared off the Spanish.
614 The famous siege was ongoing when Grotius wrote the Inauguratio. The town fell in Sept. 1604. Poems about Ostend by John Barclay and Grotius can be found in the Philological Museum: John Barclay Poemata II.17 - 19.