Overview of Chapter H: Utilizing the compelling but little-known journal of a surgeon in the Dutch East India Company, this chapter explores the social history of seventeenth century South Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand, as well as the history of medical science to 1650. Heeck’s return to Holland in 1658 allows for a discussion of Amsterdam’s socio-economic milieu, including the complex relationships between mercantilism, Jewish life, and the tradition of Dutch still life painting.
(Note: I know of no image capturing Heeck's likeness; the portrait on the left of a man with intense curiosity in his eyes is what I imagine Heeck to have looked like. This image is a detail of Michiel van Mierevelt and Pieter van Mierevelt's "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Willem van der Meer," (1617), in the Museum Prinsenhof Delft, Delft, The Netherlands, and courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)
1. Chapter G introduced Mahayana Buddhism, while Chapter H discusses Theravadin Buddhism. What are the differences between these two major schools of Buddhism and which do you find more personally compelling?
2. Chapter F discussed Jews in Mexico City, while Chapter H discusses Jews in Amsterdam. What were the similarities and differences between the Jewish experience in these two places in the seventeenth century?
1. Visit the Dutch National Maritime Museum website. How does their presentation enhance your understanding of Heeck's world?
2. Determine the closest maritime museum to your home and visit its website. What do you learn about naval and maritime history as a result of comparing these two websites?
This short paper offers an analysis of VOC trading VOC practices with a focus on the nutmeg trade, discussing corrupt labor practices and the abuse of fiduciary responsibilities. See: Marie Jane Jumawan-Matero, Challoner Matero, and John Francis Diaz, “Corruption, Negligence, and Mismanagement at the Dutch East India Company,” Seven Pillars Institute Moral Cents, Vol. 8 Issue 2, (Summer/Fall 2019) 55-61, https://sevenpillarsinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Corruption-Negligence-and-Mismanagement-at-Dutch-East-India-Co-Edited-2.pdf
Map for Chapter H: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the important palaces in the Dutch Republic to Heeck.
Map for Chapter H: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the important places in Southeast Asia that were mentioned in the Heeck chapter.
These are the seals or court of arms of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the City of Batavia. Photograph by the author, April 2018.
This example of pronkstilleven, or luxurious still life was painted by Jan Davidszoon de Heem about 1645. It captures both the unprecedented lavishness of life in the Dutch Republic in the 17th century, but also the fear that it will all rot or fade away,
Courtesy of: SN289, Bequest of John Ringling, 1936, Collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University. Image used with explicit permission.
This is another example of a pronkstilleven, or luxurious still life. This one is a very large painting by Adiaen van Utrecht, 1644, and features similar elements to De Heem's. The lobster lays on a Chinese plate. Photograph by the author in the Rijksmuseum, April 2018.
“Dam Square with Town Hall Under Construction,” oil painting by Johannes Lingelbach, 1656, courtesy of Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, SA 3044. The Town Hall was under construction when Heeck left on his third trip to Asia.