This article presents an analysis of the rhetorical and stylistic methods adopted by Hadrian Junius (1511-1575) in the seventeenth chapter of his Batavia (1588), in which he aimed to argue that printing was invented by Laurens Janszoon Coster of Haarlem. The mythical status of the Coster Legend is, at present, uncontested and well documented, but Junius’ rhetorical argument, inspired by conversations with prominent citizens of Haarlem, has never before been subjected to such thorough analysis. This article makes it clear that Junius’ primary intention was not to convey facts, but to deliver a deliberate mythologisation of an already well-established legend about the invention of printing in Haarlem. He presented this mythologisation as a classical plea against the followers of Gutenberg.
Internationale Neerlandistiek, 2010, Vol 48, Issue 3, p. 17-29