COORNHERT, Dirck Volckertsz

   Poet, theolo gian, and engraver. As a layman, Coornhert passionately took part in the polemics between Roman Catholicsand Protestants. In a period of religiousstruggles, he defended religious tolerationin the vein of Sebastian Castellio (1515–1563), stressing the importance of free dom of conscience and demonstrating the path of virtue. Coornhert wrote many comedies, religious tracts, and Dutch translations of classical authors (Homer, Cicero, Seneca, Boethius). His treatise on the best way to check crime (Boeventucht, 1587) inspired a mod ern movement for the reform of criminal law to adopt his name: Coornhert-Liga (1971).

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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