Vloten, Gerlof van

From Astro-Databank
Jump to: navigation, search
Vloten, Gerlof van Gender: M
born on 7 June 1866 at 06:30 (= 06:30 AM )
Place Deventer, Netherlands, 52n16, 6e10
Timezone LMT m6e10 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 16°13' s_mo.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 28°20 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 22°01'


Dutch member of a noted family, an Orientalist.

He was the sixth of the seven children of Johannes van Vloten (18 January 1818 - 21 September 1883) and Elisabeth van Gennep (7 April 1824 - 17 March 1906). He was raised in the Liberal and culturally very active house of his parents in Deventer, Bloemendaal and Haarlem.

He followed the Gymnasium of Haarlem from 1878 to 1884. He was interested in Botany and enjoyed th long strolls through the North Sea dunes with the father of his brother-in-law Frederik van Eeden, the botanist and conversationalist Frederik Willem van Eeden. As a student, he became a member of the "Nederlandsche Botanische Vereeniging, Leyden". But like his father, he his great love was for Letters and history. His father proposed him to study Sanskrit. But in 1884 he studied Semitic languages under Michael Jan de Goeje at the University of Leiden. He dissertated 20 September 1890 cum laude with "De opkomst der Abbasiden in Chorasan". That year he became a teacher in Hebrew at the Gymnasium of Leiden.

Via De Goeie, he was asked to reconstruct the work of al-Balkhī, a 10th-century Persian encyclopedist and the author of the early encyclopedia "Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm" (Key to the Sciences) in the Arabic language. He contributed to the "Tables alphabétiques du Kitab al- Aghani" of prof. Guidi in Rome and wrote in German and French oriental magazines.

Like his father, he was not a strict philologist, but was more interested in cultural history and the mindsets of different times and cultures: "Hem trok in de Arabische letterkunde bovenal aan wat deze ons leert omtrent het maatschappelijk en intellectueel leven der Oosterlingen, hun voelen en denken, hunne zeden en gewoonten, hunne vooroordeelen en bijgeloovigheden".

In 1897 he travelled to study texts of al-Djâhiz via Constantinople to Damascus. In Constantinople, where he stayed some months visiting libraries, he witnessed the precursors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Armenian's were humiliated and together with the Young Turks killed and thrown in the Bosporus. He tried to observe the Oriental world with beggars, fatalism, poverty from a distance, but it must have been quite a culture-shock for a sensitive person that had been raised in a privileged environment. He wrote about it later in "Oostersche schetsen en vertalingen" (1900). In Damascus he became ill and had to go back. Back in Holland, his previous health never returned and periods of enthusiastic, hard work were followed by depression, wrote Prof. De Goeie. De Goeie characterised Gerlof Van Vloten as essentially a very timid and sensitive person, with a childlike simplicity and goodness, but one who was also ashamed of it, so that he could overcompensate for it by exaggeration and even lumpiness.

Like his father, Gerlof spoke many modern and old languages. He published in Latin, Arabic, German, French and Dutch. According to Jeroen Brouwers (De Laatste Deur), he felt that he was in the shadow of his brother-in-law. He shot himself with a pistol in his beloved dunes of Noordwijk aan Zee on 20 March 1903.

He never married and left no children.

Link to Dutch Wikipedia


  • other kind of relationship with Brouwers, Jeroen (born 30 April 1940). Notes: "De laatse deur" (The last door)


  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1894 in Amsterdam (Recherches sur la domination arabe, le chiitisme et les croyances messianiques sous le khalifat des Omayades.)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1895 in Leiden ("Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm" (Key to the Sciences))
  • Social : Begin Travel 1897 (via Constantinople to Damascus.)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1900 in Amsterdam (Oostersche schetsen en vertalingen, Amsterdam, 1900)
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 1902 in Hilversum (Psychiatric hospital)
  • Mental Health : Depressive episode January 1903 (Verwey: " Wij zagen ‘t aan, ‘t zwarte leed. Allengs aan ‘t smeulen onder groei van woorden. Angstige vlam sloeg soms een gulden rank. ")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Selma Schepel gives 7 June 1866 at 06:30 from Municipal Archive of Deventer in Sterrentijd No 40

Post Scriptum 8: Gerlof BLOGnoordwijk

Een brief van Albert Verwey aan Johan Addens, 25 maart 1903. Bij de dood van Gerlof van Vloten (1866-1903). Nieuw Letterkundig Magazijn. Jaargang 28 · dbnl

Vloten, Gerlof van: Dbnl

Levensbericht van Dr. Gerlof van Vloten by M.J. de Goeje.

Esther van den Heuvel, Masterthesis: "Daar hoorden zij de iman zingen…" De relatie tussen Nederlandse reizigers in Constantinopel en het oriëntalisme van Edward Said.


  • Traits : Personality : Shy (compensated for it by being rude and impolite)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Depression
  • Personal : Birth : Other Birth (6th of 7)
  • Personal : Death : Suicide
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Hebrew)
  • Vocation : Humanities+Social Sciences : Historian
  • Vocation : Humanities+Social Sciences : Linguist (Semitic languages)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor (Medieval Arabic Literature)
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator