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Varenius (1622–1650)

  • By: Donald G. Janelle
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Bernhard Varen (latinized to Varenius) was born near Lünenburg, Germany, in 1622. Through studies at the gymnasium of Hamburg and the University of Königsberg, he excelled in mathematics, natural science, and philosophy, leading to the completion of a degree in medicine at the University of Leiden in 1649. There is no evidence of his having practiced medicine. Rather, he settled in Amsterdam, working as a tutor and taking interest in the discoveries of contemporary Dutch navigators, the work of geographers, and the achievements of Willem Blaeu and other cartographers. Varenius contributed to regional understanding with Descriptio Regni Japoniae in 1649 and to studies of religion. However, he is best known for Geographia Generalis, published in the 28th and final year of his life by Elsevier ...

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