Van bescheiden humanist tot vechtjas. Viglius van Aytta en de crisis van 1566-1567
Keywords:Dutch Revolt, Viglius van Aytta
From Modest Humanist to Argumentative Aggressor. Viglius van Aytta and the Crisis of 1566-1567
In this essay I examine the dealings of the president of the Privy Council of the Netherlands, Viglius van Aytta (1507-1577) between the presentation of the Request of the Lower Nobility in April 1566 and the departure of Alva and his army from Italy a year later. Since Motley, Fruin and Bakhuizen van den Brink in the nineteenth century reinvented the Dutch Revolt, Viglius, in spite of his intellect and office, has not been held in high esteem. At best he was considered to be mediocre, and at worst a coward. The most recent verdict on Viglius was passed by H.G. Koenigsberger who referred to him in 2001 as ‘an intelligent if unimaginative lawyer from Friesland’. My essay is an attempt to refute this incorrect image. I do this by looking at the way Viglius handled the crisis of 1566-1567 in the first and the second town of the Netherlands, Brussels and Antwerp.
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