HOLSTENIUS, LUCAS, the Latinized name of Luc Holste (1596-1661), German humanist, geographer and theological writer, was born at Hamburg. He studied at Leiden university, where he became intimate with the most famous scholars of the age J. Meursius, D. Heinsius and P. Cluverius, whom he accompanied on his travels in Italy and Sicily. Disappointed at his failure to obtain a post in the gymnasium of his native town, he left Germany for good. Having spent two years in Oxford and London, he went to Paris. Here he obtained the patronage of N. de Peiresc, who recommended him to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, papal nuncio and the possessor of the most important private library in Rome. On the cardinal's return in 1627 he took Holstenius to live with him in his palace and made him his librarian. Although converted to Roman Catholicism in 1625, Holstenius showed his liberal-mindedness by strenuously opposing the strict censorship exercised by the Congregation of the Index. He was appointed librarian of the Vatican by Innocent X., and was sent to Innsbruck by Alexander VII. to receive Queen Christina's abjuration of Protestantism. He died in Rome on the 2nd of February 1661. Holstenius was a man of unwearied industry and immense learning, but he lacked the persistency to carry out the vast literary schemes he had planned. He was the author of notes on Cluvier's Italia antiqua (1624); an edition of portions of Porphyrius (1630), with a dissertation on his life and writings, described as a model of its kind; notes on Eusebius Against Hierocles (1628), on the Sayings of the later Pythagoreans (1638), and the De diis et mundo of the neo-Platonist Sallustius (1638); Notae et castigationes in Slephani Byzantini ethnica (first published in 1684) ; and Codex regularum, Collection of the Early Rules of the Monastic Orders (1661). His correspondence (Epislolae ad diversos, ed. J. F. Boisscnade, 1817) is a valuable source of information on the literary history of his time.
See N. Wilckens, Leben des gelehrten Lucae Holstenii (Hamburg, I 7 2 3)l Johann Moller, Cimbria literata, iii. (1744).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)