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Jakob Roggeveen


Jacob Roggeveen was a Dutch explorer who was sent to find Terra Australis, but he instead came across Easter Island by chance.

His father, Arend Roggeveen, was a mathematician with much knowledge of astronomy, geography, and the theory of navigation as well. He occupied himself with study of the mythical Terra Australis, and even got a patent for an exploratory excursion; but it was to be his son who, at the age of 62, eventually equipped three ships and made the expedition.

He became involved in religious controversies, supporting the liberal preacher Pontiaan van Hattem by publishing his leaflet ''De val van 's werelds afgod'' (The fall of the world's idol). The first part appeared in 1718, in Middelburg, and was subsequently confiscated by the city council and burned. Roggeveen fled from Middelburg to nearby Flushing. Thereafter he established himself in the small town of Arnemuiden, and published parts 2 and 3 of the series, again raising a controversy.

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