Thomas Platter the Younger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Thomas Platter the Younger (c. 24 July 1574, Basel – 4 December 1628, Basel)[1] was a Swiss-born physician, traveller and diarist, the son of the humanist Thomas Platter the Elder.

The foremost record of Platter's life is the manuscript journal he kept, written in German,[2] between around 1595 and 1600.[3] It details his life as a medical student in Montpellier and his later travels in France, Spain, Flanders, and England. The diary supplies detail on many aspects of late sixteenth-century European culture: medical education (including dissections), street and carnival life in Barcelona, European theatre, and the practicalities of the slave trade.[1]

Perhaps the most studied[4] section of Platter's diary is his account of a 1599 trip to London with his older half-brother, Felix Platter, including a visit on 21 September, "at about two o'clock", to the Globe Theatre. Platter saw an early production of Julius Caesar: his account provides Shakespeare scholars with evidence for the dating of that play.[5]


  1. ^ a b Jennifer Speake, Literature of Travel and Exploration, Taylor and Francis, 2003, pp. 967-8.
  2. ^ William Driver Howarth and Jan Clark, French Theatre in the Neo-classical Era, 1550-1789, Cambridge University Press, 1997 p. 45.
  3. ^ Universitätsbibliothek, Basel, MS A lambda V 7/8. (
  4. ^ J. R. Mulryne and Margaret Shrewring, Shakespeare's Globe Rebuilt, Cambridge Press, 1997, p. 190; cited at
  5. ^ Marvin Spevack, Introduction to Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, New Cambridge Shakespeare (Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 3-4.)