Hugo Grotius (Huigh de Groot in Dutch) is often hailed as the father of international law. Because of the scope of his interests, he was truly a humanist. A jurist and diplomat, he also gained recognition as a political thinker, theologian, historian, playwright, and poet. He was born in Delft, Holland, on August 10, 1583, to a patrician family distinguished by its long tradition of public service, with connections by marriage to many of the principal families of the Netherlands. His father, Jan de Groot, was burgomaster of Delft and later rector of the University of Leiden. Hugo was a child prodigy, writing Latin poetry at the age of eight, and he entered university when he was twelve, one or two years earlier than was usual at the time. At the University of Leiden, he studied classical languages, law, and theology, completing his studies at the age of fifteen.