Johan Huizinga (yōhän´ hoi´zĬngə), 1872–1945, Dutch historian. He began his academic career in Indian literature, but his reputation rests on his work in the cultural history of the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation. Huizinga's classic The Waning of the Middle Ages (tr. 1924) deals with the Low Countries and N France in the 14th and 15th cent. Huizinga considered the Renaissance the death of the Middle Ages rather than the birth of the modern world. Other notable works include Erasmus of Rotterdam (tr. 1954) and essays on the philosophy of history. In World War II he was imprisoned for his opposition to the Nazis.