Though the settlement of disputes in the middle ages has been receiving significant scholarly attention latterly, little work has been done on medieval moralizing literature from a perspective focusing on revenge and justice. This article explores the use of these motifs in Middle-Dutch moralizing texts, with a focus on the Meliboeus. Dat boec van troeste ende van rade. Translated from the original Liber consolationis of Albertanus of Brescia, this allegory provides an opportune case to study the nature of conflict resolution. Melibeus, the main character, seeks to avenge a brutal attack on his daughter, and justifies himself by arguing that through vengeance a crime is truly punished and future criminals are deterred from similar acts. Melibeus' wife, Prudentia, does not agree; she is convinced that only an impartial judge should be allowed to condemn the perpetrator of a crime. Especially victim should not take revenge, as their punishment will likely be hasty and without due consideration, and their penalties will be too severe. She councils Melibeus to be patient and willing to forgive his opponents, for if he does not, he will lose his good name. Since Melibeus is particularly keen on restoring his honour, he finally agrees, and the work ends with a solemn ceremony of reconciliation.
This article demonstrates that the topics discussed in the Meliboeus can be linked with other moralizing texts as well as with the historical context of conflict resolution.
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