Many scholars have noted the significant influence of apocalyptic thinking on medieval literature, and, by means of in-depth textual analyses, have provided insight into attitudes of the medieval public towards apocalyptic ideas. Because such research in Middle Dutch literature has been little undertaken, this article will broaden its scope by examining the types of apocalyptic tendencies present in the extensive oeuvre of Jacob van Maerlant, and how the author worked these out.To answer these questions, the apocalyptic ideas distilled from Maerlant’s work are classified into three categories of apocalyptic motifs: Biblical, legendary, and ‘other’. An analysis based on this classification leads to the conclusion that Maerlant introduced various apocalyptic tendencies into thirteenth-century Middle Dutch secular literature. His oeuvre contains mainly traditional apocalyptic motifs, although some contemporary ones can be distinguished as well.
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