Ine Kiekens (University of Ghent), Universiteit Gent, Blandijnberg 2, B-9000 Gent, firstname.lastname@example.org
This article investigates a facet of the multilingual Low Countries by examining the circulation of textual witnesses of Soliloquium de arrha animae by Hugh of Saint Victor († 1141) in this region. It turns out that the Latin and Middle Dutch versions of this mystical treatise were mostly read in monasteries, especially by Benedictines and Canons regular, and were frequently combined with texts by Anselm of Canterbury († 1109) and Pseudo-Augustine. This distribution differs, however, depending on the period and the region in or for which the text was written. This proves that the circulation of mystical literature did not occur uniformly across the Low Countries, something researchers have already indicated for other literary genres. French textual witnesses of Soliloquium were read by noble families in the Low Countries as well as in France, which indicates that the Low Countries not only exchanged mystical literature on the horizontal axis with the Rhineland but also on the vertical axis, from the South to the North. Still, more research on regional and temporal patterns and exchanges with neighboring areas is required to gain a better insight into the Low Countries as a multilingual context for the production and distribution of (mystical) texts.
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