Renée Gabriël (Radboud University), email@example.com
In 1345, an Antwerp poet finished the Dietsche doctrinale, a rhymed Middle Dutch translation of Albertanus of Brescia’s De amore et dilectione Dei et proximi et aliarum rerum et de forma vitae (1238). Like the Latin original, the Dietsche doctrinale was a great success. Ten complete manuscripts of the work have been preserved, as well as fragments of twenty more manuscripts, a printed edition from 1489, and three German translations. Until now scholars have studied the Dietsche doctrinale from the author’s perspective, focussing on authorship, meaning, and the intended use and reception. This paper combines an analysis of the author’s text with the study of the actual manuscripts in which the text is found, with the aim of acquiring a better understanding of the reception of this popular text. Also included are the printed edition from 1489 and booklists.
The title Dietsche doctrinale and the notion of leringhe form the starting point of my discussion. Leringhe refers to the world of education and learning, but in the Dietsche doctrinale it is also linked to the attainment of practical skills (artes mechenicae). The author presents himself as a teacher, and addresses children, adults, and educated men who can teach others. Ownership marks and booklists show that the Dietsche doctrinale was not only read by lay people from the urban administrative upper class, but also by clerics and religious men and women. The text has been intended for both individual reading and aural reception. Apparently, some manuscripts were designed for public reading or educational use. The Dietsche doctrinale might not only have been used for private study or home teaching, but also by clerics for the moral instruction of the laity and in the context of vernacular education.
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