A Latin Link in the Flemish Chain: the Reynardus Vulpes, its Authorship and Date

A. Welkenhuysen

in E. Rombauts, A. Welkenhuysen & G. Verbeke, ed., Aspects of the Medieval Animal Epic, Louvain: Leuven University Press, 1975, 113-129

"I feel somewhat uneasy, almost like a poacher, before this assembly of consummate, licensed 'fox hunters', to address them on the Latin versification of the Flemish Reinaert story, entitled Reynardus Vulpes. My own competence on this subject is scanty, but since the recognized authority on the Reynardus Vulpes, colleague Huygens of Leiden, was unable to attend our colloquium, I ultimately took it upon myself - not without some deference - to speak here in his stead, and, largely relying on his recent publications, to introduce to you that important link in the Flemish Reinaert chain, whose 'value for the establishment of the original text can hardly be overrated'. ...the Flemish Reinaert-I tradition is mainly dependent on manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts reaching back to the 14th century, the oldest of which, the so-called Dyck-Ms., is traditionally dated ... to about 1340. The Reynardus Vulpes, however - which clearly says to be a versification of the Dutch Reinaert story (vv. 1-2) - can be dated with near certainty in the year 1279, this means in any case several decades before our oldest Dutch textual witnesses. Herein lies the main significance of the Reynardus Vulpes, more than in its intrinsic literary value, which is in fact minimal..." - Welkenhuysen

Language: English


Last update December 6, 2021