„Dat si over minen soen gheen macht en hebbe“

Gattung und multimodale Semiotik der ‚Septem sapientum Romae‘ am Beispiel der niederländischen Tradition

  • Rita Schlusemann (Autor/in)


The contribution offers, for the first time, a comprehensive survey of the pre-1500 Dutch tradition of ‘The Seven Sages’. The 13th-century Dutch-language version is the oldest extant translation in the continental West Germanic language area, with at least six different Dutch versions produced by the end of the 15th century. The article also argues that not only the Dutch texts should be considered a novel or prose romance (‘Prosaroman’) rather than a story collection. It demonstrates briefly that this genre allocation allows a more holistic interpretation of the versions and makes the importance of the two empresses visible, especially the critical representation of the second empress in the first Dutch version, and in all other versions the clear political strategy of the first empress for an ideal empire in the future. Finally, the article shows that the images, typography and layout of each print or manuscript provide a different focus even when the same wording is used, and suggests that each version needs to be considered as a multimodal entity.

Keywords Genre; 13th–15th Century; Prose Romance; Dutch Tradition of ‘The Seven Sages’; Multimodality