Elefant – E.3 – IV.1 Narrative Texte

Großepik: There are only two epical texts in Middle Dutch in which elephants play an important role. The first is Jacob van Maerlant’s Alexanders geesten (a verse adaptation of Gauthier de Chatillon’s Alexandreis), which tells the history of Alexander the Great. During his eastern campaigns he meets elephants as war animals but also as pack animals. The second is the Heinric en Margriete van Limburch. A large part this epic is located in Constantinople and an important part of the plot is a war with the Saracens. In this war elephants are used. In quite a few romances the name olifant is given to a horn (the most famous one is of course Roelants horn in the Middle Dutch translation of the Chanson de Roland).

Geschichtsschreibung: In Jacob van Maerlant’s Spieghel Historiael, the longest world history in Middle Dutch elephants function a number of times when parts of eastern history are told.

Paul Wackers

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