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Rise of cities and principalities

Hebban olla vogala
Hebban olla vogala (ca. 1100) has long been regarded as the oldest known sentence in Old Dutch. It is an interlinear quasi-gloss, discovered in Oxford in 1932 by the English Germanist Kenneth Sisam on the last page of an Old English sermon manuscript from Rochester Abbey (Oxford, Bodleian Library, ms.340 fol. 169v).[1 ] The text, written by a West Flemish copyist, is estimated to date from the third quarter of the 11th century. The first two sentences are in Latin. The language in which the rest of the text is written is referred to by most linguists as Old West Low Franconian, but there is still controversy about this. The sentence reads: Hebban olla uogala nestas hagunnan hinase hi(c) (e)nda thu uuat unbidan uue nu Quid expectamus nunc. The translation of this reads: 'All the birds have started nests, except me and you. What are we waiting for now?

Hendrik van Veldeke 1150-1185
Hendrik van Veldeke (also: He(y)nric van Veldeke(n), German Heinrich von Veldeke, Veldeke before or around 1150 – after 1186) is the first vernacular writer of the Low Countries whom we know by name. His stories are seen as the basis for Dutch, Limburg and German literature. His work is also regarded by German literary historians as part of Middle High German literature, because much of his work was written in Middle High German or was only handed down in a Middle High German version. The poet spent a large part of his career at German courts.

Jacob van Maerlant
Jacob van Maerlant (Brugse Vrije, ca. 1230-1235 – ca. 1288-1300)[note 1] was a Flemish poet of the thirteenth century and one of the most important Middle Dutch authors. His name is spelled Jacob van Merlant in surviving manuscripts.[note 2] With more than 230,000 verses, he was also one of the most prolific medieval authors. His most important works are adaptations from French and Latin. From him come the winged expressions "Walsche false poets"[note 3] and "Ende because I am Vlaminc".

cnape Heinrike Vriendekine / Fishmonger Brussels
The legendary duke Jan I of Brabant (1267-1294), conqueror of Woeringen (1288), grants a fish bank on the Brussels fish market to his "cnape Heinrike Vriendekine" This original Medieval Dutch charter (1289) is kept in the Archives of the O.C.M.W. in Brussels (house poor of the Sint-Niklaas church)

Battle of Woeringen 5 June 1288
The Battle of Woeringen took place on 5 June 1288 and was the end of the War of the Limburg Succession. Woeringen (German: Worringen) is located in present-day Germany and is a district of Cologne.
In Belgian historiography (1838), the Battle of Woeringen as well as the Battle of the Golden Spurs were regarded as the foundations for Belgian independence from Germany and France.

Battle of the Golden Spurs 11 July 1302 / 11 July celebration
The Battle of Kortrijk, better known as the Battle of the Golden Spurs, was fought on July 11, 1302 between militias from the county of Flanders and the French army under Count Artois with a defeat for the French. 500 pairs of gold spurs were collected on the field from the bodies of French knights and hung as a trophy in the Church of Our Lady of Kortrijk. The battle took place outside the city walls of Kortrijk, on the Groeninghe battle field (a kouter in the current district Sint-Jan). The battle was remarkable from a military point of view, because pikemen and archers proved able to resist a knight's army . This did not mean the end of these knightly armies, as was apparent at Kassel (1328) and Westrozebeke (1382).

Approval of Kortenberg 27 September 1312 / Civil Law
With the Keur van Kortenberg signed on 27 September 1312 in the abbey of Kortenberg by duke Jan II of Brabant , the first keur of its kind on the European continent was sealed, as the second charter on the rights of citizens after the Magna Carta .[1]
The Charter of De Keure of Kortenberg was a charter issued on 27 September 1312 in Kortenberg Abbey by Duke John II of Brabant. Brabant constitutionalism was decisively strengthened by granting rights to all subjects and introducing a distant predecessor of the rule of law.

Klaas Zannekin / Battle of Kassel 23 August 1328
Nicolaas Zannekin (Lampernisse, late 13th century - Kassel, French Flanders, 23 August 1328) was a Flemish rebel leader, best known for his role in the peasants' revolt in the Flemish coastal region against Count Louis II of Nevers.
Zannekin was a small landowner from Lampernisse in the castellany of Veurne, and became a burgher of Bruges, where he made himself very popular. The riots against Louis of Nevers were mainly directed against the way in which the count's taxes were collected. The rebellious peasants (the 'Kerels van Vlaanderen') fought the bailiffs and tax collectors, and plundered the castles of the nobles who remained loyal to the count. Those nobles responded with punitive expeditions. Commissions of inquiry set up by the count yielded few results.
Zannekin succeeded in conquering a few cities, such as Nieuwpoort and Veurne (where he was welcomed as an angel of God), Kortrijk (where the count was imprisoned) and Ypres. The insurgents received the support of Robbrecht van Kassel, who was appointed Ruwaard. However, attempts to get hold of Ghent and Oudenaarde failed (1325).
Now King Charles the Fair intervened in favor of the count, after which he was released on February 18, 1326. The Peace of Arques (April 19, 1326) was supposed to put an end to the disturbances, which soon flared up again, and worse than ever. Zannekin now received support from Jacob Peyt and from Willem de Deken, mayor of Bruges, who went to ask for help from King Eduard III of England without success.
Nicholas Zannekin attacked during the Battle of Kassel.
In the Battle of Kassel (1328), a strong French army defeated the farmers and craftsmen from the towns and castellanies of Veurne, Sint-Winoksbergen, Broekburg, Kassel, Belle and Poperinge. Zannekin was killed and the revolt was crushed hard.
The Flemish resistance was broken and the French retaliated. Hundreds of rebels were executed and many others banished from Flanders forever. Willem de Deken was taken to Paris and executed on December 24, 1328: his hands were cut off, after which he was dragged on a mat through the streets of Paris to the gallows and hanged. Zeger Janszone from Bredene, another rebel leader, was only caught and executed in February 1329 when he tried to unleash a new revolt in Ostend and the surrounding area.
The goods of all the Flemish insurgents were confiscated. Flanders had more than 3200 deaths to regret.

The Joyful Entry (January 3, 1356) Brussels
The Zoutleeuw copy of the Joyful Entry (1356)
The Joyful Entry (1356) is one of the most important documents from the Middle Ages and Brabant history. It concerned a number of binding agreements between the Duke of Brabant and the Brabant cities. This charter was signed on January 3, 1356 by Duchess Johanna of Brabant (1322-1406) and her husband Wenceslas, also known as Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg (1337-1383). What is the origin of this Joyful Entry? And what agreements were in the charter?
ALSO INTERESTING:The War of the Brabant Succession (1356-1357)

Origin of The Joyful Entry
The certificate of Joyful Entry is named after a medieval custom called Joyful Entry or Joyful Entry. The Blijde Inkomst was mainly used in the Southern Netherlands: in Brabant and Flemish cities such as Brussels, Mechelen, Leuven, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp and Maastricht. A newly appointed monarch, governor or duke then paid a peaceful visit to the cities in his area of government. He received a festive welcome from the citizens of the city. In exchange for this acknowledgment of his power, the duke or monarch often gave the cities special rights and privileges, for example in the field of trade.
The festive Joyful Entry or Entrances probably originated in the late Roman Period, according to the French historian Michel Rouche (1934-). In the province of Gaul, Roman administrators would then drive through the city and be applauded by the population.
Some famous Joyful Entry were that of Philip the Fair (1301) in several cities, Joyful Entry of Johanna van Brabant and Wenceslas in Brussels (1356), Joyful Entry of Maximilian I of Austria in Antwerp (1478) and several Joyous Entry of Emperor Charles V in 1515, including in Bruges, Ghent and Leiden.
Incidentally, the Belgian royal house still continues the traditions of the Joyous Entry. In 1918, for example, King Albert made several Joyous Entrances and in 2013 King Philippe and his wife Mathilde visited all Belgian provincial capitals.

Most important agreements from the Joyful Entry of 1356
Joanna of Brabant and Wenceslas I
The Blijde Inkomst of 1356 was the result of more than a century of political instability in Brabant. Shortly before the death of Duke Henry II of Brabant on February 1, 1248, he had granted the people of Brabant the first land privileges. This was followed by a century of all kinds of throne changes, in which minor dukes took office in three cases and there were often succession problems. At the same time, the power of the Brabant cities grew between 1248 and 1356. The cities became richer and had a good leverage against the dukes. If they came to collect their 'bedes' (ducal taxes), the subjects could refuse to pay them and the lord had a problem.

Due to the aforementioned combination of circumstances – a weak ducal authority and cities that became more powerful and wanted more influence – the Blijde Inkomst was established on January 3, 1356 in Leuven. On that day, Duke Wenceslas and Duchess Johanna of Brabant took office and a charter was signed. In essence, the Blijde Inkomst, which consisted of 34 articles, determined the mutual rights and obligations between the dukes and the Brabant towns, citizens and nobility. The main agreements were:


• The old privileges and rights of the duke's subjects were reaffirmed.
• The duke's power was curtailed. For example, it was determined that this Brabant ruler could only go to war with the permission of the Brabant cities.
• Brabant would remain indivisible. It was forbidden to 'scheme' the Brabant lands (art.1).
• The agreements made would apply until 'ewelicken days', so they would be permanent.
• If the duke failed to fulfill his privileges duties, the subjects had the right to protest.
• The document contained an important economic agreement: merchants and traders were given freedom of movement throughout Brabant (and Limburg). Brabant was the only 'Dutch' region with this privilege and benefited enormously from it in the fifteenth century, when the Brabant economy flourished.


Impact of the Joyous Entry
Things did not go well for a long time, because already in June 1356 the Brabant charter was no longer legally valid. That is when the War of the Brabant Succession (1356-1357) broke out.
Nevertheless, the Blijde Inkomst has had a great influence on the duchy of Brabant and political uprisings in later centuries. From the investiture of Duke Anton of Burgundy (1384-1415) in 1406 until the reign of the Habsburg emperor Joseph II (1741-1790), the rulers in Brabant took the standard oath of allegiance on the Joyful Entry. Of course, this charter was updated time and again - until the reign of the Spanish monarch Philip II (1527-1598), after that no more -, but the essence of the Joyful Entry remained the same for centuries: monarch and subjects have mutual duties and rights, and royal arbitrariness should be avoided.
During conflicts in later centuries, the Joyful Income was invoked several times. Both during the Dutch Revolt (1568-1648) and the Brabant Revolution (1789), the insurgents invoked the old Brabant document from 1356 to legitimize their protest against the monarch.
Read the text of the Leuvense Blijde Inkomste (1356)

Book: Burgundy past. The Netherlands 1250-1650

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