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Title: Dirc van Delfts Tafel vanden kersten ghelove en de stervensliteratuur
Subtitle: Een literair-historische verkenning
Author(s): ROBBE, Joost
Journal: Ons Geestelijk Erf
Volume: 86    Issue: 2   Date: 2015   
Pages: 110-129
DOI: 10.2143/OGE.86.2.3112849

Abstract :
This article investigates the relationship between Dirc van Delft’s Tafel vanden kersten ghelove (1404) and earlier traditional medieval literature on death and dying. Two chapters in the Tafel contain a treatise on death: Somerstuc XXXVIII and XLVIII. Their sources include not only Anselm of Canterbury’s Admonitio morientis (c. 1100) and Henry Suso’s Horologium aeternae sapientiae (1331-34), but also the popular 14th-century Verses of Saint Bernard. The article demonstrates that the treatises are much more than simple compilations. Within the context of the sacrament of the sick in the first treatise, Dirc van Delft presents a veritable ars moriendi which provides practical guidance for the dying and those attending them. The treatise culminates in a vivid drama in which the soul, being subject to three temptations of the devil, can benefit from the protection of its guardian angel as well as the Verses of Saint Bernard. In the second treatise, inspired by Henry Suso, Dirc van Delft addresses the danger of a sudden and unprepared death, concluding with an original ars vivendi for a life of moral perfection.

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