In unam pacis accordantiam. The role of city poet Jan Smeken and other rhetoricians in organizing the Brussels entry
In this contribution, we want to discuss the role that the Brussels rhetoricians played in the organization of joyous entries and other festivities such as the baptism of a princess. More specifically, we will show how Jan Smeken – who was the city poet from 1485 until his death in 1517 – and some of the rhetoricians closest to him (Johannes Pertcheval, Jan van den Dale) took the lead in the organization and how they involved the four chambers of rhetoric of Brussels, as well as the archers of the greater Crossbowmen’s guild (who were very active culturally as well). Unfortunately, we do not have city accounts for December 1496, but the involvement of Smeken cum suis in festivities such as Joanna’s entry is detailed in the city accounts from 1485-1486 and from 1497 onwards (the entries of Maximilian and Frederick III in 1486, the baptism of Eleanor in 1498, the arrival of young Charles in 1500). How central the contribution of Jan Smeken was, is shown by the first tableau in the entry of Joanna in 1496. The invention of music by Jubal and Tubal-Kain was depicted in a way that directly referred to the blazon of the city poet (an anvil with three hammers). The accompanying text states that this was done in unam pacis accordantiam. The same phrase, but in Dutch, was used in 1507 as the new slogan of ’t Mariacranske, the chamber of rhetoric that arose from a merger of De Lelie (of Jan Smeken) and De Violette (of Jan van den Dale). With reference to the Leemans manuscript, we will argue that it were the rhetoricians who assured the artistic and theatrical unity of the joyous entry. These rhetoricians were mostly members from the middle class, but some belonged to the clergy.
Source (book)
A spectacle for a Spanish princess. The festive entry of Joanna of Castile into Brussels (1496) / Eichberger, Dagmar H. [edit.]
Turnhout : Brepols , 2023
p. 107-121
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Creation 09.02.2024
Last edited 10.02.2024
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