Was kopiist ‘B’ de samensteller van de Lancelotcompilatie? Over verstoord rijm en onjuiste hoofdstuktitels in Die Riddere metter Mouwen

Simon Smith


In the Lancelot Compilation, the Arthurian romance Die Riddere metter Mouwen (‘The Knight with the Sleeve’), written in rhyming couplets, contains irregularities in rhyme which suggest that the main scribe, ‘B’, may also have been the compiler of the cycle: a man who adapted his sources and acted as a poet, and is believed to be the author Lodewijk van Velthem. Furthermore, the recurring formula (dat) secgic u (‘I tell you’), frequently used by Velthem and also by ‘B’ in an apocryphal episode, suggests that Velthem, compiler and scribe were one and the same person. However, chapter headings added by ‘B’ in the margins of the manuscript contain some notable errors, indicating that while inventing them ‘B’ only relied on his knowledge of the chapter’s beginnings. As a consequence, objections rise to the theory that the composer of the Lancelot Compilation may also have been its main scribe.

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