Medieval Memoria Online

4. Objects


Summary

The Memorial objects section contains inventories and descriptions of:

  • Tomb monuments and floor slabs: all types of monuments that cover a grave, but also cenotaphs
  • Memorial pieces: religious images (usually present), with devotional portraits of the persons to be commemorated, usually with their patrons saints, and with accompanying texts with the names and dates of death and a request for prayer, and - where applicable - their heraldry

Included in the database are descriptions of objects that have survived (at least partially) and that certainly or very probably originate from the medieval institutions that were located in the area that is currently the Netherlands. Also included are objects of which there exist photographs and modern descriptions but whose current location is unknown. Not included are descriptions and drawings of objects in medieval and sixteenth-century archival records such as estate inventories, and manuscripts by historians such as Arnoldus Buchelius (1565-1641).

The point of departure for the descriptions is the entire object, because the combination of different types of data can indicate the functioning of the object and its usage. Besides information on the image and the decoration, the database also includes fields that describe materials and any alterations to the object. Many objects have been physically altered over the course of time. For example, a large part of the texts belonging to the memorial pieces have been lost. Memorial sculptures, tomb monuments and floor slabs have often lost their original polychromy. Such matters may have important consequences for tracing the usage and functions of the objects.


4.1 Definitions and terminology

Tomb monuments and floor slabs
In general, tomb monuments and floor slabs were intended to indicate a grave and to commemorate one or more persons who were buried there. Cenotaphs, monuments that commemorate people who are buried elsewhere, have also been included in this database. The texts and heraldry on the tomb monuments and floor slabs do not provide a full picture of the people buried there. Family members and others may have been interred there without any indication.

There is great variation in tomb monuments. Apart from free standing tombs there are tombs that are placed against a wall or in a recess, which may or may not have been extended with a raised component against the wall.

Some tomb monuments and floor slabs were decorated with two or three-dimensional figures. These can be cadaver effigies, i.e. images of skeletons and decomposing corpses, with or without a shroud, or effigies au vif (fig. 1). Floor slabs could also be decorated with such images, whether incised or in low relief. Life-size figures usually represent the commemorated persons. In cases where they served as vanitas symbols they are usually much smaller (see MeMO memorial object ID 1291), but on the floor slab of Antonis Taets van Amerongen in the Domkerk in Utrecht (see MeMO memorial object ID 78) the full-size skeleton functions as a heraldic supporter and is therefore a vanitas symbol. The single cadaver effigy on the double-decker tomb monument of the Brederode family in Vianen, for example, is a reference to the transitoriness of the body, rather than a representation of either person of the deceased couple (see MeMO memorial object ID 789). See also 3.7 in connection with searching for effigies and cadaver effigies.

The floor slabs are stone slabs that correspond more or less to the height and width of a human being. Considerably larger slabs do exist, as well as much smaller ones, such as the stones that are mentioned in documents from Oudewater as 'hooftstuck' ('head piece'). This type also occurs elsewhere, see for example MeMO memorial object ID 1310 and MeMO memorial object ID 1313 in Noordwijk and Utrecht. It is unclear whether in all of these cases the stones were placed in the floor. Possibly smaller stones were placed vertically in churchyards and against walls.

The tomb monuments and floor slabs could also be fully or partially covered with brasses (actually made of a copper alloy) in which the human figures and/or skeletons, heraldry, texts and other decorations were engraved (fig. 2). In general both the stones and the brasses used to be much more colourful than they are now. Stone slabs could be (partially) painted or inlaid with another material, and the brasses were sometimes decorated with enamel or even silver. The clothing of effigies was sometimes decorated with (semi)precious stones, see fig. 9. See 3.7 for searching the database for (remnants of) brasses.

Memorial pieces (Memorialbilder)
Memorial pieces consist of religious images (usually present), with devotional portraits of the persons to be commemorated, usually with their patrons saints, and with accompanying texts with the names and dates of death and a request for prayer, and - where applicable - their heraldry. In a religious image the commemorated persons could also be represented just by their names and heraldry, and even by their name saints as in the altarpiece of Antonis Pot and his family (see MeMO memorial object ID 496).

There are memorial pieces that functioned as independent objects, such as:

  • sculptures
  • panel paintings
  • stained glass windows (fig. 3)
  • liturgical vestments of the priests and their assistants (fig. 4)

They were also present:

  • in liturgical manuscripts and books of hours
  • on liturgical vessels such as chalices and
  • on furnishings in churches and other institutions

Because the latter groups of memorial pieces have not yet been catalogued, only the independent memorial pieces have been included in MeMO. These independent memorial pieces were often placed in the churches, chapels and churchyards of parishes, monasteries, hospitals, etc., either on or near the grave of the commemorated persons or in a different location in the same institution. However, they could also be intended for another institution, which allowed the patrons to show their connection with multiple institutions, and also increased their chances of prayer for their souls. This was one of the reasons why the hearts, viscera and bodies of secular and religious dignitaries were buried in different institutions (fig. 5).

The following table provides an overview of the terminology used in the MeMO database and supporting products for tomb monuments, floor slabs and memorial pieces.


Term Explanation

  General
Commemorative marker An umbrella term for all memorial items that were intended to indicate a grave. In the MeMO MeMO database and supporting products, however, the term is used for a specific group of these, i.e. the memorial tablets, the crosses and the wall memorials.
Memorial item Object with a commemorative purpose

  Types of tomb monuments
Chest tomb or altar tomb A monument consisting of a tomb chest, with or without an effigy on the tomb cover. See MeMO memorial object ID 2941 and fig. 9. Note that in this monument type the body is buried under the monument
Cross Usually a grave marker in churchyards, made of wood or stone, with or without an inscription, and sometimes with heraldry. See MeMO memorial object ID 1628.
Double-decker monument A particular type of a two-tier tomb (see below) showing an effigy of the deceased on the upper level and a corpse or cadaver figure below. See MeMO memorial object ID 2251.
Floor slab Stone monolith slab of varying sizes used to cover an intramural grave, i.e. burial under the church floor with the slab lying flush with the surrounding floor. See also Tomb slab and Memorial tablet.
Freestanding tomb monument A monument physically detached from the surrounding architecture, often situated prominently before an altar. See MeMO memorial object ID 2972. However, such a monument may have been moved against a wall or into a niche or recess at a later date: see MeMO memorial object ID 1210.
Memorial brass An engraved copper alloy plate usually sunk into a stone slab and affixed with metal rivets; varying in size, it may feature an inscription, heraldry, and an effigy of the deceased. Many such brasses have disappeared over time, leaving only an indent and sometimes the rivets with which the plates were fastened to the stone. See fig. 2 but also MeMO memorial object ID 1090.
Painted burial cyst A small intramural burial vault, usually made of brick, with its plastered inner walls decorated with painted scenes, especially of a religious nature; known in Dutch by the term 'grafkeldertje' (French: 'caveau peint'). Found in e.g. Aardenburg and Utrecht See MeMO memorial object ID 3277.
Recess tomb A monument comprising a tomb (chest), placed inside a niche or recess in a wall. See MeMO memorial object ID 2959.
Sarcophagus Monolithic stone coffin with a tapered lid, which may feature painted or sculpted decoration or an inscription. See MeMO memorial object ID 2565. A sarcophagus may consist of a plain coffin and a decorated lid. Often only the latter survives: see MeMO memorial object ID 2342.
Tomb slab Stone monolith slab used to cover a tomb chest or a raised grave. It can be difficult to distinguish between a tomb slab and a floor slab, as subsequent alterations may have resulted in the loss of the tomb chest itself and the placement of the tomb slab directly onto or inserted into the floor. See MeMO memorial object ID 414 and ID 449.
Two-tier tomb A monument consisting of an upper and lower tier, e.g. two platforms that may each feature an effigy or other commemorative object, such as armour. See MeMO memorial object ID 2970.
Wall tomb A monument comprising a tomb (chest), placed against (or partly inserted into) a wall. See MeMO memorial object ID 3522.

  Memorial pieces

Memorial image, memorial tablet, Memorialbild
Diptych A painted or sculpted memorial piece consisting of two wings. See MeMO memorial object ID 719.
Memorial painting A painted memorial piece on panel, canvas, glass or a wall. See the Beesd van Heemskerk memorial painting and fig. 3
Memorial piece Memorial pieces consisting of religious images (usually present), with devotional portraits of the persons to be commemorated, usually with their patrons saints, and with accompanying texts with the names and dates of death and a request for prayer, and - where applicable - their heraldry. In the Netherlands there are memorial paintings in which the main image consists of the devotional portraits.
Memorial sculpture A sculpted or engraved memorial piece of wood, stone or metal. See MeMO memorial object ID 492, ID 503 and ID 925.
Memorial tablet A panel, usually made of stone and fixed to a wall, with an engraved or painted commemorative text. Memorial tablets may be confused with other objects, as they may originally have been
  • part of a larger memorial piece
  • a small floor slab with an inscription that has been inserted into a wall at a later date. See fig. 6.
Polyptych Generally painted or sculpted artworks that consist of more than one piece, with one or more wings. However, in the MeMO database, websites and PDFs polyptych is used for artworks consisting of a middle part with more than two wings. See MeMO memorial object ID 677
Single piece Artwork consisting of one part, without any wings. See MeMO memorial object ID 524 and 843
Succession series Series of portraits or heraldry of successive secular or religious officials, or of the heirs of a family. See MeMO memorial object ID 748.
Triptych Artwork consisting of a central part with two wings. See MeMO memorial object ID 516
Wall memorial A commemorative object attached to a wall, designed to commemorate a person or group of persons, usually consisting of a commemorative text with a decorative surround. See MeMO memorial object ID 1385

  Features
Cadaver A depiction of the deceased as a (shrouded) corpse or skeleton to emphasise the transitoriness of the body, either sculpted in the round or engraved on a flat surface; also known as a transi. MeMO memorial object ID 281. (A cadaver may also be a personification of Death or a generic emblem of mortality, see MeMO memorial object ID 2251.)
Devotional portrait (Dutch: gebedsportret) A portrait of a person presented in an attitude of prayer, i.e. kneeling and/or with hands held in prayer. See the Beesd van Heemskerk memorial painting
Effigy A portrait of a deceased person as part of a tomb monument or slab, usually sculpted or engraved, and often shown as a recumbent figure; also known as a gisant. See MeMO memorial object ID 1291
Epitaph The word epitaph already occurs in the Middle Ages for memorial pieces and is as such used in other European languages (cf. German 'Epitaf') both memorial pieces and the commemorative texts on a monument, but it is more strictly used in English to describe the commemorative text. In the MeMO database and supporting products 'epitaph' is used for commemorative texts only.
Gisant A recumbent figure of a deceased person as part of a tomb monument or slab, usually sculpted or engraved (fig. 1), see Effigy
Palimpsest Current in manuscript studies to describe a re-used page, the term is also applied to re-used brass plates and stone slabs that have been turned over and engraved anew.
Pleurant or weeper Strictly used to describe the figures of mourners on a tomb chest; not to be confused with bedesmen (i.e. praying clerics) that one may find at the feet of effigies on (English) tombs, or with the smaller subsidiary figures of offspring and/or relatives that one may find accompanying the life-size effigies of the deceased.
Shield The various shapes of the shields listed in the MeMO database can be found in this drawing
Tapered slab A stone slab that gradually decreases in width; its shape indicates that it is a sarcophagus lid, MeMO memorial object ID 1382.


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4.2 Criteria for the inclusion of objects

Fig. 4. Museum Catharijneconvent Utrecht, ABM t 2010a.

Point of departure
Included in the MeMO database are descriptions of tomb monuments, floor slabs and memorial pieces that have survived (at least partially) and that originate from the medieval institutions located in the area that is currently the Netherlands. Note that a number of the objects in the database cannot be properly placed, because the institutions in which they originally functioned are unknown. MeMO covers the period until 1580, the approximate date when, due to the Reformation, Catholicism was (temporarily) abolished as the official religion in large parts of the area that is now the Netherlands. Tomb monuments, floor slabs and memorial pieces could be placed either long before of long after the death of one or more of the individuals who were commemorated on the object in question. This is why a justification for the date of each object is provided. A date of death is just an indication for further research.

Included:

  • Objects that have been at least partially preserved, MeMO memorial object ID 3572, fragments of a brass
  • Objects of which there exist photographs and modern descriptions but whose current location is unknown, MeMO memorial object ID 579, and some objects that have been lost but of which there are photographic records. Descriptions of the latter can be found using Search database, under Category: Type: Memorial item, only surviving as a printed image, drawing or photo)
  • Objects whose precise date is unknown, but which are believed on stylistic grounds to date from before or around 1580, MeMO memorial object ID 210
  • Copies of objects, if they also had (or may have had) a function in the commemoration of the dead, MeMO memorial object ID 695
  • Objects which were produced by artists and stone masons working in the Netherlands, but for which the original location in which they functioned has not (yet) been ascertained. In these cases the possiblity of a memorial function of these objects in the area under consideration is presumed
  • Objects produced by artists and stone masons working outside the Netherlands, but for which a memorial function in the area under consideration before 1580 is certain or presumed, MeMO memorial object ID 921
  • Objects that originally had a memorial function abroad but subsequently functioned as such in the Netherlands, MeMO memorial object ID 921
  • Pieces (whether or not containing devotional portraits) that were not initially produced for the commemoration of deceased persons. They may for instance have been created for a wedding, see MeMO memorial object ID 626. It has been ascertained from archival records that existing works of art could be altered into memorial pieces.

Not included:

  • Objects commemorating Dutch persons that were placed abroad
  • Objects that are mentioned in documents, but which are not otherwise known to us
  • Objects that are known through drawings in genealogical and heraldic manuscripts, but that probably have been lost, see fig. 7.
  • Artworks to which a devotional portrait or memorial text was added after 1580 and which served a memorial function from that moment onwards. Please note: these are objects that fulfilled a different function before 1580. Objects have been included however that were produced and placed during one's lifetime and to which the date of death was added after 1580. After all, these were intended before 1580 to fulfil commemorative purposes.

It is quite possible that tomb slabs, tomb monuments and memorial pieces in private collections and in depots of archaeological agencies and museums have never been catalogued and published. The MeMO project can be informed of their existence by using the form Add new object or text (see menu bar and chapter nine).


  
Left: Fig. 5. See MeMO memorial object ID 2956
Right: Fig. 6. See MeMO memorial object ID 3371

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4.3 Sources used in the compilation of this database

Fig. 7. Drawing of a probably lost Crucifixion with the devotional portrait of Dirk van Wassenaar.

For the inventories and descriptions the MeMO project has used the sources that are named below in random order. For the floor slabs and tomb monuments these are:

  • inventories from the past (mainly in Bloys van Treslong, Belonje and Muschart, see the Literature section below as well as the records in the database)
  • inventories and picture archives of the Foundation for Ecclesiastical Art and Artefacts Netherlands (SKKN) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
  • research by MeMO
  • new photographs (produced by MeMO in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
  • photographs and information received from private persons, churches and companies
  • publications

For the inventories and descriptions of the memorial pieces MeMO made use of the following:

  • research by Truus van Bueren, colleagues and students as part of the Memoria project. In this context they researched memorial pieces for the area of the (Arch)diocese Utrecht for the period until circa 1630. One result of this project is the online database Representations of medieval memoria (2007-2009)
  • Investigation of the objects and extensive analyses of the inventories carried out for the MeMO project or its predecessor, the Memoria project
  • photographs of the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) and the Foundation for Ecclesiastical Art and Artefacts Netherlands (SKKN)
  • photographs from private persons and auction houses
  • publications by other researchers

New insights have been incorporated in the descriptions, as well as corrections to the older literature. For instance, some slabs from the eleventh through the fourteenth century that are called sarcophagus lids in the literature are today recognised to be decorated sandstone slabs, unless either their long and tapering shape or the survival of the matching sarcophagus indicate that they did indeed serve as sarcophagus lids. Also, the flat stones that are found in the floors of churches are not necessarily floor slabs; they may also have covered tombs that have since been lost. This is the reason why the latter objects are treated as a single group in the database and are called Tomb slab or floor slab.

Recent research has also produced correction and supplements to the data contained in the database Representations of medieval memoria. Please note: Representations of medieval memoria is no longer be available online (since May 2013). It is replaced by the MeMO database.


  
Fig. 8a and 8b. See MeMO memorial object ID 1437

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4.4 Alterations and consequences



Top: Fig. 9. See MeMO memorial object ID 2941
Bottom: Fig. 10. See MeMO memorial object ID 1841

Some general points of interest to consider when researching memorial monuments
Today many floor slabs, memorial pieces, etc. look different from when they were produced or when they still had their original function. The changes are cause by:

  • Climatological circumstances and pollution. Contraction and expansion of wood panels can cause the paint to peel off from a painting, thereby obscuring (parts of) the image or text. See MeMO memorial object ID 653
  • Wilful destruction of objects, e.g. the repeated iconoclastic attacks in the sixteenth century. See MeMO memorial object ID 496.
  • Everyday use of objects: also in the Middle Ages tomb slabs functioned as parts of the floor that people walked on, leaving signs of wear and tear. See MeMO memorial object ID 3658.
  • Alterations due to desired changes in function. Heraldic shield or coats of arms, texts and portraits were added, removed or replaced (see MeMO memorial object ID 563 and chapter 2.4).
  • Restorations (see fig. 8a and 8b).

There are serious consequences. Large numbers of memorial sculptures look entirely different because the painting (polychromy) has been lost. Sometimes some remnants of the paint still show. Tomb monuments and floor slabs and the brasses that covered them could also be coloured, especially the effigies and the heraldry. The materials used were paint, coloured putty, inlaid stone (such as marble or alabaster), enamel, and precious or semi-precious stones. One would expect the heraldry arms to be painted, but it is unclear whether that was always the case. In a number of cases these objects still show traces of colour, see fig. 9.

Clearly the damages, alterations and loss of texts and painted images can create problems for researchers attempting to establish the intended and actual functioning of the objects.

Floor slabs and tomb monuments
Creating the inventory and the descriptions of the tomb monuments and floor slabs has proved problematic in a number of ways. The point of departure were the inventories and descriptions by Bloys van Treslong Prins, Muschart, Belonje, etc. Their inventories have been of major importance for research into tomb monuments and floor slabs, but they are outdated. Problems encountered by MeMO:

  • upon closer inspection inventories proved to be incomplete
  • descriptions of tomb monuments and floor slabs were often incomplete or incorrect
Moreover, the inventories and the information provided are no longer always reliable:
  • some of the monuments and slabs that were inventoried have been lost due to fire, wear and tear, and other types of destruction
  • there are extant or possibly extant slabs that are now concealed (by wooden flooring or wall-to-wall carpeting), and these have not been photographed (in high quality).

Fig. 11. Drawing from 1620 of the Van Beveren chapel in de Grote or Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk in Dordrecht.

Tomb monuments and floor slabs have often been moved. They may have been moved around inside the church of origin, or even have been transferred to other churches. In Utrecht there are a number of floor slabs that are located in a church that is not the church of origin, even if the original church still exists: at least eight slabs have been transferred from the Buurkerk to the Domkerk, and three have been moved from the Domkerk to the Janskerk. The transfers are usually the result of restoration projects that were carried out in the twentieth century. Among other things, this situation has consequences for determining the original function, which is often connected with the original location. Therefore, the information on the original institution as well as the original location within the institution, and on the functions of tomb monuments and floor slabs has been provided in the database with some reserve.

Progressive insights have also provided a caveat. For instance, the description of stone types has been made with caution, as these can usually only be determined on site after extensive research by specialists.

Possible problems when researching memorial pieces
These days the memorial function of memorial pieces is easiest to recognise by the devotional portraits of deceased children in their long white or coloured gowns and, if the epitaph texts have survived, by the mention of the names and dates of death. These texts were inscribed on the frames of the paintings or on accompanying or attached text panels. The great majority of the texts and text panels have been lost, however. Even if the paintings are still in their original frames these have often been treated with lye, causing the paint layers and thus the texts to disappear. Many paintings have been given new frames, in the process of which the text panels that were affixed to the old frames were removed as well. Some original frames still show the holes that housed the wooden pins that affixed the text panels to the frame (see MeMO memorial object ID 626 and ID 633). The reverse is the case with memorial sculptures: they often retain the texts, but the images have usually been removed (see MeMO institution ID 19 and fig. 10).

In memorial pieces the devotional portraits usually accompany a religious image. This is the reason why panels in which devotional portraits are the main image have been described in the database as wings of a larger whole. A caveat: panels with devotional portraits that may seem to have been wings may have functioned as independent paintings. In such cases the persons portrayed in the devotional portraits were not placed towards the religious scene in the image itself, but facing an altar or the choir with the altar, for instance, see fig. 11.

Present location unknown
Please keep in mind that the indication 'present location unknown' sometimes holds different meanings for memorial pieces on the one hand, and for tomb monuments and floor slabs on the other hand.

  • For memorial pieces this usually means there is reason to assume the object still exists, but that it is either part of an unknown private collection, or part of a museum collection without a catalogue.
  • For tomb monuments and floor slabs this indication means there is more uncertainty: they could be, as described above, destroyed, covered up, or relocated. Because not all objects could be examined in person or through (recent) photographs, and because recent literature isn't always available, in some cases information from older, potentially not up-to-date literature was used.


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4.5 Functions

The functions of tomb monuments, floor slabs, and memorial pieces
Tomb monuments, floor slabs and memorial pieces all had a liturgical/religious function: they served to commemorate particular persons, and to request prayers for the salvation of their souls. This function could be interwoven with social, historical, political, and/or didactic functions. For more on this, see 1.2 Commemoration and identity. The functions of objects listed in the database always refer to functions as intended by the donors. Whether the faithful also understood the intentions of the donors, and for example responded to requests for prayers is another matter.

For the memorial pieces the indications of their functions are based on research, not just covering the objects, but also the commemorated persons and the commissioners of the object and their backgrounds and broader contexts.

For the tomb monuments and floor slabs we usually based ourselves on what is depicted on the object itself. In cases where we only had access to descriptions or low quality photographs, or where the object was badly damaged, eroded, or only partially intact, only the general function is provided: 'liturgical/religious', followed by the remark 'no information on possible other functions'. For well-preserved objects, of which high quality photographs are available, the functions are given in more detail.

How the functions are deduced from the object itself, and differentiated in the database:

  • portraits and/or inscriptions that provide information about the commemorated persons: the social functions (for additional explanation, see further on);
  • inscriptions with a special message: referring to historical events, social or political statements, or didactic messages (usually a variation of 'memento mori');
  • decorations with didactic messages (figures representing Death, skeletons, skulls, hourglasses).

It should be noted that for example inscriptions can sometimes be incomplete, without this being apparent to the viewer today.

Social functions
For the social functions a distinction is made between objects commemorating just one person, and objects that commemorate a group of people. This is the case for memorial pieces as well as for tomb monuments and floor slabs. The different kinds of groups are listed in a drop-down list under 'Commemorated party' in the search form of Search Database. For family groups the following division is made:

  • Nuclear family
    • A family with children
    • One parent and one or more children
    • Multiple children from the same family
  • Extended family
    • All families and parts of families that include more than two generations, so grandparents, parents, children, or even more generations
    • Relatives who are part of the same nuclear family, such as an uncle and a cousin
    • A (part of a) nuclear family with one or more in-laws
    • A combination of nuclear families, because either the mother or the father was married multiple times

Note: in case only one person is portrayed or mentioned on a tomb monument or floor slab, and he or she is further distinguished as 'husband of' or 'wife of', or when the coats of arms of other relatives such as ancestors are displayed, the commemorated person will nevertheless be described as an individually commemorated person. In those cases the object will therefore not be described as an object with a social function. Researchers who wish to examine the displayed social relationships on the objects can still search for these objects by searching the database, specifically for the way in which inscriptions and coats of arms were used.


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4.6 Justification transcriptions and translations

General
Our goal with MeMO is to provide critical normalising transcriptions. This means that transcriptions will be fully written out and solved. Solutions to abbreviations, diacritical symbols, etc. are not marked. We decided not to provide diplomatic transcriptions, in part because we intend the user to also have access to photographs of the objects. We have corrected previously available transcriptions whenever necessary/possible, based on our interpretation of photographs. When no photographs were available, we copied transcriptions from publications, or used transcriptions sent to us by other researchers.

Middle Dutch transcriptions

  • The transcription follows the original text on the object as faithfully as possible. When certain abbreviations cause doubt, the abbreviated word is given so that no undue interpreting takes place.
  • Spelling of person names: the name of the commemorated person is spelled as it is written on the object. Patronymics are written out in full. Note: the transcriptions of the texts on memorial pieces were copied from the now retired website and database 'Memoria in beeld', in which patronymics were not written out in full.
  • Exceptions: in same cases the letter is transcribed so that it corresponds with the modern pronunciation of the intended word, so:
    • the letter y can become ij when the pronunciation is now ij, e.g. wyf becomes wijf (wife)
    • the i can be replaced with a j, e.g. Ian becomes Jan
    • the u can be changed into a v, e.g. begrauen becomes begraven (burying, buried)
    • the w can become u(u), e.g. Wlbe becomes Ulbe
    • Note: the letters s/z and v/f remain the same, so siele, frome etc.
  • The transcription will use the same numeral system (Roman or Arabic) as the original text.
  • Punctuation marks are added where necessary to improve legibility of the text, without changing the meaning of the sentence in the process. The use of capital letters is in line with the modern standards: capital letters are used for the names of places and persons.
  • Texts that are currently illegible, or that have disappeared, but which are still known to us thanks to older sources or literature, are placed between square brackets. Where certain letters or words may be safely assumed to have originally been present, for example because they were part of a fixed phrase, the text is placed between square brackets, so 'int [jaer ons] Heren'.
  • When there is reason to doubt the validity of a transcribed word, the word will be followed with (?)
  • The end of a verse line will be marked with a 'space-dash-space' ( / ).
  • Remarks concerning the transcriptions are added in the Remarks field below the transcription in question

English translations

  • The order and style of the original text is followed as precisely as possible; so 'In het jaar ons heren XVc XXIV op den XIII dach van september' becomes 'In the year of our Lord 1524 on the 13th day of September' rather than 'On 13 September 1524'.
  • Spelling of the names of persons: the name of the commemorated person is spelled in accordance to the modern Dutch spelling as used in the secondary literature (the standardised Dutch name). When no modern version of the name exists, the name in the transcription is given (the Middle Dutch name). Only internationally known individuals will have their names translated to English, so for example Jacqueline of Bavaria will be used for Jacoba van Beieren.
  • Spelling of topographic designations: the names of towns and cities, counties and duchies, etc. are given in modern Dutch (with the exception of The Hague for Den Haag and Flushing for Vlissingen).
  • Numbers: Roman numerals are converted to Arabic numerals.
  • Religious feast days: the name days of saints are indicated as 'the feast(day) of St ...'. Example: 'op Sint Margarieten dach' becomes 'on the feast(day) of St Margaret'. Note: Keep in mind that 'the eve of St Margaret' is actually the day before the name day.
  • The Dutch title 'heer' is translated as 'sir' for an ecclesiastic person, and as 'lord' for a worldly ruler.

Modern Dutch translations

  • The order and style of the original text is followed as precisely as possible; so 'In het jaar ons heren XVc XXIV op den XIII dach van september' becomes 'In het jaar onzes Heren 1524 op de 13e dag van september' rather than 'Op 13 september 1524'.
  • Spelling of the names of persons: the name of the commemorated person is spelled in accordance to the modern Dutch spelling as used in the secondary literature (the standardised Dutch name). When no modern version of the name exists, the name in the transcription is given (the Middle Dutch name).
  • Spelling of topographic designations: the names of towns and cities, counties and duchies, etc. are given in modern Dutch.
  • Numbers: Roman numerals are converted to Arabic numerals.
  • Religious feast days: the name days of saints are indicated as 'the feast(day) of St ...'. Example: 'op Sint Margarieten dach' becomes 'op de (feest)dag van St. Margaretha'. Note: Keep in mind that 'the eve of St Margaret' is actually the day before the name day.
  • Transcribed words for which the modern translation is unknown or uncertain, are replaced with: [?]. Uncertain translations are followed by: (?).

Latin transcriptions
The rules for the transcription and translation of Latin texts are similar to the rules for the transcription of Middle Dutch texts, There are a few additional matters to take note of:

  • The i and j are always transcribed as i.
  • Y and ij always become ii.
  • U and v are represented as u if the letter is in a vocal position, and as v if it's in a consonant position.
  • When a c is used instead of a t before an i, and when it is used as ch instead of with an h, as in nichil, the spelling is not normalised.
  • Illegible text is marked as [...]; reconstructed letters are placed between square brackets [ ].
  • Proper nouns, numbers, and feast days are spelled and referenced in Middle Dutch.
  • The end of a verse line will be marked with a 'space-dash-space' ( / ). Information about the nature of the verse (dactylic hexameters, distichs, Sapphic stanzas, etc.) is placed in the Remarks field.
  • Emendations (corrections to mistakes present in the original Latin inscriptions) are not applied to the transcriptions; where applicable, information regarding this will be added in the Remarks field.
  • Bible verses are copied directly from the text in the inscription, rather than being copied from a standard version of the Vulgate. The reason for this is that inscriptions often paraphrase the Vulgate, shorten it, or adapt it to a specific context.

Note: The Latin transcriptions for inscriptions for graves are currently of a temporary nature. Most of these inscriptions could not be fully analysed, and also good photographs were not always available for all of the floor slabs. In many cases we used transcriptions as provided by older literature (listed in the bibliography of each entry in de database), but these were not always reliable.

Persons' names
In the transcriptions of both Middle Dutch and Latin texts the original spelling has been maintained. But in the translations, both in English and in Dutch, we have opted for applying a spelling in standard modern Dutch, except in a few cases involving renowned persons such as Jacqueline of Bavaria. Users of the English translations need to be aware that family names still were not generalized during the late medieval period. Two alternative types of nomenclature often occur:

  • First name plus patronymic, of the type:
    • Pieter Dirkszoon / Pieter Dirksz (Peter the son of Derrick)
    • Margriet Jansdochter / Margriet Jansdr (Margaret the daughter of John)
  • First name plus toponymic, the connection being made by elements like 'van', 'vander', 'te', 'to', 'tho' (of/from), e.g.:
    • Gerard van Imstenraedt
    • Eppo tho Nansum
  • Also combinations of patronymic and toponymic occur: Gijsbert Hendriksz. van Heel
  • Sometimes a patronymic is added after a family name: Arnt Berck Jansz.
  • Sixteenth-century neo-Latin inscriptions often present the names in strongly latinized forms: Joachimus Schuttorpius
  • Latin names occur even in Middle Dutch texts: Anno 1568 [...] starf de w.h. heer Aucko Ludolpi Oldehem [...].

First names in the northern provinces (Frisia and the formerly Frisian speaking surroundings of Groningen) were extremely varied and often have no modern Dutch equivalent. In the remaining parts of the country, first names were generally the more common ones. A few correspondences between Dutch and English:

Boy's names

Arend, Arnt, Aernout Arnold
Dir(c)k Derrick, Thierry
Evert Everard
Gerard, Geer(d)t, Gerrit Gerald
Hendrik Henry
Jan, Johan, Johannes John
Jacob, Jacobus James
Joost Just, Josse
Klaas, Claes (= Nicolaas) Colin, Nicholas
Matthijs Matthew
Pieter Peter
Steven Stephen

Girl's names

Aechte Agatha
Berber Barbara
Catrien Catharine
Lysbeth, Liesbet Elisabeth
Tryn, Trijn, Trijntje See Catrien


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4.7 Literature and websites

Literature

  • (Series) Belonje, J. and P.C. Bloys van Treslong Prins, Genealogische en heraldische gedenkwaardigheden (arranged by province) (Utrecht from 1928 on).
  • (Series) Bloys van Treslong Prins, P.C., Genealogische en heraldische gedenkwaardigheden (arranged by province) Utrecht from 1917 on.
  • Badham, Sally, '"A new feire peynted stone". Medieval English incised slabs?', Church Monuments 19 (2004), 20-52 (discussing English examples of several types of polychromy on medieval floor slabs and tomb slabs).
  • Bueren, Truus van, 'Gebeeldhouwde nagedachtenis in de Domstad', in: Micha Leeflang and Kees van Schooten (eds.), Middeleeuwse beelden uit Utrecht 1430-1530 (Utrecht/Antwerpen 2012) 30-47.
  • Bueren, Truus van, and Gerhard Oexle, 'Das Imaginarium der Sukzession: Über Sukzessionsbilder und ihren Kontext' in: Truus van Bueren and Andrea van Leerdam (eds.), Care for the Here and the Hereafter: Memoria, Art and Ritual in the Middle Ages (Turnhout 2005) 55-77.
  • Bueren, Truus van, and W.C.M. Wüstefeld, Leven na de dood. Gedenken in de late Middeleeuwen (Turnhout 1999; on memorial pieces in general; see esp. 67 en 109-111 for several ways in which memorial pieces were created).
  • Cameron, H.K., A list of monumental brasses on the Continent of Europe (London: Monumental Brass Society, 1970), 80-85, 'Holland'.
  • Engen, Hildo van, 'Memor esto mei. Devotional diptychs And Religious Orders in the Late Medieval Low Countries' in: Weijert, Rolf de, Kim Ragetli, Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld and Jeannette van Arenthals (eds.), Living Memoria. Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Memorial Culture in Honour of Truus van Bueren, Middeleeuwse Studies en Bronnen, CXXXVII (Hilversum 2011) 269-287.
  • Herwaarden, Jan van, et al. (eds.), Geschiedenis van Dordrecht tot 1572 (Hilversum 1996), esp. 316.
  • Meuwissen, Daan, and Ige Verslype, 'Praatjes rondom gaatjes. Materieel onderzoek naar lijsten en panelen van memorietafels in Museum Catharijneconvent', in: Peter van de Brink and Liesbeth M. Helmus (eds.), Album Discipulorum J.R.J. van Asperen de Boer (Zwolle 1997) 127-136.
  • Meuwissen, Daantje, Gekoesterde traditie. De portretreeks met de landcommandeurs van de Utrechtse Balije van de Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde (Hilversum 2011). With extensive summaries in English and German.
  • Muschart, R.T., Grafzerken en grafmonumenten in de Groote- of St. Eusebiuskerk te Arnhem (Arnhem 1935).
  • Oosterwijk, Sophie, 'Babes on brackets. A meaningful distinction or an iconographic oddity on medieval tomb monuments?', in: Weijert, Rolf de, Kim Ragetli, Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld and Jeannette van Arenthals (eds.), Living Memoria. Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Memorial Culture in Honour of Truus van Bueren, Middeleeuwse Studies en Bronnen, CXXXVII (Hilversum 2011) 251-268.
  • Tummers, Harry, 'Medieval effigial monuments in the Netherlands', Church Monuments 7 (1992), 19-33.
  • Westra van Holthe, J. and Belonje, J., Genealogische en heraldische gedenkwaardigheden in en uit de kerken der provincie Drenthe (Assen 1937).

Websites

See chapter seven for a general overview of the literature and websites mentioned in these introductory texts.


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