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Verse chronicle of Holland (366-1305)

Edited by J.W.J. Burgers

The Rijmkroniek van Holland [Verse chronicle of Holland. Trans.] is an important source of information on the history of Holland during the latter half of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth century. This was a turbulent time for the province, marked by events such as the violent death of Count Floris V in 1296 and the transition from the House of Holland to the House of Hainault at the end of 1299. These events were followed by years of local feuding and a war with Flanders, which came to a head on 10 August 1304 with a naval battle on the Gouwe. Moreover, in its capacity as one of the earliest historiographic works in the Dutch language, the chronicle is an important research tool for scholars of Middle Dutch.

The Rijmkroniek, as it has been handed down through the ages, evolved in several consecutive stages. In 1280-1282 an anonymous author employed at the court of Count Floris V wrote a chronicle in verse form about the earliest history of Holland up to 1205. In 1301-1302 and during, or shortly after, 1305 Melis Stoke, clerk to Count Jan II and Count Willem III, produced a sequel to the first chronicle, in which he presents a colourful and engaging account of the events that took place after 1205. This version of the Rijmkroniek was revised subsequently by Stoke himself.

The online edition presented here contains images of all the manuscripts and fragments in which the Rijmkroniek has been handed down. These images, which can be accessed via the list of contents are accompanied by a diplomatic transcript containing palaeographic remarks. It is also possible to place transcripts of different manuscripts and fragments side by side on the screen to compare them with each other. The search facility makes it possible to go to any numbered line in addition to browsing through the Rijmkroniek for a single word or combination of words, as well as via an index of names.