The Politics of Rhetoric: The 1561 Antwerp Landjuweel


John Cartwright


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In 1561, the leading chamber of rhetoric of Antwerp, De Violieren, hosted a Landjuweel, or regional festival of drama, processions, tableaux, and poetry, for thirteen other larger chambers of Brabant, followed immediately by a Haechspel, a similar but less elaborate festival for four smaller chambers.1 These events were both festivals and competitions, and there had been a series of six of them in various towns of the region at seven-year intervals between 1515 and 1541. De Violieren had been the winning chamber on the last occasion-that is to say, they had won the prize in the most prestigious category, the Spel van Sinne, or allegorical play on a set theme-and it was therefore by convention their responsibility to organize the next such event. The unsettled circumstances in the country had caused a gap of twenty years rather than seven, but this Landjuweel when it eventually took place was on a scale that had not been seen before and was not to be seen again.

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