'Het boek is af, maar mag de schrijver spelen?' Reacties op mijn Hir is eskriven


  • R.H. Bremmer Jr


This paper comes as a response to some reviews of my Hir is eskriven, especially those by Henk Meijering and Anne Popkema. I begin by explaining the topic of my book: the beginnings of literacy in medieval Frisia. It grew from a curiosity that was kindled in my student days but which I was unable to satisfy using the literature available to me then or subsequently. In my discussion of Meijering’s review I challenge his claim that the phrase ‘written law’ in medieval Frisian sources refers to Romanocanonical law. Frisian law, according to Meijering, would be referred to as ‘speaking’. I show that a ‘speaking’ text follows the style figure of 
prosopopoeia, which authors of legal treatises demonstrably use also for quotations from Romano-canonical sources. Popkema questioned the validity of my arguments for dating the vernacular versions of the major 
Frisian law texts to after the turn of the 13th century (instead of before). 
Here I present some new arguments and considerations for my dating. I furthermore reconsider my hypothesis that the oldest Frisian law texts were translated from Latin but concede with Popkema that some of my arguments are weak. I also refute some of Popkema’s other (over)critical remarks.