Anonymous: Codex Manesse, fol 18r - duke John I of Brabant (1304)

(University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany)

An illuminated page made by an unknown 14th century Swiss/ German artist. This page comes from the Codex Manesse which is a medieval songbook that contains Minnesang (love songs), poems and fables. The book contains 137 miniatures are a series of "portraits" depicting each poet. This page is dedicated to duke John I of Brabant (1252/53-1294). The page shows the duke during the battle of Worringen on 5 June 1288 - duke Hohn's greatest militairy victory. The battle was the conclusion of a war which was fought over the succession in the Duchy of Limburg. The previous duke Waleran IV of Limburg had died without any male heirs. His daughter Ermergarde was married to count Reginald I of Guelders but also had no children. A nephew of Waleran, Adolf VIII of Berg, also claimed the duchy of Limburg but was in no position to assert his claims for the duchy and he sold them in 1283 to the John I, Duke of Brabant. John I promptly invade the duchy on Limburg. This invasion escalated into a war between Brabant and Guelders and his ally Siegfried II of Westerburg, archbishop of Cologne. On 5 June 1288 both forces met near the town of Worringen with about 4000-5000 men on each side. The battle was a decisive Brabantian victory with only 40 casualties on the Brabant side and more then 1100 on the Guelders/ Cologne, Reinald of Guelders and Siegfried II of Westerburg were both taken prisoner. Today the Dutch beer Hertog Jan was named after the duke. On the page is duke John I shown with his coat of arms (the yellow lion on a black field) already combined with the red lion of Limburg. Page from 1304.

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