1 School of Communication and Culture - German, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University2 School of Communication and Culture - German, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University
This article presents a literary investigation into the meaning and origin of the name Akarijn in Reynaerts historie, vs. 5297. Although it is often assumed that the title meyster in meyster Akarijn refers to a wizard, until now, no convincing interpretation of the name Akarijn has been put forward. In this article, it is argued that the name Akarijn refers to the local saint Aicard of Jumièges, the patron saint of the insane, who enjoyed particular reverence in Hainaut and the South of Flanders. This thesis does not contradict with the definition of meyster as ‘wizard’; the wizard in the text, who is called upon to help Reynaert locate his lost treasures, is himself a symbol for Saint Aicard of Jumieges, who is called upon to help the desperate locate their sanity. Through the representation of saints as wizards, the author of Reynaerts historie offers a powerful indictment of the excessive adoration of saints in the late Middle Ages.