dinsdag 28 juni 2016

The Dutch story of Mariken of Nieumeghen (Dutch Mythology Viking style)


Hail Vikings,

In Nijmegen where I was last Saturday, they told me a Middle Ages story. (Dutch mythology, Christian believe story) and I would love to rewrite and give it another dimension of characters and changing in the original texts to make it a kind of Viking story. I am so sorry in advance if you don't like it. I couldn't resist doing this. Before I start I will tell you a bit about the name Nijmegen.

The city Nijmegen called Nymegen, Nieumeghen or Numegen at that time (Vikings) it meant New megen (for megen is no translation known) it is possible that this was what the Vikings called Nyon but that could also be in Frankia now better known as France.

The Dutch story of Mariken of Nieumeghen (told the ©TamaraBakx way)

Mariken of Nieumeghen a foster child lived with her old uncle Gijsbrecht a priest. Mariken is the housekeeper of her uncle. She lived in the countryside somewhere in Limburg The Netherlands.

One day Gijsbrecht asked Mariken to go to the market. Three long hours walking from her home to Nijmegen  this through silent heathland. If she leaves Nijmegen again the three hours of heathlands wait for her.
Her uncle summoned her to be back home before the evening falls. Nobody should walk after the dark is falling in especially not for a girl her age. If it is not possible to return on time she needs to visit her aunt to stay there overnight and then come back home.

Mariken in Nijmegen

Mariken comes into the city after her three-hour walk and is very fascinated by the city. It is very busy and merchants and farmers are shouting to get costumers their way. Musicians and people in arts wanted to get visitors as well. Tavern and bars where so full of visitors that no one could come in anymore.

Mariken is to fascinate by everything that she lost the idea of time. She is in shock when she realises it starts to become dark. She walks to her aunt to seek a sleeping place in Nijmegen. While her aunt is still angry at the neighbours about a political argument and is not in the mood to help her niece, she refuses to let her niece sleep at her home. A moment she doesn’t know what to do but by the sound of the evening clock, she decides to leave the city Nijmegen.

Ubbe Jarl of the Vikings her saviour in need

When she is walking in the dark, grimy heathland she is trembling with fear, while begging help from higher powers, but god didn’t answer her. Instead, she finds herself Ubbe a Viking Jarl from Frisia. He is the one who 'accidentally' finds her. What she didn’t know that it wasn’t that accidentally at all. He had waited for a chance to meet her when he first saw her at the market.

He introduced himself as ‘Ubbe Jarl of the Vikings of Frisia’. Ubbe promises Mariken to learn her everything  astrology, mythology, music, languages of the world. In return, she needs to become a heathen, and she needs to sleep with him and love him. She isn’t allowed to make crosses and she needs to change her name.

Mariken liked him he was good-looking, strong, and looked reliable. At that moment she should have said no but as he came as a rescue she said yes. She chooses her new name to be Emmeken. At least a few letters of her old name are in there.

A lawless live in Walacra

In the middle of the night, they leave to walk to the ship and then leave for Walacra (Walcheren Zealand). In the meantime, Ubbe learns her everything she needs to know and, about the seven free skills. 

The only thing he doesn’t learn her is how she could kill him. Walacra is a big city on a island in the North Sea. Stranger or no stranger to this city is a city where you lose gods laws because it is known as a pirate city everything is permitted. It is all about pleasure and profit.

Ubbe and Mariken living in a Viking Jarl base which concurred by Ubbe in a duel of the old Jarl. In that base, there was drinking, gambling,and  women for man's pleasure. Mariken needed to do everything Ubbe said. When they went on a raid they killed, took riches and had a sinful life together.

After a while, Mariken started to doubt if this is the life she really wants and when they are back in Walacra she started to see what kind of man Ubbe really is. After seven years of sins and fornication because she was often used by Ubbe to give his own sons her to lose their virginity and just for fun.

Homesick towards Nijmegen

Mariken got homesick to Nijmegen. She wants to see the city and her old Uncle again. Ubbe who knew her uncle gave her permission to go so he could kill her uncle. Her uncle survived the Viking attacks from ten years ago when Ubbe saw Mariken first. He fell in love with her that very first time.

When Mariken arrives back in Nijmegen she saw a play about how Ubbe once destroyed the village she lived in. She started to realise she needs to get back to her uncle and need to get mercy from god for what she did with Ubbe.

God believes he needs to give sinners the right punishment but his mother the Virgin Mary pointed out to him that he was born a human. Mariken learns that god could forgive your sins if you really regret it. Mariken gets a boost from this play. When she says to Ubbe she wants to break with him, He throws her high up in the air and let her drop down in an attempted murder. By gods miracle, she stays alive.

Mariken becomes a sister

Now Mariken has one goal left. She doesn’t want to burn in Hell forever for what she did. She seeks mercy. Together with her uncle, she goes to the Pope in Rome. The Pope gives her a punishment she needs to wear three heavy iron rings. On their way back her uncle finds her a spot in a nunnery in Maastricht. After twenty-four years being a nun an angel arrives at Mariken suddenly the rings fell off. God has gifted her mercy. When Mariken passes away she gets, after all, a place in heaven.

In the real story:

  1. Ubbe is called Moenen and is the devil himself and not a Viking Jarl called Ubbe.
  2. Mariken and Moenen walked to Antwerp not walked to a ship and went to Walacra (Walcheren Zealand).
  3. The play (Wagenspel) Mariken saw called “Masscheroen” or better known as the Devil’s (advocates) lawyer.
  4. Mariken of Nieumeghen her name really excist and she was called this way because she was born in Nijmegen.
The story I used is written by De meesters van Katherina van Kleef en de gebroeders van Limburg. The original story of the play is from a writer unknown.


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