Footnotes: Reineke Fuchs
The Gouda version is the basis for Caxton’s Middle English work.
Pentecost was a time when the Imperial Diets were held and
all sorts of festivities connected with courtly life took place.
Häher: jay; Markward suggests someone who patrols a border
«Ermenrich» is the historical Ermanarich, king of the Ostrogoths,
whose kingdom collapsed under the onslaught of the Huns in 375.
Instead of swearing on the Bible they swear an oath on the badger’s head,
a travesty of judicial practices.
Charlemagne’s favorite residence. The coronation of the German kings
used to take place at the cathedral of Aachen since the Carolingian days.
i.e. use the treasure for bribery and blackmail
She swore by the relics of the Three Wise Men whose shrine is at Cologne
whatever annoyed and enraged him
The fact that it is the queen who speaks and not the king shows her in
control and adds to the carricature of Nobel whom the author intended to
represent the establishment.
Kleiderstoff, see l.
4038, p. 521.
This is clearly a reference to one of the most serious «Gravamina»
of the fifteenth century, that is, the Peter’s pence, which was originally
only an annual feudal tax paid by England in recognition of the pope’s
assumed function as the supreme feudal lord.
Papal envoys, abbots, provosts, and other prelates
Beginen: Beguins, members of lay sisterhoods who had not taken final
vows and were not attached to any convent; their name is indicative
of the type of bonnet they wore
Simon: an allusion to the practice of simony, the buying or selling
of sacred or spiritual things, such as ecclesiastical offices. This
had been a problem as far back as the infant church and one of the major
issues of the Cluniac Reform Movement of the tenth and eleventh centuries
which, originating from the Benedictine abbey of Cluny, ultimately
laid the foundation for a powerful medieval papacy.
The names enumerated here reflect on particular vices found among the curial
clergy, such as «Schalkefund» (‘one who devises clever, criminal
ways’), «Greifzu» (‘one who helps himself first’), «Lösungsfund»
(‘one who is never at a loss for convenient solutions’) and "Mantelwender"
(‘one who trims his sails to the wind,’ a parasite), or "Nimmersatt" (l.
4197) and «Krümmsrecht» (l.
4207), which are self-explanatory.
Pope Innocent VIII (d.1492) whose notorious decree of 1484 unleased the
fury of the Church against witchcraft.
The secretary is named "Partei" for his apparent partiality which, of course,
is helped by proper donations.
«Horchgenau» (informer, spy) is the most influential courtier
at the curia.
ein Bakkalaureus der Rechte: «Krümmsrecht» (probably
referring to the notary’s fraudulent activities) is equally versed in canon
and civil law. He is flanked by two judges whose names refer to ‘money’,
i.e. ‘corruptness’ and whose sentences cannot be appealed.
uroscopy («Harnbeschau») for the diagnosis of disease.
The reference here is to a magic mirror of which Reinke had told earlier.
under penalty of death
It would be interesting to speculate about who added this sentence:
the original author, perhaps out of a sense of moral rectitude, or the
printer, who would have been interested in more mundane rewards.