Maerlant, Jacob van (yäˈkōp vän märˈlänt) [key], c.1235–c.1300, Flemish poet, earliest important figure of Dutch literature. He wrote lyric poems and chivalric verse romances after the French as well as long didactic poems, chief of which is Spiegel historiael, an adaptation of the Speculum of Vincent of Beauvais. Jacob van Maerlant is an early literary representative of the bourgeois spirit.
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