De dienende Datheen: het auteurschap van het Wilhelmus opnieuw tekstvergelijkend onderzocht
In 2016 Mike Kestemont stated the hypothesis that the Dutch national anthem, the Wilhelmus, had been written by psalmist Petrus Datheen. This hypothesis came as a surprise: Datheen’s psalms were only added to Kestemont’s research corpus as control content to test the attribution to known author candidates. In this article, I put Kestemont’s hypothesis to the test, conducting a comparative textual analysis of Wilhelmus, Datheen’s psalm versification and the French psalm versification by Marot and De Bèze that Datheen translated. I focus on the representation of leadership in the Wilhelmus and these psalm versifications. The lyrical ‘I’ promises to be helpful to his people, just like God — whom he serves as an obedient servant — is helpful to him. More so than Marot and De Bèze (and the author candidate most frequently mentioned, Marnix van Sint-Aldegonde), Datheen uses the word ‘servant’ in his psalm versifications. Rather than suggesting that this comparison is proof of Datheen’s authorship, this article aims to investigate the authorship of the Wilhelmus, once again, with the traditional close reading method.