Typus Omnium Morientium, Part 1

Title page

Note: Click the pictures to see the original pages. Click the red and white flag in the top right corner to read the text in medieval Danish.

Typus Omnium Morientium was printed in Copenhagen in 1622. The author was Nelaus Povelssøn Nested.

The book differs from the "real" dances of death in that there aren't any illustrations (except for the frontispiece). Therefore it's hard to talk about a dance of Death, since Death doesn't appear - let alone dances. Furthermore there is not a real dialogue between Death and the humans.

It's easiest to show by example, so here is the very first verse where the emperor is the fall guy:



The Emperor
Thus saith the LORD: there shalt thou
die / and there the chariots of thy glory shall re-
main. Set thine house in order / for thou shalt
die / and not live.

Isa. 22. v. 18.
Isa. 38. v. 1.


Still now I / so wholly splendid /
  In the world may go forth :
By horse and foot / with proud courage /
  Among the great crowd:
Shall I then die / off this island(1) /
  Leave my house behind me /
My chariot also / great and small /
  Cannot help me.


Isa. 2. v. 22.

 Then surrender
the man / whose
breath is in his nos-
strils / for what can he be


The emperor First we have some short bible quotes that are supposed to sound like God's or Death's words. The bible references are placed in the margin. In this case it's Isaiah 22 v18: " He will surely violently turn and toss thee [like] a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory [shall be] the shame of thy lord's house." and Isaiah 38 v1: " In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live."

(note: The English bible is a bit different from the German and Danish ones: The chariots (in plural) shall remain and it's the person (not the chariot) that shall be the shame of the house.

By the way: the verses are the same as those presented to the emperor in Holbein's dance of death alphabet and Holbein's dance of death.

Then comes a verse that in this case is the emperor's answer to Death. In the last corner there's room for an appropriate quote.

In this case we almost see a dialogue between Death and the human. Some of the other verses also take the form of the human answering Death - e.g.: the empress "In the black soil / now all away / My pride and honour" and the queen "Naked and poor / like newborn child / Must I walk from here."

The pope In other verses it's not the humans who defend themselves, but rather Death (or the author) who continues the attack. Take for instance the pope, who normally leads the dances of death but now, after the Reformation, comes as number 13:



2 Thess. 2. v. 8.(3)

The Pope.
The man of sin and the son of
perdition / who exalteth himself above all
that is called God or God's ser-
vice / shall the LORD consume with the
breath of his mouth / and he shall
destroy / with the bright-
ness of his coming.

Joh. 8. v. 50.
Est qui quærit &


You pope of Rome / must also come here /
The LOrd himself shall destroy you:
By the breath of his mouth / right away now /
You are lying among the dead.


The emperor
The king
The empress
The queen
The prince
Noble person
The baron
The knight
The councillor
The giant
The war lord
The pope
The cardinal
The bishop
The vicar
False preachers
The canon
The monk
The monastery maiden
The physician
Unfair judge
The citizen
The citizeness
The usurer
Bridegroom and Bride
City girl
The peasant
The merchant
The craftsman
False traitor
Pharisee, Hypocrite
Glutton, Drunkard, Epicure
Adulterer, Whore
Magician, Warlock, Soothsayer etc.
Disobedient children
Poor prisoners
Poor, Penniless, Miserable
Old, Fragile, Full of this life
All humans
The Last Day
The Resurrection
The Judge
Come to Judgment
Give account
Judgment against the pious
Doom of the godless



Footnotes: (1) (2) (3) (4)

"die" and "island" is a popular rhyme. See other examples here and here.
Isaiah 2, 22 goes: "Cease ye from man, whose breath [is] in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?"
2nd Thessalonians 2, 3-4 go: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. ", and verse 8 goes: "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:."
John 8, 50 goes: "And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth."