The name of Copenhagen's Dance of Death
Several pages are missing from Copenhagen's Dance of Death - including the title page. This has caused much speculation
about who printed the book and how old it is.
Strangely nobody has ever wondered about the original title of the book - even though there are several glaring clues.
The original title was in all probability Dødedantz - this is based on 5 points:
Dødedantz, 1634, click to see the original page.
- Dødedantz is the name of the re-print from 1634.
This re-print follows the old text very closely — except for the spelling.
- What would the (Danish) spelling have been like back in 1550?
The word "dance" appears 18 times
in the text (in various inflexions) and each time it's spelled "dantz".
- Copenhagen's dance of death is based on the two German
books, Des dodes dantz and Dodendantz.
"Dødedantz" is an obvious translation of "Dodendantz".
- Des dodes dantz was reprinted in 1496 under the title "Dodendantz".
We must assume that the specimen sold to Vingaard in the 1500's was not the sold out
1489-edition, but instead the newest (1496) edition.
This means that both of the books that have inspired the Danish book were called Dodendantz.
- The dance of death ends with the words: "Enden paa denne Dødedantz"
(the end of this dance of death).
The dance of death
Copenhagen's Dance of Death