Chambers of rhetoric (Rederijkerskamers)

   These urban societies of amateurs in literature and dramatic theater were organized as guilds and held annual contests in recitation and urban festivities. They reached their heyday in the 16th century. Most were trivial in nature, yet because some of their members were religiously inclined toward the new ideas of the Reformation, city authorities grew suspicious of the chambers of rhetoric and some of their mem bers were executed as heretics. During the Republic, the dogmatic Calvinists did not appreciate the chambers.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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