Who wrote the lyrics of the Wilhelmus, the oldest national anthem in the world, although it only became the official Dutch national anthem in 1932?
The Wilhelmus was written at the start of the Eighty Years’ War (ca. 1570) when the Low Countries rebelled against the repressive politics of the Spanish king. The text is traditionally ascribed to Philips of Marnix, Lord of Saint-Aldegonde, a nobleman from the south of the Netherlands and mayor of Antwerp, who acted as a sort of spin doctor for the House of Orange-Nassau from the 1570s. Academics, however, have always questioned the attribution.
Computer analysis has now presented a completely different candidate: Peter Datheen or Petrus Dathenus, a second-rate sixteenth-century poet from French Flanders (Cassel, 1531-1588). Datheen was an advisor to William of Orange on Church matters, but the Calvinist hardliner fell out with the advocate of Realpolitik.