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Reconfigurations of Mythology in Sixteenth-Century Lutheran Collections of Aesopic Fables

Zillén, Erik LU (2015) In Allusions and Reflections. Greek and Roman Mythology in Renaissance Europe p.465-479
Abstract
In the ancient corpus of Aesopic fables gods and semi-gods from Greek and Roman mythology often appear. Most commonly Zeus is called upon by fable characters such as the donkey, the snake, and the turtle, all of them pleading for a better destiny. Frequent main characters, rather often promoting their own interests in the fable fictions, are also Hera, Herakles, Apollo, and Hermes. The high esteem in which Martin Luther held the Aesopic genre’s capacity for religious and moral edification directly encouraged the publication of three collections of Aesopic fables in German during the Reformation epoch: Etliche fabel Esopi verteutscht (1534) by Erasmus Alberus, Esopus/ Gantz New gemacht (1548) by Burkard Waldis, and Hundert Fabeln aus Esopo... (More)
In the ancient corpus of Aesopic fables gods and semi-gods from Greek and Roman mythology often appear. Most commonly Zeus is called upon by fable characters such as the donkey, the snake, and the turtle, all of them pleading for a better destiny. Frequent main characters, rather often promoting their own interests in the fable fictions, are also Hera, Herakles, Apollo, and Hermes. The high esteem in which Martin Luther held the Aesopic genre’s capacity for religious and moral edification directly encouraged the publication of three collections of Aesopic fables in German during the Reformation epoch: Etliche fabel Esopi verteutscht (1534) by Erasmus Alberus, Esopus/ Gantz New gemacht (1548) by Burkard Waldis, and Hundert Fabeln aus Esopo (1571) by Nathan Chytraeus. In compliance with their actively confessional ambition, one might assume that these vernacular volumes of Aesopic fables consequently eliminated all elements of Heathen mythology. This is, however, only partially true. In these overtly Lutheranized fable collections, classical mythology was marginalized and yet simultaneously preserved. The chapter investigates the different strategies – theological, ethical, figurative, narrative et cetera – according to which this paradoxical, yet hierarchical coexistence of Christianity and mythology was made both possible and plausible. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Burkard Waldis (1490-1557), Erasmus Alberus (1500-1553), Lutheran Reformation, classical mythology, Aesopic fables, christianisation, demythologisation, Nathan Chytraeus (1543-98)
in
Allusions and Reflections. Greek and Roman Mythology in Renaissance Europe
editor
Wåghäll Nivre, Elisabeth
pages
465 - 479
publisher
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN
1-4438-7454-X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ee0c4b29-0f9c-44a7-b1a6-fc63c2e8dd7c (old id 4195739)
date added to LUP
2013-12-16 15:47:02
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:03:53
@misc{ee0c4b29-0f9c-44a7-b1a6-fc63c2e8dd7c,
  abstract     = {In the ancient corpus of Aesopic fables gods and semi-gods from Greek and Roman mythology often appear. Most commonly Zeus is called upon by fable characters such as the donkey, the snake, and the turtle, all of them pleading for a better destiny. Frequent main characters, rather often promoting their own interests in the fable fictions, are also Hera, Herakles, Apollo, and Hermes. The high esteem in which Martin Luther held the Aesopic genre’s capacity for religious and moral edification directly encouraged the publication of three collections of Aesopic fables in German during the Reformation epoch: Etliche fabel Esopi verteutscht (1534) by Erasmus Alberus, Esopus/ Gantz New gemacht (1548) by Burkard Waldis, and Hundert Fabeln aus Esopo (1571) by Nathan Chytraeus. In compliance with their actively confessional ambition, one might assume that these vernacular volumes of Aesopic fables consequently eliminated all elements of Heathen mythology. This is, however, only partially true. In these overtly Lutheranized fable collections, classical mythology was marginalized and yet simultaneously preserved. The chapter investigates the different strategies – theological, ethical, figurative, narrative et cetera – according to which this paradoxical, yet hierarchical coexistence of Christianity and mythology was made both possible and plausible.},
  author       = {Zillén, Erik},
  editor       = {Wåghäll Nivre, Elisabeth},
  isbn         = {1-4438-7454-X},
  keyword      = {Burkard Waldis (1490-1557),Erasmus Alberus (1500-1553),Lutheran Reformation,classical mythology,Aesopic fables,christianisation,demythologisation,Nathan Chytraeus (1543-98)},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {465--479},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xa01be60)},
  series       = {Allusions and Reflections. Greek and Roman Mythology in Renaissance Europe},
  title        = {Reconfigurations of Mythology in Sixteenth-Century Lutheran Collections of Aesopic Fables},
  year         = {2015},
}