Thomas Murner

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Murner, Thomas


Born Dec. 24(7), 1475, in Oberehnheim; died there circa Aug. 23, 1537. German satirist.

Murner studied law and theology, later becoming the abbot of a Franciscan monastery. In his satirical poems The Rogues’ Guild (1512) and The Fools’ Oath (1512), he ridiculed, in the style of S. Brant, bribe-taking lawyers, marauding knights, and the enemies of Germany’s unification: princes and the self-interested and dissolute clergy. Murner sympathetically depicted the plight of the German peasants.

Murner’s style is distinguished by his fine command of the German vernacular, his vivid descriptions, and the great versatility and ease of his verse. During the Reformation, Murner remained faithful to Catholicism, satirizing M. Luther in his About the Great Lutheran Fool (1522).


Narrenbeschworung. Halle an der Saale, 1967.
Schelmenzunft. Halle an der Saale, 1968.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 1, Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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First published in La Revue du Corniste, the journal of the Association Francaise du Cor, this article has benefited from the generous help of Jacques Tchamkerten (Director of the Bibliotheque du Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve), Matthieu Arnaud, Jeroen Billiet, David Charlton, Richard Cole, Ulrich Hubner, John Humphries, Daniel Lienhard, Richard Martz, Claude Maury, Martin Murner, Arnold Myers, and the Centre d'iconographie genevoise.
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