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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lappenberg, taking his cue from the fact that the book was printed in Strasbourg, proposed Thomas Murner as its author, but later scholarship looked elsewhere.
range from Thomas Murner, who in the first years of the Reformation used the image of the civitas platonica to describe Luther's understanding of the Church, to Robert Bellarmine, who represents the outcome of a trend among the controversialists toward an ever narrower conception of the Church and the reduction of the Church as the Body of Christ to the institution of the Roman Catholic Church.
Josef Seuffert's brief but detailed discussion of Thomas Murner's Narrenbeschworung ("Exorcism of Fools," 1512) places Murner firmly in the company of More and Erasmus as a Catholic Humanist who advocated reform but denounced schism as folly.
An anonymous dialogue, "The Powers of the Romanists," catalogues the abuses of the Roman curia, while Thomas Murner's "The Great Lutheran Fool," an epic poem of five thousand lines (here mercifully shortened and rendered in prose), heaps attacks on the "innovations" of the Reformers.