beast epic


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beast epic:

see bestiarybestiary
, a type of medieval book that was widely popular, particularly from the 12th to 14th cent. The bestiary presumed to describe the animals of the world and to show what human traits they severally exemplify.
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In the meantime, it is still possible to evaluate the extant material on its own terms, because Reynard the Fox evolved as the archetype of the beast epic.
Donalson (foreign languages and history, Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, Mobile) reflects on the wolf in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and compiles with observations and commentary on the wolf in patristic, classical, and medieval literature from fables to beast epics.
Admittedly, key Latin texts with an obvious 'German' connection (Waltharius and Ruodlieb) are also discussed by Knight Bostock, but Linda Archibald's contribution on Latin prose and Stephen Penn's on Latin verse provide a far-ranging survey of the various kinds of literary material surviving from the Carolingian and Ottonian courts--be it narratologically complex beast epics, songs on Pythagorean subject-matter, liturgical tropes, or erotic macaronic verse.
In beast epics written after Ysengrimus, Reynard the Fox supplants the wolf as the chief character.