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Title:History and fortune in Heinrich Steinhoewel's ''Appolonius''
Author(s):Wade, Elizabeth Ilona
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kalinke, Marianne E.
Department / Program:Germanic Languages and Literatures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Medieval
Literature, Germanic
Abstract:In the literature of the Middle Ages, exempla often drew upon historical material. One popular narrative set in Hellenistic times and taken up repeatedly by medieval writers was the Latin tale of Apollonius of Tyre. Adaptations and translations of this material emphasized its didactic aspects. At the end of the fifteenth century Heinrich Steinhowel (1411/12-1479) produced a German adaptation of the Apollonius tale based on two Latin sources. This study intends to demonstrate Steinhowel's didactic intention in Appolonius first by setting it apart through comparison from its sources, the Gesta Romanorum, a collection of moralizing exempla, and Gotfrid of Viterbo's chronicle Pantheon and then by analyzing the role of Fortune in the narrative.
Steinhowel's yeats of study in Italy brought him into contact not only with the writings of the Italian Humanists, most notably Petrarch, but also with the Latin tradition represented by authors such as Boethius. Steinhowel's indebtedness to these influences may be seen in his emphasis in Appolonius (Published in 1471) on the idea of exemplary history and on Fortune's role in the course of history.
The changes and additions present in Steinhowel's Appolonius emphasize didactic features of the tale: its alleged historical merits, the contrasts between virtue and vice, body and spirit, and the effect of Fortune upon the characters in the story. Fortune's ravages call forth resignation in some characters; in others they evoke hope and faith in Providence and its power over Fortune. The responses to Fortune presented in the narrative were also current in the literature of the time, as the wide transmission of Boethius's De Consolatione Philosophiae and Petrarch's De Remediis utriusque Fortunae attests.
An understanding of Appolonius as a didactic instrument which illustrated history's exemplary function and called attention to the idea of Fortune is borne out by its association with thematically related narratives in manuscripts and by its appearance in imprints. The incunabula betray an interest in the tale's historical features, while sixteenth-century imprints indicate a fascination with Fortune's role.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Wade, Elizabeth Ilona
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543759
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543759

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