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An Entertaining Tale Of Quadrupeds (Records of Western Civilization Series) [Paperback]

Nick Nicholas

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Book Description

15 Aug 2003 Records of Western Civilization Series

An Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds is the first English verse translation of the Greek satirical poem Diegesis Paidiophrastos ton Zoon ton Tetrapodon. Written by an anonymous author in fourteenth-century Byzantium, this vernacular allegorical poem has long been recognized as a unique document, one that appears to have originated independently of comparable works in other traditions. A medieval Animal Farm, the story describes a convention of animals in which each beast vaunts its uses to humanity while denigrating others, resulting in a cataclysmic battle. The authors provide extensive textual analysis and notes on the form, style, and context of the poem.


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Nicholas and Baloglou have here produced a thorough study of a 14th-century 'popular' Byzantine poem concerning an assembly of herbivores and carnivores at the behest of King Lion... Reproductions of the drawings from the one illustrated manuscript of the tale are provided, along with textual notes, six appendixes, an extensive bibliography, and an index of Greek words... Clearly a labor of love. Choice The interest of this work is the insights it provides into various aspects of the life of the time...The introduction and commentary to the translation are both substantial and extensively researched, and would be a great resource for someone wishing to follow up any of these areas... a good read for those interested in the popular culture and daily life of the Eastern Roman Empire. Medieval History Both authors have a vision and an unequivocal perspective, which they have followed from the first page to the last: bringing a modern interested reader close to a mediaeval poem. They do this with a breath of fresh air, which blows away the traditional philologists' dust. -- Hans Eideneier Byzantinische Zeitschrift v. 97 (2004) An Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds definitely belongs in university libraries and could be used as a textbook in courses on Byzantine Greek literature and late medieval writing in general--in spite of a certain repetitiousness. Fifteenth Century Studies

About the Author

Nick Nicholas is a research fellow in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a contributor to the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae project at the University of California, Irvine.George Baloglou is an associate professor of mathematics at the State University of New York, Oswego.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A labor of love with an exotic aroma 30 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Obscure Medieval Greek poetry is not my cup of tea but I
somehow was hooked while reading this allegoric fable.
The extensive commentary of the two co-editors adds hugely
to the attraction of the book -since it is a labor of
love, it never becomes pedantic or boring and it offers
many an unexpected and fascinating forays into Greek life
and language, past and modern. A gem!
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