Zwischen den Zeugnissen frühmittelalterlicher Tierdichtung und dem ausgebildeten Tierepos des 12. Jahrhunderts lässt sich weder stoffgeschichtlich, noch gattungsgeschichtlich eine fortschreitende Entwicklung aufweisen. ( Jauss70)
Between the evidence of early medieval beast poetry and the extended beast epic of the twelfth century, a progressive development cannot be demonstrated in the history of either the content or the genre.
The harvest of narrative beast poetry that survives after the ninth century but before the Ecbasis captivi in the mid-eleventh century is so meager -- only two poems -- that it does not deserve to be called a harvest. Furthermore, the two poems have little in common with each other. One was written in the south of Italy at the beginning of the tenth century, the other in Lombardy a century later. The one seems to have been substantially an animalization of people and circumstances in the poet's own life, whereas the events of the other -- although also connected with the poet's political situation -- appear to have been drawn from both beast fable and folktale. Yet the two poems share an experimentalism that marks them apart from the other compositions of their authors and that carries them beyond the earlier beast poems.
There is good reason to infer that staffing a poem with animals afforded Eugenius Vulgarius a means of recording political events and editorializing upon them without risking his neck. More than any of the earlier poets -- more even than Theodulf of Orleans -- Eugenius had ample cause to fear the consequences of openly expressing his opinions.
Much of Eugenius Vulgarius's life ( Wattenbach and Levison 4: 445-47) was wrapped up in papal politics of the early tenth century, in
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Publication information: Book title: Talking Animals:Medieval Latin Beast Poetry, 750-1150. Contributors: Jan M. Ziolkowski - Author. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 110.
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