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Reynard the Fox
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Week 12. Reinardus et Ysengrimus
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Aesopic fable genre in the Middle Ages is the emergence of the beast epic, the legendary adventures of the wily fox Reynard and his slow-witted foe Ysengrimus, the wolf. There are versions of the adventures of Reynard and Ysengrimus in many European vernacular languages; this week we will look at some tales of Ysengrimus that are told by Odo of Cheriton (whom we met last week) as well as some other medieval Latin sources. In these "beast epic" stories a strain of satire emerges, mocking the Court of the Lion King and also making fun of the Church and its pretensions.