Brill’s New Pauly

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(3,118 words)

[German version]

I. Term and genre

In antiquity the folk-tale as a well-defined literary genre with unequivocally established terminology was not known. However, since oral narratives, partly put down in writing, that according to the modern meaning of the term can undoubtedly be designated as folk-tales, existed in all ages and all cultures, the issue of the folk-tale becomes a meaningful and inevitable subject also with regard to antiquity. The German word ‘Märchen’ is derived from OHG māri, MHG diu…

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Käppel, Lutz (Kiel), Röllig, Wolfgang (Tübingen), Haas, Volkert (Berlin) and Schönbeck, Hans-Peter (Halle/Saale), “Folk-tales”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 18 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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