Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Animal metamorphosis
(1,108 words)

1. Definition

Animal metamorphosis was not only widespread in fairy tales and myths, but also had a role to play in popular European belief and Christian theology until some way into the early modern period. From the Renaissance on, the idea of a physical transformation of men or women into animals, effected by magic, divine power, or divine imposition, was reinforced by the reception of ancient texts, such as the respective Metamorphoses of Ovid and Apuleius. Although these may…

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Behringer, Wolfgang, “Animal metamorphosis”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 25 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_028917>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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