Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,175 words)

1. Concept

An exemplum is an exemplary narrative, of variable content and length, intended to clarify a general (descriptive or normative) statement by recounting a specific individual instance. It was used as a short literary form in scholarly, religious, edificatory, theological, homiletic, technological, and scientific writing.

The exemplum does not constitute a genre in its own right, but can only be defined in relat…

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Heß, Gilbert, “Exemplum”, 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 28 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019021>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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