The Meaning and Use of fabula in the Dialogus creaturarum moralizatus
The first book printed in Sweden in 1483 was the North-Italian compilation Dialogus creaturarum moralizatus, usually dated to the middle of the fourteenth century and attributed to Nicolaus of Bergamo in some manuscripts and to Mayno di Mayneri of Milano in others. In his preface the author uses the practise of Jesus to justify his intentions, since "Jesus once used fabulis Palestinorum more to lead human beings to the road of truth through parables.” Claiming that his book might prove useful to preachers against spiritual fatigue, the author will "introduce moral teaching in an entertaining way to exterminate vices and promote virtues,” a view that reflects Phaedrus' motto risum movere et vitam docere in the prologue to his first Book of fables as well as e.g. Gregory the Great’s use of exempla, "The examples of the faithful sometimes convert the minds of the listeners better than the words of the teachers."
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