Animal metamorphosis
(1,121 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 th…

Cite this page
Behringer, Wolfgang, “Animal metamorphosis”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 13 December 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_028917>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321



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