Close to fifty different volumes of memorial writing --including elegies, epicedia
, epitaphs, emblems, impresa, devices, meditations, sermons--were occasioned by Henry's death, many of those volumes being, in fact, anthologies representing the poetical offerings of dozens of men in all the learned languages, both ancient and modern.
Scholars of the epicedia
and epitaphia written in Latin and Classical Greek by German humanists and academics--here may be mentioned the thirteen Latin funeral poems of Eobanus Hessus written between 1508 and 1531 (admirably discussed in Ingeborg Grasser's Die Epicedien-Dichtung des Helius Eobanus Hessus, 1994) and Johannes Posselius the Elder's Epitaphia clarorum et piorum aliquot hominum of 1565--will find in Linton's book valuable insights into and points of comparison with the vernacular Lutheran tradition of lamentation.
The table of contents shows a typological order in the contributions (Elegien, Monobiblos, Epicedia
, Satire, Lateinische und Volkssprachliche Dichtung, Spatere Lyrik, Lehrepos, Tragodie), but there are also thematic lines to be discerned.
In these epicedia
, I am at one with Gary Snyder, who in his Turtle Island wrote: "I am a poet who has preferred not to distinguish in poetry between nature and humanity." In this book, human history and natural history are not separate disciplines: humans and animals share a common and interactive history.