The Rings Parable in Latin Europe

  • Iris ShagrirEmail author


This chapter focuses on Étienne de Bourbon’s exemplum, a fable that influenced later versions of the Parable of the Three Rings. The chapter discusses the origins of the exemplum and contextualizes it within literary and rhetorical developments of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the discourse of religious skepticism in the thirteenth century, and the interreligious encounters of Catholics with the foreign religions and people, most notably the Mongols. The encounter with the Mongols, attested in contemporary literature, such as Simon of Saint Quentin’s Historia Tartarorum, Roger Bacon’s Opus Maius, Matthew Paris’ Chronica Maiora, and the works of Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, left an impact on the changing notion of openness toward foreign religions, and on the allegory of the rings.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Philosophy, and Judaic StudiesThe Open University of IsraelRaananaIsrael

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