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Reynard the Fox

The hero in the beast-epic of the fourteenth century. This prose poem is a satire on the state of Germany in the Middle Ages. Reynard typifies the church; his uncle, Isengrin the wolf, typifies the baronial element; and Nodel the lion, the regal. The word means deep counsel or wit. (Gothic, raginohart, cunning in counsel; Old Norse, hreinn and ard; German, reincke.) Reynard is commonly used as a synonym of fox.

(Heinrich von Alkmaar.)

“Where prowling Reynard trod his nightly round.”

Bloomfield: Farmer's Boy.

Reynard the Fox.
Professedly by Hinreck van Alckmer, tutor of the Duke of Lorraine. This name is generally supposed to be a pseudonym of Hermann Barkhusen, town clerk and book printer in Rostock. (1498.)

False Reynard.
So Dryden describes the Unitarians in his Hind and Panther. (See Renard.)

With greater guile
False Reynard fed on consecrated spoil;
The graceless beast by Athanasius first
Was chased from Nice, then by Socinus nursed.

Part i. 51-54.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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