Abstract: Eberhard the German's Laborintus, the first of the artes poetriae to be printed, has received comparatively little scholarly attention. Both Kelly and Murphy have noticed that the work conveys a pedagogical emphasis. This essay, however, demonstrates that Laborintus is not merely a manual for teachers of verse. Rather, the work is a delightful maze of verse, grammar, and rhetoric, a labyrinth of learning containing an allegorical account of grammar, poesy, and rhetoric. On one level, the rhetorical figures are used as inventional schemes for the composition of verse in proper meter. However, the examples used in Eberhard's account of the rhetorical figures also contain Christian homilies on faith and action that are exemplary primers for teachers. The homilies in tum underscore Eberhard's pedagogical theory, which is ultimately the key to his labyrinth.
- Copyright 1993, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric