Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) Issue 2016 N 2

Abstract: The article aims to analyze and systematize the movement and development of concepts integrated into the problematic situation Mirabilia: Miracles and Monsters. Studies in the semantic field of “miracles” (mirabilia or miracula) and the “miraculous” whose context generates the “monsters” (monstra) and the “monstrous” presuppose several levels of analysis, among them being that of lexical analysis and conceptual precisions. The analysis focuses on Greek and Latin concepts in various genre forms from Homer to the end of the Middle Ages.

Irrespective of whether the etymologies are correct or speculative, monsters remained charged with moral functions and are transformed into an ethical text. Thus the monster (monstra) functions as a sign, but also as an instruction and warning. Hence it appears most often as a designation of the border space between the two worlds: the World of the Present and the World Beyond.

Keywords: Mirabilia, Miracula, Monsters (Monstra), Paradoxography, Speculum-Literature, Other and Otherness