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Encyclopedia > Seven Wise Masters

The Seven Wise Masters (also called The Seven Sages or The Seven Sages of Rome) is a cycle of stories of Eastern origin.



A Rothan emperor causes his son to be educated away from the court in the seven liberal arts by seven wise masters. On his return to court his stepmother the empress seeks to seduce him. To avert some danger presaged by the stars he is bound over to a week's silence. During this time the empress accuses him to her husband, and seeks to bring about his death by seven stories which she relates to the emperor; but her narrative is each time confuted by tales of the craft of women related by the sages. Finally the prince's lips are unsealed, the truth exposed, and the wicked empress is executed.

The frame narrative served as the flexible way to transmit tales to other listeners. The work was very popular in medieval Europe because of its ease in facilitating the transmission of mysogynistic tales. Such stories were growing in popularity when The Seven Wise Masters first arrived in Europe. A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc. ... World map showing Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is one of the seven continents of the Earth. ... Misogyny is an exaggerated aversion towards women. ...


The cycle of stories, which appears in many European languages, is of Eastern origin. An analogous collection occurs in Sanskrit, attributed to the Indian philosopher Syntipas in the first century BC, though the Indian original is unknown. Other suggestions are Persian (in which language the earliest surviving texts are in) and Hebrew (a culture with similar tales, such as Joseph) origins. The Sanskrit language ( , ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 22 official languages of India. ... The term Indian philosophy may refer to any of several traditions of philosophical thought, including: Hindu philosophy Buddhist philosophy Jain philosophy Sikh philosophy Carvaka atheist philosophy Lokayata materialist philosophy Tantric religious philosophy Bhakti religious philosophy Sufi religious philosophy Ahmadi religious philosophy Political and military philosophy such as that of Chanakya... Syntipas (the Greek form of Sindibad or Sendabar) was an Indian philosopher supposed to have lived about 100 B.C., and the reputed author of a collection of tales known generally in Europe as The Story of the Seven Wise Masters. ... Persian, (local name: Fārsī or Pārsī), is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... Hebrew redirects here. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Travelling from the east by way of Arabic, Persian, Syriac and Greek, it was known as the book of Sindibd, and was translated from Greek into Latin in the 12th century by Jean de Hauteseille (Joannes de Alta Silva), a monk of the abbey of Haute-Seille near Toul, with the title of Dolopathos (ed. Hermann Österley, Strassburg, 1873). This was translated into French about 1210 by a trouvère named Herbers as Li romans de Dolopathos; another French version, Li Romans des sept sages, was based on a different Latin original. The German, English, French and Spanish chapbooks of the cycle are generally based on a Latin original differing from these. Three metrical romances probably based on the French, and dating from the 14th century, exist in English. The most important of these is The Sevyn Sages by John Rolland of Dalkeith edited for the Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, 1837). The Arabic language ( ), or simply Arabic ( ), is the largest member of the family of Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic. ... Persian, (local name: FārsÄ« or PārsÄ«), is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... Syriac ( Suryāyā) is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... Events End of the reign of Emperor Tsuchimikado, emperor of Japan Emperor Juntoku ascends to the throne of Japan Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor excommunicated by Pope Innocent III for invading southern Italy in 1210 Gottfried von Strassburg writes his epic poem Tristan about 1210 Beginning of Delhi Sultanate Births... Trouvère is the Northern French (langue doïl) version of troubador (langue doc), and refers to poet-composers who were roughly contemporary with and influenced by the troubadors but who composed their works in the northern dialects of France. ... A modern day chapbook. ... John Rolland (fl. ...

Later history

The collection later supplied tales that circulated in both oral and written traditions. Giovanni Boccaccio used many of them for his famous work, the Decameron. Giovanni Boccaccio Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poetry in the vernacular. ... The Decameron is a collection of novellas that was finished by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1353. ...

The Latin romance was frequently printed in the 15th century, and Wynkyn de Worde printed an English version about 1515. See: Wynkyn de Worde, born in Alsace, was the successor to William Caxton in his English printing business, taking over and running Caxtons press after his death. ...

  • Gaston Paris, Deux Rédactions du roman des sept sages de Rome (Paris, 1876, Soc. des. anc. textes fr.)
  • Georg Büchner, Historia septem sapientium (Erlangen, 1889)
  • Killis Campbell, A Study of the Romance of the Seven Sages with special reference to the middle English versions (Baltimore, 1898)
  • Domenico Comparetti, Researches respecting the Book of Sindibdd (Folk-Lore Soc., 1882).

Bruno Paulin Gaston Paris (August 9, 1839 - March 6, 1903), was a French scholar, the son of Alexis Paulin Paris. ... Domenico Comparetti (June 27, 1835 - January 20, 1927), Italian scholar, was born at Rome. ...


Irwi n, Bo n n ie D. "The Se v en Sag es," in M edie val Fol ko re: A Gu i de t o My ths, Le e nds, B el ie fs, and Cu stoms , e ds. Carl Linda hl, Jo hn McN a mar a, & John Lin do w . Oxf or d Un ive rs it y Pr es s: 200 2.

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

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