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Susarion

SUSARION, Greek comic poet, a native of Tripodiscus in Megaris. About 580 B.C. he transplanted the Megarian comedy (if the rude extempore jests and buffoonery deserve the name) into the Attic deme of Icaria, the cradle also of Greek tragedy and the oldest seat of the worship of Dionysus. According to the Parian Chronicle, there appears to have been a competition on this occasion, in which the prize was a basket of figs and an amphora of wine. Susarion's improvements in his native farces did not include a separate actor or a regular plot, but probably consisted in substituting metrical compositions for the old extempore effusions of the chorus. These were intended for recitation, and not committed to writing. But such performances did not suit the taste of the Athenians, and nothing more is heard of them until eighty years after the time of Susarion. U. von. Wilamowitz-Mollendorff (in Hermes, ix.) considers the so-called Megarian comedy to have been an invention of the Athenians themselves, intended as a satire on Megarian coarseness and vulgarity. The lines attributed to Susarion (in Meineke, Poetarum comicorum graecorum fragmenta) are probably not genuine. < SUSO [SEUSE], HEINRICH (1300-1366), German mystic, was born of good family at Uberlingen on Lake Constance on the 21st of March, in all probability in the year 1300; he assumed the name of his mother, his father being a Herr von Berg. He was educated for the Church, first at Constance, then at Cologne, where he came under the influence of the greatest of the German mystics, Meister Eckart. He subsequently entered a monastery in Constance, where he subjected himself to the severest ordeals of asceticism. In 1335 he wandered through Swabia as a preacher, and won all hearts by his gentle, persuasive eloquence; the effusive lyricism of his language made him an especial favourite among the nuns. About 1348 he seems to have settled in Ulm, where he died on the 25th of January 1366. Suso's first work, Das Buchlein der Wahrheit, was written in Cologne about 1329; setting out from Eckart's doctrines, he presents the mystic faith from its speculative or theoretical side; whereas in Das Biichlein der evngen Weisheit, written some years later in Constance, he discusses the practical aspects of mysticism. The latter work, which Suso also translated into Latin under the title of Horologium sapientiae, has been called the finest fruit of German mysticism. Suso is the poet of the early mystic movement, " the Minnesinger of Gotiesminne." But his faith is purely medieval in tone, inspired by the romanticism of the age of chivalry; the individualism, the philosophic insight and the anti-Catholic tendencies which made the mystic movement in its later manifestations so important a forerunner of the Reformation are absent.

Suso's works were collected as early as 1482 and again in 1512; recent editions: Heinrich Suso's Leben und Schriften, ed. by M. Diepenbrock (1829; 4th ed., 1884); Suso's Deutsche Schriften, by F. H. S. Denifle (1878-1880, not completed), and Deutsche Schriften, by K. Bihlmeyer (2 vols., 1907). See also W. Preger, Die Briefe Heinrich Susos (1867); W. Preger, Geschichle der deutschen Mystik (1882), vol. ii. ; J. Jager, Heinrich Seuse aus Schwaben (1894).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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