Renæssanceforum 3 • 2007

Peter Fisher
Ludvig Holberg, Niels Klim's Journey to the Underworld. A Partial Translation

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The two chapters here presented form part of a translation I have begun of Ludvig Holberg's Latin novel Nicolai Klimii iter subterraneum. In this section Niels has landed in the underworld country of Potu inhabited by mobile, talking trees, and in unwittingly climbing into her branches, outrages one of their noblewomen, for which he is put on trial. Although Niels is committed to custody, the prince commands that he be taught their language and then brought to the court. By describing the customs, pastimes and judicial system of the Potuans Holberg is able to satirize European institutions of his own day.