A Medieval Bestiary

A bestiary is a book of real and imaginary beasts, though its subjects can extend to plants and even rocks. It combines description of the physical nature and habits of animals with elaboration on the moral or spiritual significance of these characteristics.This amazing book was produced in the first decade of the 13th century, and is one of the earliest bestiaries to feature vivid paintings of animals. They are set on gold grounds and in colourful frames, supplanting the line-drawn renderings that populated earlier bestiaries. These lavish illuminations would have made this a costly book to produce, and so it is likely that it was produced for an aristocratic, or even royal, owner who could read Latin or had a chaplain who could do so.

The sequential arrangement of animals in bestiaries lends itself well to illustration, and bestiary manuscripts often include images reinforcing or adding to the textual portrayals of the animals. The text and images of the bestiary work together and individually to communicate morally edifying material, such as might be included in medieval sermons, in an appealing and accessible manner.

This is an enhanced eBookTreasures facsimile edition of selected pages from the original manuscript and contains text and audio interpretation on every page.

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A Medieval BestiaryA Medieval Bestiary

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