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Encyclopedia > Bestiary

A bestiary is a medieval book that has short descriptions of various real or imaginary animals, birds and even rocks. All of these are often accompanied by a moralising explanation and a picture (which helped educate the illiterate). This reflected the belief that the world itself was literally the Word of God, and that every living thing had its own special meaning. For example, the pelican, which was believed to tear open its breast to bring its young to life with its own blood, was a living representation of Jesus. This kind of symbolism was well known and widespread. Any animals depicted in religious art of the time were not just animals, they were symbols. This kind of bestiary symbolism was also found in church sculpture, where the familiar images would remind the viewer of the story and its allegorical meaning. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... The term The Word of God is a common English translation of the Greek New Testament term ho Logos tou Theou. (see Logos for more information). ... Species Pelecanus occidentalis Pelecanus thagus Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Pelecanus onocrotalus Pelecanus crispus Pelecanus rufescens Pelecanus philippensis Pelecanus conspicillatus A pelican is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. ... // Jesus, or Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ, is Christianitys central figure, both as Messiah and, for most Christians, as God incarnate. ... Ancient Greeks depiction of ideal form of the body is expressed through sculptures such as this one. ... An allegory (from Greek αλλος, allos, other, and αγορευειν, agoreuein, to speak in public) is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than and in addition to the literal. ...


Bestiaries were particularly popular in England and France around the 12th century and were mainly compilations of earlier texts, especially the Physiologus and the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville. Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... (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. ... The Physiologus was a predecessor of bestiaries (books of beasts). ... First printed edition of 1472 (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg), title page of chapter 14 (de terra et partibus), illustrated with a T and O map. ... It has been suggested that Isidro be merged into this article or section. ...


The most well-known bestiary of that time is the Aberdeen Bestiary. There are many others and over 50 manuscripts survive today. Categories: Art stubs | Literature stubs | Illuminated manuscripts ...


Jorge Luis Borges wrote a modern day bestiary of sorts, the Book of Imaginary Beings, which collects imaginary beasts from bestiaries and fiction. Jorge Luis Borges (bôr′hĕs) (/ˈxoɾ.xe luˈis ˈboɾ.xes/ in IPA) (August 24, 1899 – June 14, 1986) was an Argentine writer who is considered to be one of the foremost writers of the 20th century. ... Jorge Luis Borges wrote and edited the Book of Imaginary Beings in 1969, expanding his original 1957 Spanish edition El Libro de los Seres Imaginarios. ...


See also

Noah and the baptismal flood of the Old Testament (top panel) is typographically linked (prefigured) by the baptism of Jesus in the New Testament (bottom panel). ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bestiaries (1256 words)
The bestiary was a book of animals, but it was not a natural history description, although somewhere way back in the ancient past and from exotic lands, some such scientific observation was buried in its kernel.
The imagery of the bestiary was translated into the visual culture of the church, with bestiary creatures adorning the paintings, carvings and stained glass in the churches.
Bestiaries were copied from each other with bits added and bits left out until the whole thing was an organic entity.
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