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Bestiary
(139 words)

[German Version]

(from the Lat. bestiarius, “concerning the beasts”). A bestiary is an Old-French moralizing natural history, which merged the 4th-century Greek Physiologus with local myths, legends, and symbols of animals. Rivaling the Bible in popularity, bestiaries described the training, breeding, and medical care of animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish). Typically, a bestiary recounted the history, legends, natural characteristics, and symbolism of 100 animals, while the Greek and Latin editions of the Physiologus described only 49 (or 50) animals. Bestia…

Cite this page
Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane, “Bestiary”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_01878>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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