Religion Past and Present

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(395 words)

[German Version]

is the name given to a collection, originally in Greek, of various longer texts in which existing, exotic, in part also mythical animals, stones, and plants (e.g. lion, unicorn, diamond) are interpreted in terms of ascetic conduct and salvific Christian truths by one who knows nature, the Physiologus. The literature spoke of this scholar’s symbolic, allegorical, or typological view of things, and of a method of symbolism that uses nature only to point to a hidden moral or spiritua…

Cite this page
Imorde, Joseph, “Physiologus”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 15 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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