The Grand Medieval Bestiary

I love books. I also love history. Combine the two subjects and you have my next favorite thing after Paganism. Of course, my job in the real world is to buy books and sometimes I get to buy some really cool things.

Today we received The Grand Medieval Bestiary.

Bestiaries are really fascinating. They were Medieval compendiums of animals that cataloged each animal’s characteristics and the moral lessons and symbolism associated with each beast. In the Medieval, Christian world, the Word of God created everything and therefore, everything in it was a reflection of the Word of God. A lot of Pagan lore and mythology slipped into this and a great deal of the stories we have today were kept in these bestiaries. In what was a time of great darkness, these books shine through the years as the works of art and lore that they are. I find these to be particularly compelling books, that ultimately show the power of words and through them, magic.

Here are some pictures from this particular modern Bestiary.

This one amuses me greatly. I really want to start singing “Bad Horse”.

IMG_1416

IMG_1419

Actaeon’s transformation after he has come across Artemis bathing.

IMG_1421

IMG_1422

IMG_1427

IMG_1429

IMG_1431

IMG_1433

IMG_1434

IMG_1438

IMG_1439

IMG_1440

IMG_1441

The Common House Cat…also possibly some foot fetishists…

IMG_1442

IMG_1444

IMG_1445

IMG_1446

IMG_1447

IMG_1448

IMG_1449

IMG_1450

IMG_1451

IMG_1455

I would hate to have this monkey as a teacher.

IMG_1456

IMG_1457

IMG_1458

IMG_1461

IMG_1463

IMG_1464

IMG_1466

IMG_1469

IMG_1471

IMG_1473

IMG_1475

IMG_1477

IMG_1479

These were just a few of my favorites. If you want to know more about Bestiaries, check out:

The Medieval Beastiary, Animals in the Middle Ages

The Medieval Beastiary

“Medieval Bestiaries and the Birth of Zoology” 
by Aura Beckhöfer-Fialho

Books of Beasts in the British Library: the Medieval Bestiary and its context

Medieval Bestiary

If you want to read more about Medieval books, look at:

The Last of the Great Chained Libraries

The Evolution of the Medieval Book

The Art of the Book in the Middle Ages

The Medieval Library

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s