ibex
Chamois /ibex/ medallion 5.7 cm in diameter
The chapter on the ibex or a stone ram is not included in the original “Physiologus”. It takes rise from Isidor /XII.1.16/ who derived his information from Pliny /VIII.53.79/, and from the symbolic interpretations of Gregory the Great to be found in his “Moralia in Job” /XXX. 10.36, PL, v.LXXVI, col.543/ and from the story by Hrabanus Maurus /De Universo, PL, v.CXI, col.204/ and it appears in writings by Pseudo-Hugh /11.15/ and Albert the Great /XXII.1.54/. The horns of an ibex are so strong that they can save it if the ibex falls from a high mountain. The horns have come to symbolize the two cycles of the Holy Writ — The Old and the New Testaments protecting Man from moral degradation. The ibex is treated as a symbol of spiritual strength and moral firmness. The ibex is traditionally depicted with its horns bent against the ground. In the manuscripts of the thirteenth century this picture includes new details.