agnus
Lamb /agnus/ 10.2X4.8 cm
The text of the bestiary and of Pseudo-Hugh /III. 15/ follow Isidor who derives the name “agnus” not from the Greek “ayvo’g” /pure/ but uses it as “pius”, which is “pious”. It is also believed that the name originates from “agnoscat” since the animal can recognize his mother among other animals. The text emphasises the placidity of the lamb and his affection for his mother.
The lamb is one of the most essential images of Christian symbolism associated with sacrifice and the sacrificial death of Christ. The Evangelic association of Christ with “the Lamb of God” /John 1:29. 36/ and the apocalyptical vision of “a Lamb who was slain” /Revelation, 5:6—13/ is the source of the symbolic interpretation of the agnus which is always present in medieval art.