Ibis /ibis, ibex/ 10X5.8 cm Ibis, which the bestiary mistakingly calls “ibex” taking it for a chamois, is one of the foulest birds. Isidor /XII.VII.33/ takes his information from Pliny /X.28.40; VIII.27.41/ and Aelian /X.29/ when he says that the bird feeds on cadavers and snakes’ eggs which he also brings to his younglings. The…Details
The Ibis Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. III, N 1, f 34 v
Coot /fulica/ medallion 6.2 cm in diameter The early Latin versions of “Physiologus” did not distinguish between a heron and a coot /version “Y” says: “Herodius id est fulica”/- Version “B”, which the bestiary adheres to ascribes the qualities of the heron to the coot, while the heron itself is given other features. In the…Details
The Coot Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.LatQ.V. Ill, N 1, f. 34
/ medallion 4 cm in diameter Following version “В” of Latin “Physiologus” the bestiary expands the symbolic interpretation of the partridge and adds to it some information from Isidor /XII.VII.63/ and St.Ambrose /VI.3.13/both of whom obviously proceeded from Pliny /X.33.51/. Telling us about the bird’s cunning and malice the bestiary refers to the indication made…Details
The Partridge Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I, N 131, f. 31 v.
Turtle-dove /turtur/ medallion 4.7 cm in diameter The chapter about the turtle-dove in Latin “Physio-logus” and in the bestiaries differs from that of the first Greek versions. It repeats the quotation from the Song of Solomon /Song 2:12/ about the voice of the turtle-dove foretelling the approach of spring but ascribes to her the qualities…Details
Dove /columbus/ 10.5×6 cm In the story of the dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit /John 1:32/, the bestiary follows the narration of “Physiologus” about the diversity of colours in the dove’s plumage comparing it with the diversity of means by which the Holy Spirit addresses himself to Man. The white doves seem to…Details
The Dove Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. III N 1а 2
Peridexion Tree /arbor peridexion/ 9.8X9.8 cm The Latin narattive of Peridexion tree, elaborating on the original Greek versions of “Physiologus”, is a continuation of the story about doves. It takes rise in the Evangelic proverb about a grown mustard seed /Matthew 13:31, 32; Mark 4:32/ or from the antique tale of the shadow of an…Details
The Peridexion Tree Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V.I, N,131, f. 12
Amos, the prophet /Amos propheta/ 10X7.9 cm The text begins with a quotation from the “Book of Amos” which says: “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees” /Amos 7:14/. This text is a modified chapter of the early “Physiologus” about a sycomore tree which…Details
Sea pigs /porci marini/ 8.8X5.9 cm The miniature illuminating the text from Isidor /XII.VII.12—17/ is one of the most vivid and interesting in the bestiary. The text provides information on sea pigs, digging up earth under water, on the sword-fish /gladius/ on the flying fish /serra/ and the sea-scorpion /scorpio/. This miniature is clearly different…Details
Serra — flying fish /serra/ 10.6×9.5 cm The tale of the flying saw-fish is one of the few tales about fishes in the original “Physiologus”. The sawfish is mentioned in the chapter about sea pigs and it has a special chapter based on the early versions of the Greek “Physiologus”. This confusion is caused by…Details
The Flying fish Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 49
Whale /aspidochelone, cetus, balena/ 10X13.7 cm The story of a huge sea monster, which sailors once mistook for an islet, was fairly popular in the ancient times and in the Middle Ages. The story originates from Arrian /Indica, XXXI/ and Strabon /Geography, XV, 2.13/. It appears also in many medieval writings about far-away lands and…Details
The Whale Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V.III, N 1, f. 47 v.
The Whale Miniature. Manuscript of the Bodleian Library. Oxford. ms.Ashmole 1511, f. 86 v.
Fishes and sea animals /pisces et animalia marina/ 9.9X13.5; 9.8X13.5 cm For the most part the vast text about fishes and sea animals is taken from Isidor /XII.VI.I—57/, who classed fishes into species by analogy with animals although the order of Isidor’s story is much more confused. Among fishes and sea animals mention is made…Details
Fishes and sea Animals Miniature. Bestiary of the Cambridge University Library. II, 4.26
The River of Paradise. Capital. Late XI century. Museum in Cluny.
Crocodile /cocodrillus/ 10.1 X 9 cm The impressive miniature featuring a fantastic monster, all bristled up as if it is about to rend its prey, illustrates the text describing the crocodile reappearing in the bestiary, this time in the section on reptiles. The text is taken from Isidor /XII.VI.19—20/ who drew on the knowledge provided…Details
The Crocodile Miniature. Bestiary of the Morgan Library in New York, № 81, f. 70
The Crocodile. Relief Church portal in Chadenac. XII century.
The Crocodile. Aquamanil. Lotharingia. XII centery.
Dragon /draco major/ 10.1X7.7 cm Dating back to Pliny /VIII.II.ll —13/ and Solinus /25.10—13/, the story of the dragon strangling the elephant had come all through the Middle Ages /Isidor, XII.IV.4—5; Pseudo Hugh, 11.24; Guillaume le Clerc, 2221—2238; Albert the Great, XXV.II.27; Brunetto Latini, I.V.142/. The text of the bestiary is close to the description…Details
The Dragon Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. III. N 1, f. 54 v.
The Dragon Capital. Church in Blel. XII centery.
Basilisk /basiliscus/. Scorpion /scorpio/ 10.1 X5.8 cm 10.4X2.5 cm The text is borrowed from Isidor /XII.IV.6—9/ who drew on the information provided by Pliny /VIII.21.33; XXIX, 19/ and Solinus /27.51/. Basilisk is the derivative from the Greek word “basileus” /king/, which implies that it is the king of snakes. It is able to kill by…Details
Basilisk. Scorpion Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. HI, N 1, f. 54
Basilisk. Scorpion Relief. Chartre Cathedral. XII century
Snakes /anguis/ 10×2.6 cm The introductory text about snakes was borrowed from Isidor /XII.IV.1.—3/. They are called “anguis”, a modification of “angulosus” /bent/, “coluber” because a snake looks for a shade /colat umbras/ or “serpens” because it sneaks or creeps /serpit/ to an object. Snakes vary in shape and colour. The miniature pictures two intertwined…Details
The Snake Relief. Steps in Hypogeum. Poitiers. XIII century
The Snake Relief. Alspach. XII century. Museum in Colmar
Viper-echidna /vipera/ 10X5.7 cm Although the story of the viper-echidna is traced back to the tales of the original “Physiologus”, the bestiary mainly follows the description by Isidor /XII.IV. 10—11/, deriving the name from the word “vis” /force, violence/, as the birth of a viper is accompanied by violence /generatio viperarum/ /Matthew, 3:7/. The Greek…Details
The Viper Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 49 v.
The Viper Capital. Church in Garchizy. XII century
Asp /aspis/ 10.1X7.2 cm The borrowings from the text by Isidore /XII.IV.12/ are joined together in the bestiary with the story of the asp from the “Physiologus”, a development of what had been written about the asp in the chapter about the weasel, which later in the Latin versions grew into a separate chapter. In…Details
The Asp. Miniature. Bestiary of the Bodleian Library. Oxford. N 764 f.96
The Asp. Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ш, N 1, f. 42
Тhe Asp. Relief. XII century. Museum in Nevers
Asp Emorroris /emorroris, haemorris/ width 9.8 cm, height in tha smaller part 5.1 cm, height in the long part 12.2 cm The text is traced back to Isidor /XII.IV.15/ who drew on the story by Solinus /27.32/ and enlarged upon it, adding to it the story of the asp that was present in the “Physiologus”…Details
Hydra /hydrus/ 10X6.1 cm The text repeats the description by Isidor /XII.IV. 22—23/ and is close to the text of ff.l6v. and 17. The miniature pictures a crocodile swallowing a hydra, but the crocodile on the miniature largely differs from the fantastic bristled-up animal drawn on ff.75 and 16 v. where it is shown lying…Details
The Hydra Relief. Church in Moissac. XII century
The Lizard Relief. Church in Saint-Denis. XII century Lizard /lacerta/ medallion 5.4 cm in diameter The text, which was borrowed from Isidor /XII. IV.34—35/, enumerates several kinds of lizards. Listed among them are salamandras, tritons and frogs. The early Latin versions of the “Physiologus” included the tale about the sunny lizard /saura/ in the chapter…Details
Salamandra /salamandra/ height 7.7 cm, width at the bottom 9.1 cm, width at the top 7.6 cm The enigmatic salamandra, which does not burn in fire, is the most poisonous of all creatures. Its poison penetrates into growing fruits and contaminates water. Upon eating a fruit from a tree poisoned by the salamandra a man…Details
The Salamandra Miniature. Bestiary of the Bodleian Library. Oxford. N 764, f. 55
The Salamandra Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 53 v.
The Scitalis Relief. Church portal in Chadenac. XII century
Scitalis /scitalis/ 10.1 X5.2 cm The text of the bestiary and that of Pseudo-Hugh /11.43/ is a borrowing from Isidor /XII.IV.19/ who qouted Lukan /Pharsalia, IX, 717/ and repeated Solinus /27.29/. The scitalis is distinguished for the beauty of its spotty skin. It never follows its prey but waits until the prey, charmed by its…Details
Amphisbaena /amphisbaena, amphivena/ medallion 5.7 cm in diameter The text is taken from Isidor /XII.IV.20/ who quoted Lucan /Pharsalia, IX.719/ and used the description by Pliny /VIII.23.35/. The amphisbaena has two heads: one where it belongs and the other in the tail-end. This enbles it to move in any direction without turning back. Its eyes…Details
The Amphisbaena Capital. Church Saint-Hilaire, Melle. XII century
Boa /boa/ 10.1 X2 cm The text about the boa was taken from Isidor /XII. IV.28/ drawing on the information provided by Pliny /VIII.14.I4/. The same text is adhered to by Pseudo-Hugh /111.45/ and Albert the Great /XXV. 11.14/. The boa habitates in Italy, it follows herds of cattle and feeds on cow milk.Details
Jaculus /jaculus/ 10X1.8 cm The text about the jaculus, the snake jumping down from a tree on animals passing by, was taken from Isidor /XII.IV.29/ who used the writings by Pliny /VIII.23.35/ and Aelian /VI.18/ and quoted Lucan /Pharsalia, 18.720/. It is repeated by Pseudo-Hugh /111.46/ and Albert the Great /XXV.II.32/.Details
Snake siren /sirena serpens/ 10×3 cm The text about the syren, the winged Arabian snake moving faster than a horse, was borrowed from Isidore /XII.IV.29/. Its venom is so strong that a man dies before he feels pain. The same story is repeated by Pseudo-Hugh /III.47/ and Albert the Great /XXV.II.51/. The painter of all…Details
The Jaculus Relief. Column of cloister in Elne. XII century
Seps and Dipsa /seps et dipsa/ 10X3.2 cm The text, which includes quotations from Lucan, repeats the story by Isidor /XII.IV.31 —32/ and Albert the Great /XXV.II.21.52/. The venom of the seps penetrates right into the bones of a man bit by the snake, and the venom of the dipsa works so instantly that the…Details
Hypnale /hypnalis/ 10.3X3.7 cm The text is taken from Isidor /XII.IV.13—14/. This snake is in the same species with the dipsa. A person bit by the hypnale falls asleep and then dies. This was how Cleopatra died. The hypnal is mentioned by Pseudo-Hugh /11.30/, Albert the Great /XXV.II.33/ and Philippe de Thatin in the section…Details