The Маgpie. Miniature. Bestiary °f the Bodleian Library. Oxford. ms.Ashmole 1511, f. 48 v
Nightingale /luscinia, lucinia, lucina/ medallion 5.5 cm in diameter The ancient writers /Pliny, X.29.43/ and the medieval ones /St.Ambrose, V.12.39; Isidor, XII.VII.37; Psuedo-Hugh III.33/ as well as New European men of letters, especially poets, are unanimous in praising the wonderful singing of the nightingale. The text, originating from St.Ambrose and Isidor, relates the story of…Details
Bats /vespertilio/ 10X6.3 cm Following Isidor /XII.VII.36/ in the bestiary “vespertilio” is derived from “vesper” /evening/. The writer seems a little surprised by the strange creature when he repeats the story by Isidor saying that these “mean creatures” have wings and four legs, and they do not lay eggs but bring forth the living young.…Details
Bats Relief of pews. Poitiers. XIII century
Raven /corvus, corax/ medaUion 5.4 cm in diameter Repeating Isidore /XII.VII.43/ the bestiary indicates that the name „corvus” comes from the croaking sound of the raven’s voice. It is said to be a bird which refuses to feed his children until black feathers grow on them and he recognizes in them his younglings. The belief…Details
The Raven Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 14 v.
Swallow /hirundo/ medallion 3.2 cm in diameter The tale of a swallow comes to us from Isidor /XII. VII.70/ and not from original “Physiologus”. Isidor explains the meaning of “hirundo” by the fact that the bird takes food while on the wing, that is in the air /haerendo, aerendo/. The swallow flies in circles and…Details
The Swallow Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ш, N I, f. 23
The Swallow Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I, N 131. f. 26
Quail /coturnix/ medallion 3.5 cm in diameter The text is borrowed from Isidor /XII.VI.64—66/ who says that the Greek called the bird “ortygia” because quails were first seen on the island of Ortygia /Delos/ and describes the quails’ flying across the sea. While the flock is flying, the birds guard their leader against a falcon.…Details
The Quail Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I, N 131, f. 32.
The Quail Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 29 v.
Peacock /pavo/ 10X5.7 cm The tale of the peacock given in the bestiary is remote from the late Greek versions of “Physiologus”. Many antique descriptions of the peacock /Varron, V.75; Aelian 111.42/ and early Christian ones “Patro-logia Graeca” v. XLIII, p. 527/ are not used in it either. The image of the peacock associated with…Details
The Peacock Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 31
Cock /gallus/ medallion 5 cm in diameter The text follows the story by Isidor /XII.VII.50/ and includes interpolations from St.Ambrose’s “Hexa-meron” /V.24.88/. The cock is named “gallus” after the emasculated priets of Cybele. The crowing of a cock wakes the sleeping, forewarns the anxious, consoles travellers. On hearing the cock the robber leaves his wiles,…Details
Duck and Goose /anas et anser/ medallion 4 cm in diameter The text is taken from Isidore /XII.VII.51—52/ who explains the name “anas” by the bird’s capacity for constant swimming /ab assiduitate natandi/, “anser” — by its likeness to the duck. The story of the goose announcing the night hours by cackling and his ability…Details
The Cock Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. III. N 1, f. 16 v.
Bees /apes/ 9.5X4.5 cm The story of the bees is one of the fullest in the bestiary. Accounts from Pliny /XI.5.4—20.23/, St.Ambrose /V.58.21—70/, Isidor /XII.VIII.I/ the medieval compilers, Pseudo-Hugh among them /III.38/, describe their way of life, their art of making honey, the construction of their hives, the laws and customs of the bees’ kingdom.…Details
The Bees. Miniature. Miniature of the Bodlein Library. Oxford. ms Ashmole 1511 f.75 v.
Caladrius /caladrius/ 10.5X6 см Caladrius — charadrius in Deuteronomy translated by St.Jerome /14:18/ — is one of the most mysterious birds of the medieval bestiary; it is a completely white bird. Its dung cures the blind. The caladrius can tell whether the patient is going to live or die: when the sickness is mortal, the…Details
The Caladrius Miniature. Bestiary of the Bodleian Library. Oxford. N 764. f 63 v.
The Caladrius Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.LatQ.V. I, N 131, f. 30 v.
Pelican /pelicanus, onocrotalus/ 10.2X5.8 cm The Latin versions of the text about the pelican take rise in the Greek version. The bestiary, like version “B” of Latin “Physiologus”, opens the tale of the pelican with the quotation of the woebegone psalmist compared to a pelican in the desert /Psalms 101:7/. When the pelican younglings have…Details
The Pelican Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. III, N 1, f. 13
The Pelican Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I N 131, f. 15
Eagle-Owl /noctua, nycticorax/ medallion 5 cm in diameter In the bestiary, like in the old Latin versions of “Phy-siologus”, the story of the eagle-owl follows the story of the pelican since the former is mentioned in the psalm of the same woebegone psalmist /”I am … like an owl of the waste places …, Psalms…Details
The Eagle-Owl Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. III. N 1, f. 13 v.
The Eagle-Owl Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I, N 131, f. 15
Phoenix /phoenix, fenix/ two medallions 4.1 cm in diameter each The legend of the phoenix, which originated in the sphere of ancient oriental symbolism, occupies pride of place in Greek and Latin culture and is widely interpreted by medieval writers (Hubaux J., Levy M. Le Mythe du fenix dans les litteratures greque et latine. Liege,…Details
The Phoenix Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I N 131, f. 31
The Phoenix Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. П1, N 1, f. 29
Hoopoe /epopus, upupa/ medallion 4.7 cm in diameter By medieval tradition hoopoe is an “unclean” bird /Isidor, XII.VII. 66/ but it is noted for its love and affection for its parents. The birds, when they grow up, preen the feathers of the parents and keep them warm as if wishing to thank them for being…Details
The Hoopoe Miniature. Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. I, N 131, f. 33
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.