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CHAPTER V GENERAL ANALYSIS OF THE PRINCIPAL SUBJECTS TREATED IN LATIN AND FRENCH BESTIARIES Previously there has been no single compilation in English in which were listed the characteristics of the birds, beasts, and stones described in the Latin and French bestiaries. In this chapter under alphabetically arranged subjects these traits are presented in their approximate chronological order,1 except for Pierre de Beauvais' nonbestiary material, which has been relegated to the Appendix. The common Latin and French names are given as well as any conspicuous variations in spelling. Words enclosed in single quotation marks in Biblical citations indicate a pre - Vulgate reading as given by Professor Carmody in his edition of B and of Y. When it exists, the description begins with a summary of the earliest Latin accounts, Y and B, with any important differences existing in A, C, Theobaldus , or the Dicta ChrysostomL This is then followed by the expanded versions such as Royal 2 C. xii, the Aviarium (Book I), or Books II and III of the De bestiis et aliis rebus, referred to here as H because of its traditional, though erroneous, attribution to Hugo of St. Victor. When H has not provided the fullest account, additional information has been taken from the more complete version in Cambridge, University Library Ii.4.26. Isidore's copious contributions are all noted. As for analagous passages in antiquity and in the Church Fathers, the examples given in this chapter —with the general exception of references to Aristotle's Historia antmalium and Pliny's 1 The question repeatedly arose of what English equivalent to give to an animal or bird which was already the object of confusion among early writers. This is the case, to cite only one instance, of the bird which was described under the name of Erodius and Fulica and which partook of traits assigned to both the Heron and the Coot. In attempting to resolve these problems, consistency and logic have been the aims in establishing the nomenclature used. PRINCIPAL SUBJECTS 79 Naturdis historia—are far from complete, and are presented only to show the age and currency of many of the tales.2 The significant changes, though few in number, in either additions or omissions occurring in the French bestiaries are noted, but no attempt has been made to gather other mediaeval accounts which are similar in nature.3 In conclusion, a short iconographical description is given of each subject illustrated wherein marked deviations from the typical are indicated. The allegorical interpretations, although perhaps the reason d'etre of the Physiologus, have intentionally been treated very briefly. A summary has been made only of those chapters contained in the B version since this is the basic Latin text from which most others grew or were translated. Usually the allegory remained fundamentally unchanged when incorporated in the enlarged bestiary or when translated into French; however, Philippe de Thaon and Guillaume le Clerc often emphasized different parts of the "lesson", and the latter tended to embroider long moralizing passages on the rather bare original framework. While it is realized that each topic has not been exhaustively investigated, and that many questions have been left unsolved, it is hoped that a certain insight has been provided into the imaginative reasoning of mediaeval man, who continually sought a logical explanation of the unknown or little known, whether it be in the boundless realm of metaphysics or in the more restricted question of how the fallen elephant arises. For brevity the following abbreviations are used in this chapter: Latin: A - Brussels 10074, X cent. (Cahier) B - Bern 233, VIII cent. (Carmody) B-Is - B.M., Royal 2 C. xii, XII cent. (Mann) C - Bern 318, IX cent. (Cahier) Y - Munich 19417, IX cent. ] 14388, IX-X cent. > (Carmody) Bern 611, VIII cent. ) TH - Theobaldus, XI cent. (?) (R. Morris) 2 An extensive list of sources, analogies, and derivative passages recorded by authors of antiquity and by early Christian writers exists in Sbordone, pp. 1-145. 3 This aspect, with some reference made to classical sources, is treated by Max Goldstaub and Richard Wendriner, Bin Tosco-Venezianischer Bestiarius (Halle, 1892), pp. 255-438. " 80 MEDIAEVAL BESTIARIES DC - Dicta Chrysostomi, XI cent. (Wilhelm) H - Pseudo-Hugo of St. Victor, Books II and III of De bestiis et aliis rebus, XII cent. (?) (Migne) CUL - Cambridge, University Library Ii.4.26, XII cent. (James) French: FT - Philippe de Thaon, ca. 1125. (Walberg) G - Gervaise, early XIII cent. (?) (Meyer) GC - Guillaume le Clerc, ca...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469634883
Related ISBN
9780807890332
MARC Record
OCLC
1019664310
Pages
214
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-18
Language
English
Open Access
No
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