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"Separate or together? Questioning the relationship between the encyclopedia and bestiary traditions"
Elizabeth Keen
Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association, 2, 2005

"As receivers of texts transmitted by medieval readers and re-writers over time, we have necessarily categorised them in terms of genre: romances, chronicles, sermons, bestiaries, encyclopedias and so on. With hindsight we can see how conventions accrued over the centuries to these different types of text and how specialised fields of study grew around them. Thus it can reasonably be said, for example, that the encyclopedia manuscript tradition is separate from the bestiary manuscript tradition. The distinction may be useful for the historian at the receiving end of a textual tradition, but suggests a false dichotomy from the medieval perspective. The terms as they have emerged in the scholarly tradition represent modern scholarly concepts. This paper reviews evidence that although the so-called encyclopedia and the bestiary appeared early on in different forms and acquired different conventions, they shared features of great importance to medieval people. " - abstract

Language: English

ISSN: 1449-9320
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