The Chimaera: In Greek mythology the chimaera (or chimera) is a composite beast, made up of a lion with the addition of a second head from a goat and a snake’s tail. Homer describes it in the Iliad as “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire”. In later accounts, anything made up of two or more animals could be called chimera, and recently the term “chimera” has been used to describe real-life entities created as amalgams of previously separate entities in fields such as botany, genetics, and molecular biology.

The blog: This blog is called Chimaera (the Latin spelling) because it is made up of a variety of bestiary stuff: informal articles, reviews, announcements of changes to the Bestiary site, commentary, and anything else I want to include. The articles are often speculative, the reviews opinionated, and and the comments irreverent; altogether it is intended to by my personal take on the topic of “animals in the Middle Ages”, as contrasted with the main Bestiary pages, which are more scholarly in intent.

Comments: Comments on blog entries are welcome, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any (or no) reason without notice or explanation. Comments that are on-topic and of interest in themselves will likely get through the approval process; off-topic, abusive, or pointless comments (e.g. “I love unicorns!”) most certainly will not.

About the Beastmaster: So who is this “I”, the Beastmaster? I am David Badke, a resident of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In “real life” I am a software developer, with excursions into publishing and other scholarly pursuits. I have a degree in Medieval Studies (acquired late in life) from the University of Victoria; my interest in the bestiary genre and medieval animals in general started with a paper I did for an introductory class on Medieval Europe, on the topic of the bestiary, using the newly-digital Aberdeen Bestiary as an example. Once I had collected a large amount of information on the bestiary, I put some of it online on my personal web site. Eventually that got too extensive, and bestiary.ca was born.

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