Archive for 2008

Live unicorn discovered in Italy!

A living unicorn has been discovered in the Tuscany region of Italy – that is, if you define “unicorn” as a beast with a single horn. Italian unicorn deer. ROME – A deer with a single horn in the center of its head — much like the fabled, mythical unicorn — has been spotted in […]

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The wall of beasts

Imagine you are standing in front of a wall. If you look to your left or right, you can see that the wall stretches out far into the hazy distance. On the wall are arranged a series of pictures, all of bestiary beasts. If you move closer, you can see more detail, and a note […]

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Magical Beastie Bits! (Part 1)

A surprising number of medieval animals were thought to have a magical body part, or to have a magical object embedded in them, or to be able to produce a magical object. These magical beastie bits were, of course, much sought after, and often doomed the beastie that had them. In this ?-part series, we […]

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Why kill the unicorn?

British Library, Royal MS 12 F. xiii, Folio 10v. So, you want to catch a unicorn. As we all know, the unicorn is a swift and fierce beast, not to be caught by ordinary means. But there is a way: find a pure and virgin girl, sit her down in unicorn habitat, hide in the […]

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The Fabulous Natural History of the Middle Ages

There is a new text available in the Digital Text Library: “The Fabulous Natural History of the Middle Ages” by Thomas Wright. This text was originally published as a chapter in The Archaeological Album; or, Museum of National Antiquities (pages 174-186), London: Chapman & Hall, 1845. The complete book is available on Google Books. This […]

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Jacob and the Mandrakes

A new text is available in the Digital Text Library: Jacob and the Mandrakes by James George Frazer, originally a paper read to and published by the British Academy in 1917. Frazer was a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, and is most famous for […]

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Medieval animals called “weird”!

A difference in defensive strategies: bonnacon (top), beaver (bottom, not recommended) Jennifer Lynn Jordan, author of the blog Per Omnia Saecula, says our beloved medieval animals are weird — at least on Mondays. The bonnacon would like to inform Ms. Jordan that he is not especially weird on Mondays, though he admits he is inclined […]

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Badke’s Bestiary

I was doing a vanity search on Google for “badke” and “bestiary”, just to see who was linking to my site, when I was surprised to see a reference to “Badke’s bestiary”. While I do write about the bestiary, I don’t recall ever having written one myself. Yet there it was, on the Temeraire website: […]

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Elephant vs. mouse

The idea that elephants are afraid of mice has been around for a long time, and persists today. Pliny (first century CE) says that elephants “hate mice and will refuse to eat fodder that has been touched by one.” Eustathius (fifth century CE) says “one is not so greatly amazed at the vast size of […]

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Blog and other stuff

The bestiary blog is now online (duh! like, you’re reading it, aren’t you?), though there are no articles in it yet, just the old “What’s new” data. Two articles are in preparation. There are also a couple of new digital texts available, and some other general updates.

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