Manuscript: Royal MS 12 C. xix
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British Library, Royal MS 12 C. xix

Produced: England (Durham?), c. 1200-1210

Language: Latin


Media: Vellum
Script: Textualis Semi-Quadrata

Folios: 112  Height: 22.2 cm   Width: 15.8 cm

Manuscript type: Bestiary

Location: British Library, London, England, United Kingdom

Family: First; Transitional


Source: Ann Payne, 1990 (Medieval Beasts) | Copyright Copyright 2004 British Library / Used by permission | Folio 6r


"This manuscript represents a transitional stage between First and Second Family bestiaries. ... Other manuscripts in this group ... are: a bestiary at Leningrad; the Worksop Priory bestiary; ... and the slightly later bestiary from the library at Alnwick Castle. ...there are 80 framed miniatures with gold grounds. At least ten, and probably more, leaves are missing." - Medieval Beasts (New York, 1990) Payne, p.13

"Bestiary or moralized natural history, in Latin, covering the same ground (animals and trees) as Add. MS. 11283 and Royal MS. 12 F. XIII, with which MSS. it usually agrees in contents, though not in order. The principal sources are as usual a translation of the Greek work called Physiologus and the Etymologiae of S. Isidore of Seville, but later sources are also used. Prefixed are some extracts bearing on the subject of natural history in general, &c., and some medical recipes in French and Latin are at the end. Imperfect by loss of ten or more single leaves (after ff. 2, 8, 13, 17, 21 41, 42, 44, 54, 68). Contents:

1. Three chapters De forma, creatione, etatibus mundi, of which the two former are from the Imago Mundi (a work of uncertain authorship, cf. 8 F. XIV, art. 25), lib. i, capp. 1, 2. Cap. iii beg. 'Prima etas in exordio sui '. f. 1. 2. Genesis ii. 1-17, in Latin. Imperf. at end. f. 2.

3. Extracts from S. Isidore, being the general part of the tituli De pecoribus et iumentis and De avibus, Etymol. xii, capp. i and vii. In 12 F. XIII they occur in their proper places in the Bestiary (ff. 34, 46b). Imperf. at beg. f. 3.

4. 'Sermo qualiter peccator deo placere ualeat'; also in 12 F. XIII (f. 32b). Beg. 'Quocienscumque peccator uult factori suo placere'. f. 4.

5. 'Incipit liber de naturis bestiarum et earum significationibus': the Bestiary proper. For some account of this see Max F. Mann, Bestiaire Divin des Guillaume Le Clerc, Heilbronn, 1888; see also Der Physiologus des P. von Thaun, Halle, 1884, and Lauchert, Gesch. des Physiologus, Strassburg, 1889. The first four articles in this text are Leo, Autalops, Monocentaurus, Herina. cius. Beg. 'Bestiarum uocabulum proprie conuenit' (Etymol.) xii, cap. ii); ends 'buxum uero de ligno com-posito'. At ff. 22 b, 24 are interspersed a few verses, beg. 'Ossibus extruitur elephas dorsoque camelus' and 'Grandior in tauro uirtus sed paruula uulpes'. f. 6." - British Library

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