The Hare and its Alter Ego in the Middle Ages
Reinardus, 2004; Series: Volume 17
This article deals with the topic of hares and rabbits in Creation scenes and Naming of the beasts scenes in bestiaries and other medieval manuscripts. It has not been generally noticed that in these scenes the hare, which has negative connotations both in classicalzoology and in biblical exegesis, is curiously shown in a ‘privileged’ position as one of the ‘first’ animals created. I suggest that this occurs because the hare has been confusedwith another animal, shafan sela which is mistranslated as chyrogrilus and Lepusculus in the Septuagint and Jerome’s Vulgate, and which takes on a positive symbolism in the Scriptures and in exegetical texts.
Last update January 27, 2022