A New Look at English Bestiaries

Brunsdon Yapp

Medium Aevum, 54:1, 1985, 1-19

This is a wide-ranging study of the bestiary genre, in several sections. Yapp, a zoologist, first looks at bestiary illustrations from a zoological perspective, and raises some points about the shortcomings in the description of the beasts and particularly birds. The second section proposes a subdivision of the Second Family of bestiary manuscripts, which James was "quite unable to reduce to order"; Yapp uses the appearance of birds in various manuscripts to establish subfamilies IIA, B, C and D. The third section analyses the occurance of two biblical Genesis scenes found in some bestiaries: the creation (God creating the animals), and Adam naming the animals. This section includes extensive notes on these scenes as found in several manuscripts; tables compare the illustrations in these manuscripts and list the beasts shown in each scene.

Language: English

ISSN: 0025-8385


Last update May 28, 2022