Lots of changes, updates, new materials in this update.

The Bestiary Family lists have been updated. Almost all of the listed manuscripts now have a link to the description page for that manuscript. There are a few that remain elusive; the libraries where they live have them well hidden, but I am persistent (possibly obsessive) and I will find them.

While tracking down the manuscripts on the Bestiary Family lists, I found several more Italian bestiaries and other animal manuscripts. There seem to be a lot of them in different versions and by various authors. I don’t have the lineage of those figured out yet – it’s complicated.

There are many new and updated manuscript description pages, with links to additional descriptions and sometimes online facsimiles. There are a lot of high quality manuscript facsimiles available on the interwebs these days.

Some of the Beast pages have been updated with new information. The Satyr has been split off from the Ape into its own page, as has the Siren (Serpent) from the Siren (freaky and deadly woman-bird-fish).

The manuscript lists have a new feature: a Filtered List. This displays a simple list of all the manuscripts, with an input box where you can type partial words or numbers to filter the displayed manuscripts. Any manuscript rows that do not contain the word or number you enter will be magically hidden, leaving only the ones you want to see. With the manuscript lists now containing over 340 rows, there needed to be a fast way to get to a manuscript if you already knew part of its name, location or shelfmark.

Two of the Beast lists also now have filtering, similar to the manuscript list, but with a few more features. See the Beast help page for more information and some usage tips.

There are some new and updated bibliography entries, with a growing number linked to online resources.

There are a few new and updated encyclopedia articles.

I have two people to thank for their assistance.

Dr. Christoph Mackert of the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig, who provided me with links to two of the elusive Bestiary Family manuscripts in the Dicta Chrysostomi group.

Carlo Calloni, who helped me with a couple of manuscript beasts I could not identify, either from the image or the Italian text, like the weird beasty below, which the manuscript catalog called “A horse resting in a field” but that Carlo identified as a mole crawling out of its burrow on the hill! That was based on the word “topinara”, which is mole in the manuscript’s Italian vernacular.

Houghton Library (Harvard) MS Typ 150, f. 28r

Medieval artists often had bizarre ideas of what animals they hadn’t seen looked like, but a mole?

And last, the usual “bug fixes and performance improvements”, without which an update would not be complete.