Digital Text

The Bestiary of Philippe de Thaon

Edited by Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A.

Originally published as part of Popular treatises on science written during the Middle Ages, in Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, and English. Edited from the original manuscripts
London: The Historical Society, 1841

About this Text

This text is a transcription and translation of The Bestiary of Philippe de Thaon, based on the British Library manuscript Cotton Nero A V in folios 41r to 82v. The Bestiary (or Bestiaire) is a poem of some 1570 lines, written in the Anglo-Norman dialect, and dated to around 1120. Another manuscript containing the poem is Gl. kgl. S. 3466 8ยบ in the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen. Philippe de Thaon lived in Normandy during the reign of Henri I, in the early twelfth century.

This digital edition is not a complete copy of the print edition of Wright's book, which contains three other texts besides the Bestiary: Anglo-Saxon Manual of Astronomy; Livre de Creatures; and Fragments from Science, from the Early English Metrical Lives of Saints. Only the Preface and the Bestiary of Philippe de Thaon are included the digital edition; the other three texts have been omitted.


The print edition of this text was published in London in 1841; the digital edition was created from the original in 2003 by David Badke. The original print edition by Thomas Wright (1810-1877) is believed to be in the public domain.