Introduction to the Manuscripts

This site refers to many medieval manuscripts, mostly bestiaries and aviaries, but also others that incorporate full or partial bestiaries or contain bestiary-related images or text. The manuscripts are of several types, including Bestiaries, Aviaries, Miscellanies, Psalters, Missals, and Books of Hours.

The information in the manuscript descriptions has ben gathered from a variety of sources. I have not seen any of these manuscripts myself (except in facsimile). Corrections, comments and additions can be sent to the Webmaster for review.

Manuscript Indexes

The manuscript index is available in several formats; click one of the tabs above to view the format you choose.

Manuscript Categories

You can also explore manuscripts organized general categories.

Bestiary Family: Organized according to a standard classification system that lists Bestiary manuscripts by groups (called "families").

Author: Some manuscripts contain the work of a known (or commonly attributed) author:

Aviarium by Hugh of Fouilloy

Bestiaire by Gervaise

Bestiaire by Guillaume le Clerc

Bestiaire by Philippe de Thaon

Bestiaire by Pierre de Beauvais

Etymologiae by Isidore of Seville

De naturis rerum by Hrabanus Maurus

De proprietatibus rerum by Bartholomaeus Anglicus

Bestiaire d'amour by Richard de Fournival