British Library, Cotton MS Nero A V
(Bestiaire of Philippe de Thaon)


Produced: England, Last half of 12th century
Current Location: British Library, London, England, UK
Manuscript Type: Miscellany
Bestiary Family: French
Language: French
Folios: 118
Author: Philippe de Thaon
Illustrated: No
Media: Parchment
Script: Protogothic
Dimensions: Height: 16 cm Width: 12 cm
Sample page - British Library Cotton MS Nero A V
Folio 61v


The Bestiaire of Philippe de Thaon. Other manuscripts containing Philippe's bestiary are Oxford, Merton College 249 and Kongelige Bibliotek, GKS 3466 8°.

[Adapted from the British Library description]

This composite manuscript is composed of two parts. The first part (ff. 1r-82v), dating to the 2nd half of the 12th century, contains two Anglo-Norman works by Philippe de Thaon (fl. 1113-1150), the first Anglo-Norman poet. The first work is his Comput (Computus) - the oldest extant scientific text in the vernacular - which he composed in 1113. The second work is his Bestiarius (Bestiary) - the oldest bestiary in French – which he composed between 1121 and 1135.

[From McCulloch]

The bestiary is on folia 41r to 82v. The manuscript was once in the possession of (and may have been written in) the Cistercian monastery of Holmcultram in Cumberland. It has spaces for illustrations that were not filled in.

Additional Descriptions

Additional description

Editions and Facsimiles

Printed editions

Walberg, 1900
Wright, 1841

Digital facsimiles

British Library