Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig XV 2


Produced: Crete, 1510-1520
Location: Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA
Type: Miscellany
Language: Greek
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Paper
Folio 3r


A modified text of the Greek Physiologus, illustrated with simple line drawings, mostly uncolored except for a few red, blue and yellow highlights. The Physiologus is on folio 1r to at least 40v, with a description and illustration of the pelican on folio 150r as part of another theological text.

From the Getty Museum description:

This miscellany in Greek contains a collection of theological texts and a Greek version of a bestiary, which was a very popular type of medieval book that described the characteristics of animals in moralizing Christian terms. A title on one of the opening pages identifies the bestiary as the “Physiologus,” a book written by an unknown authors in Alexandria sometime between the 2nd -4th century CE. However, the text in this volume is not known from any other version of the Physiologus. Instead, it seems to be a work on the same topic by a Greek Orthodox monk named Angelos Gregorios, also called Anthanasios, who is mentioned several times in the manuscript. He lived on the island of Crete, which was a Venetian colony in 1510, when this manuscript was probably written. The book contains other writings attributed to Angelos Gregorios, as well as the excerpted writings of several famous church fathers, including several theological invectives against Jews – a genre of text all too common in eastern and western Europe in the Middle Ages. In places throughout the manuscript, someone contemporaneous or almost contemporaneous with the production of the book pasted pieces of paper over the existing text and images. Some of these paste-ons offer new passages and pictures, while others simply cover older material. The changes may suggest that sections of the book that were originally written during the lifetime of Angelos Gregorios underwent an early editing process, perhaps sometime in the sixteenth century.

Additional Descriptions

Additional description

Editions and Facsimiles

Digital facsimiles

Getty Museum (partial, Physiologus section illustrated pages, plus a few other pages)