Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 16169
(De animalibus)


Produced: Paris, mid 14th century
Current Location: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Manuscript Type: Encyclopedia
Language: Latin
Folios: 335
Author: Albertus Magnus
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 33 cm Width: 23.5 cm
Sample page - Bibliothéque Nationale de France lat. 16169
Folio 286r


The De animalibus of Albertus Magnus.

Illustrations of animals mark the beginning of each of the five animal sections (quadrupeds, birds, fish, serpents, worms) and are confined to the first page of each section. Several animals representing the group are drawn in the bottom and side margins (and occasionally the center margin), in full color. The individual animal descriptions are not illustrated. In the first part of the manuscript there are a few elaborate initials containing animal scenes, and several marginal animal illustrations marking the start of specific chapters, where the animals represent the characteristics being described.

Most of the manuscript is on general attributes of animals; the descriptions of individual animals start at folio 286r. The animal descriptions are in the last five books of the text:

  1. Quadrupeds (folio 286r-302v)
  2. Birds (folio 302v-320r) - includes a long section on the falcon
  3. Fish and marine animals (folio 320r-326v)
  4. Serpents (folio 326v-331v)
  5. Worms and insects (folio 331v-335v)

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Bibliothèque Nationale de France