Manuscript

Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Cod. Guelf. 1 Gud. lat.
(Liber Floridus)

Codicology

Produced: North France, Flander, mid 12th century
Location: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Wolfenbüttel, Germany
Type: Encyclopedia
Language: Latin
Folios: 104
Author: Lambert of Saint-Omer
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 43.5 cm Width: 29.5 cm
Folio 39v

Description

The Liber Floridus (Book of Flowers) of Lambert of Saint-Omer, an encyclopedia on several topics.

This is the Liber Floridus manuscript designated W.

The encyclopedia section on animals is on folio 37v-41v with very brief descriptions. Some of the "beasts" are members of the monstrous human races. An extensive list of birds starts on folio 39v. The "serpents" (including the dragon, lizards, snakes) starts on folio 40v.

Some animals have entries under more than one of their alternate names. The basilisk, called a serpent, is described three times as basiliscus, regulus and sibilus. The asp has four entries as aspis, iptalus, emorreus and prester.

In the second column of folio 38v is the rubric "Physiologus de leone..." with paragraph descriptions (all with rubrics attributing them to Physiologus) of the lion, panther, unicorn, onager, beaver, hyena, hydrus and goat. This appears to be a partial Physiologus embedded in the encyclopedia, with animals repeated from the encyclopedia. The encyclopedia format resumes after the account of the goat (folio 39r, first column).

"De monstris marinus et piscibus" (Monsters of the sea and fish) starts on folio 42v. The fish section inludes several land animals transplanted to the sea (e.g. sea-pig, sea-dragon). There is a Lapidary on folio 44r with brief descriptions of many stones.

There are also two pages (folio 76r) on trees and a double page world map (folio 69v-70r).

Six of the animal descriptions (lion, griffin, dragon, crocodile, behemoth, leviathan) are illustrated with full-color paintings. The illustrations are very similar to those in Bibliothèque du Musée Condé, MS 724 and Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent, MS 92.

There are many color illustrations and diagrams in the non-animal sections of the encyclopedia.

Delisle says that many pages are missing from this manuscript (though not from the animal section), and that the articles are in a completely different order than in the original manuscript (Universiteitsbibliotheek Ghent, MS 92).

Additional Descriptions

Additional description 1
Additional description 2 (Page 593-600)

Editions and Facsimiles

Digital facsimiles

Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel