British Library, Additional MS 28260
(Bestiaire of Gervaise)


Produced: France, late 13th century
Location: British Library, London, England, UK
Type: Miscellany
Family: Gervaise
Language: French
Folios: 101
Author: Gervaise
Illustrated: Yes
Binding: Wooden boards, covered with stamped leather, of the 15th century
Media: Parchment
Script: Gothic
Dimensions: Height: 15 cm Width: 10.5 cm
Folio 89r


Contains the Bestiaire of Gervaise on folio 84r-100v. Illustrated with crude ink drawings in the margins up to folio 91v, then one drawing (raven, folio 93r) embedded in the text, followed by empty spaces that were never filled in to folio 100v.

The manuscript also contains a text on the ages of man (Traité des quatre Ages de l’Homme) by Philippe de Navarre (folio 3r-33r), and the Elucidarium of Honorius d'Autun (folio 35r-83r).

[Adapted from the British Library description]

Li livres des bestes, or Bestiaire de Gervaise, a short moralistic version of the bestiary in French verse, stated in the prologue to have been adapted by 'Gervases' from the Latin. This is the only known copy of the text in French, but the Latin prose version of the Dicta Chrysostomi version of the Physiologus in British Library, Sloane MS 278, ff. 44r-57r is possibly the original of this work. The short (1280 lines) rhymed Bestiaire is thought to have been written at the beginning of the thirteenth century.

Additional Descriptions

Additional description

Editions and Facsimiles

Printed editions

Meyer, 1872

Digital editions

Le Bestiaire de Gervaise

Digital facsimiles

British Library