Medieval Bestiaries

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Detail from Folio 5r, Aberdeen Bestiary (Univ. Lib. MS 24)

The Medieval Bestiary

Aberdeen Bestiary Project

Medieval bestiaries are essentially animal encyclopedias, ranging in subjects from the domestic cat, to the exotic elephant, to the fantastic phoenix or griffin. They were more theological than scientific in nature, focusing on the moral or allegorical dimensions of the natural world. Loads of fun to be had on these sites clicking through the indexes of animals or admiring the beautifully illuminated illustrations.

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