Anonymous: Worksop Bestiary, fols. 38v–39r (1185)


(The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, USA)

A page from a book made by an unknown 12th century English artist. This page comes the 'Worksop Bestiary', an illuminated manuscript containing a bestiary and other medieval Latin texts on natural history. Medieval bestiaries were a combination of animals from Europe, exotic animals and fantasy creatures. This page shows 3 fantasy creatures:

Left page: The Manticore. This is a creature from Persian mythology and has the head of a human, the body of a lion and the tail of a scorpion. an interesting detail is that the head has a Phrygian cap which was associated 'Eastern people'.

Right page, top: The Parandrus. A deer like creature which supposedly lived in Ethiopia. It was the size of an ox, long-haired, had antlers and cloven hooves. It could change the colour of its fur in case of trouble.

Right page, bottom: The Yale. An antelope- or goat-like creature which supposedly lived in Ethiopia and India. It was the size of a horse, had the tusks of a boar, the tail of an elephant and two large horns that it could swivel in any direction

Book from around 1185.





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