Mermaids should be part of everyone’s day.
Totus enim mundus diversis creaturis plenus est; quasi liber scriptus variis litteris et sententiis plenus in quo legere possumus quicquid imitari vel fugere debeamus.
(For the whole world is full of different creatures, like a book written with various words and full of sentences in which we can read what we should imitate and avoid.)
– Thomas of Chobham (d. c. 1236), Summa de Arte Praedicandi 7.2
The Beastiary, or Beastiarum Vocabulum, is a compendium of beasts, both real and imaginary. They can contain mythological creatures, real animals, rocks and even botanica. They originated in the ancient world, but became quite popular in the middle ages as illustrated manuscripts.
Here are a few fantastic beastiaries for you.
Medieval Beastiary (illuminated manuscript) from the digital collection at the British Library. This priceless baby is in middle english, so unless you have a linguistics degree in medieval language, it…
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