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The yale (F16v ). The yale is as large as a horse, is black, has an elephant’s tail and the jaws of a wild boar. Its horns are long and mobile: one can fold backwards while the other fights.
Photo credit: Aberdeen Bestiary Project
Part of text can be read online at Aberdeen Bestiary (Oxford, Bodleian)

The Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen University Library, Univ Lib. MS 24) can be read online.  Just click on the link.  It is an illuminated (with pictures) bestiary.  The Aberdeen Bestiary is related to other bestiaries of the Middle Ages and especially the Ashmole Bestiary.  According to Wikipedia,

 [s]ome argue that the Aberdeen Bestiary might be the older of the two.

Among other animals, it features a Satyr, a Monoceros or Monocerus, and a pelican.

Other than The Physiologus, sources include:

  • Gaius Julius Solinus De mirabilibus mundi (The Wonders of the World) also known as Collectanea rerum memorabilium (Collection of Curiosities) and Polyhistor.  Solinus was a Latin grammarian who lived in the 4th century AD.
  • Saint Isidore of Seville’s (c. 560 – 4 April 636) Etymologiae.


© Micheline Walker
29 October 2011