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Other titles in the Garland Library of Medieval Literature series:
The Mark of the Beast: The Medieval Bestiary in Art, Life, and Literatureby Debra Hassig
Synopses & Reviews
The medieval bestiary was a contribution to didactic religious literature, addressing concerns central to all walks of Christian and secular life. These essays analyze the bestiary from both literary and art historical perspectives, exploring issues including kinship, romance, sex, death, and the afterlife.
The medieval bestiary was the culmination of allegorical functions for animals, assembling stories and pictures of beasts and birds for purposes of moral instruction and courtly entertainment. Far from being accessible only to the religious and literate elite, bestiaries addressed concerns central to all walks of Christian and secular life.
In The Mark of the Beast, contributors employ both art historical and literary approaches to explore a variety of important issues treated in the bestiaries and in their forerunner, the Physiologus. These essays clearly demonstrate how bestiaries both address and develop some of the most important concerns of the Middle Ages — from the Church, the monarchy, anti-Semitism, fantastic beasts, and Classical thought to romance, sex and death.
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