Pride, Popes and Vows: Some Medieval Representations of the Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Downloads (Pure)


Everyone knows that peacocks are proud. Medieval authors did too, and hence often associated the bird with superbia. To assume that the medieval peacock was always interpreted in a negative light is, however, deeply misguided. This article demonstrates the wide range of peacock meanings, and explores in detail little-known late-medieval associations of the bird with bishops and Popes, and with a specific set of chivalric values. As such it contributes to our understanding both of the cultural history of the peacock, and of medieval animal symbolism more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-163
Number of pages19
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Pride, Popes and Vows: Some Medieval Representations of the Peacock'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this