The Medieval Bestiary in English: Texts and Translations of the Old and Middle English Physiologus

Megan Cavell (Translator), Megan Cavell (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


First written in Egypt between the second and fourth centuries, the Physiologus brought together poetic descriptions of animals and their Christian allegories. As the Physiologus was translated into a wide range of languages from across North Africa and much of Europe, each version adapted the text in culturally specific ways that yield fascinating insights for those who delve into this truly global tradition of representing and interpreting animals. This edition provides the original texts and facing-page modern translations of the only two surviving English versions—the Old English Physiologus from the late-tenth-century Exeter Book and the Middle English Physiologus from the mid-thirteenth-century MS Arundel 292—as well as translations of a range of Latin, French, and Old English sources and analogues.

Underpinned by a commitment to the fields of medieval studies and animal studies, this edition provides an accessible introduction to the literary history of the Physiologus and the politics of animal representation. It asks the vital question: how can we understand humanity’s relationships with non-human animals and the environment today without understanding those relationships’ history?
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBroadview Press
Number of pages186
ISBN (Print)9781554815180
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2022


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