Bêtes médiévales et familiarité : animaux familiers de l'esprit, animaux familiers de la vie


fr Anthropozoologica 20 - Pages 11-40

Published on 01 February 1995

Medieval beasts and familiarity: in the domain of mental imagery and in everyday life

This paper examines both the medieval European bestiary of mental images, that of texts, sculpture and heraldry, and the real fauna with which medieval man has contact with in his immediate environment. This approach demonstrates the differences and similarities between the symbolic and the real animal worlds. The study of the frequency of occurence of 134 animal species at 188 European archaeological sites allows analysis of the extent to which man was familiar with these species; this is compared with présence of these species in the domain of mental imagery.


Europe, Middle Ages, real fauna, mental bestiary.

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