a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animals
A medieval treatise of various real or imaginary animals.
Origin: From bestiaire, from bestia (whence English beast).
A bestiary, or Bestiarum vocabulum is a compendium of beasts. Originating in the Ancient world, bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals, birds and even rocks. The natural history and illustration of each beast was usually accompanied by a moral lesson. This reflected the belief that the world itself was the Word of God, and that every living thing had its own special meaning. For example, the pelican, which was believed to tear open its breast to bring its young to life with its own blood, was a living representation of Jesus. The bestiary, then, is also a reference to the symbolic language of animals in Western Christian art and literature.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
best′i-ar-i, n. the name given to a class of books of great popularity in the Middle Ages, describing all the animals of creation, real or fabled, generally illustrated by drawings, and allegorised for edification. [Low L. bestiarium, a menagerie.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a name given to a class of books treating of animals, viewed allegorically.
The numerical value of bestiary in Chaldean Numerology is: 1
The numerical value of bestiary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9
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