January 1993
New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics;1993, p135
Reference Entry
The article presents a definition of the term BESTIARY. A medieval compilation of stories in verse or prose in which the supposed characteristics of real and imaginary animals (or plants or stones) are allegorized for the purpose of moral or religious instruction. Derived from a lost Gr. work probably written in Alexandria in the 2d or 3d c., it was originally named after its compiler, Physiologus, one who interpreted the natural world allegorically and mystically.


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