This page presents photographs of Libraries and of Beasts and birds.
Click Libraries to see photographs of the
libraries that keep the Slavic manuscripts of the Physiologus published on this website.
You can also look at photographs of the libraries that keep the illuminated
manuscripts containing all miniatures of beasts and birds used
as illustrations in this website.
Click Beasts and birds to see these magnificent miniatures.
Slavic manuscripts of the Physiologus, with rare exceptions, are not illuminated.
There are some famous Greek illuminated manuscripts; the
codex Smyrna 124 from ca. 1200 AD, destroyed by fire, was especially beautiful.
However, the art of illuminated books reached its peak in the
West European bestiary. The bestiaries were based on Latin translations of the
Physiologus and became extremely popular. They were almost always decorated with animal miniatures.
That is why, striving to make this site as complete as possible,
we decided to use selected images from such manuscripts: they both
illustrate the properties of the beasts and birds and
amuse and delight the eyes.
The photographs of manuscript miniatures shown here (as well as elsewhere in this website)
are copyrighted as a rule, except for few of them which are freely available in
the public domain. Use of these photographs is allowed only with the permission
of the entities to which the respective copyright belongs. Usually, these are the
libraries where the illuminated manuscripts are kept.
Medieval South Slavic Physiologus. Libraries where medieval manuscripts and miniatures of beasts and birds are kept. Medieval Literature
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