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Riassunto: If a serpent swallows the spittle of a fasting man, it dies. Trees felled in the wrong season breed termites. If eels are drowned in wine, those who drink it get a loathing for liquor.
These and similar flights of fancy were articles of faith in the twelfth century ? the era of the fascinating Latin prose bestiary translated in this volume. The translator is T. H. White, author of The Once and Future King and outstanding medievalist. Of The Book of Beasts, White writes: "No Latin prose bestiary has ever before been printed, even in Latin. This is the first and only English translation in print."
The bestiary was a bestseller in the Middle Ages, a kind of natural history cum-zoological survey that presumed to describe the animals of the world and to point out the human traits they exemplified. Combining the surprisingly accurate with the endearingly phantasmagorical, the bestiarists came up with a bewildering array of real and exotic creatures. The behavior or attributes of the animals often functioned as a metaphor for teaching religious, moral, and political precepts.
In addition to a multitude of real mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, described here with varying degrees of zoological accuracy, the bestiarist introduces a swarm of fanciful denizens thought to haunt the Dark Ages: manticore, a creature with a man's face, a lion's body, and a ravenous appetite for human flesh; dragon or draco, the biggest serpent and the embodiment of the Devil; amphivia, a fish that could walk on land and swim in the sea; jaculus, a flying serpent; the familiar phoenix; the griffin; and other exotic fauna. Much of the charm of this edition lies in the copious footnotes compiled by T. H. White. With immense erudition, wit, grace, and a singular lack of condescension, the author illuminates literary, scientific, historical, linguistic, and other aspects of the bestiarist's catalog. He further enhances the volume with informative discussions of the history of the bestiary from its origins in remote oral traditions; through Herodotus, Pliny and Aristotle; during the medieval period and the Renaissance; and up to Sir Thomas Browne's Vulgar Errors (1646). Both amusing and amazing, The Book of Beasts is not only a rich survey of the proto-zoology on which much of our later science is based, but also a revealing, illustrated examination of how pre-scientific man perceived the earth's creatures.
Sinossi: A preeminent medievalist presents a wonderful catalog of real and fanciful beasts, including the manticore, griffin, phoenix, amphivius, jaculus, and many other exotic animals. White's witty, erudite commentary on scientific and historical aspects enhances this survey of proto-zoology on which science is based and pre-scientific perceptions of the earth's creatures. 128 black-and-white illustrations.
Titolo: The Book of Beasts
Casa editrice: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Data di pubblicazione: 1969
Condizione libro: very good
Descrizione libro Jonathan Cape Ltd. Condizione libro: Good. Ex-library, so some stamps and wear, and may have sticker on cover, but in good overall condition. Codice libro della libreria Z1-L-026-01043
Descrizione libro . Hardback. Condizione libro: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Codice libro della libreria GOR005946331
Descrizione libro Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1969. Hardcover. Condizione libro: no markings. Condizione sovraccoperta: Very Good. Hardcover with DJ protected by Brodart plastic covering.VERY GOOD CONDITION! Ships immediately!. Codice libro della libreria 2759
Descrizione libro Jonathan Cape Ltd. Hardcover. Condizione libro: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Codice libro della libreria 2689565970