The Aberdeen Bestiary is probably the most beautiful medieval bestiary of them all. Written and illuminated in England around the year The most lavish of them all, the Aberdeen Bestiary, which dates from around , was once owned by Henry VIII. Now, the University of. The Aberdeen Bestiary was first documented in as part of Henry VIII’s book collection. The manuscript with its elaborate, gilded.

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Learning moral lessons from animals: The Aberdeen Bestiary

The besyiary with its elaborate, gilded illustrations of animals seems like the type of precious object that belongs in a royal collection.

Using a medium format camera and special ultraviolet-filtered LED lights, the team snapped images of the manuscript pages, including close ups of the illustrations and anomalies on the pages.


The million megapixel images showed some marks not visible with the naked eye, and indicated that the book was indeed an active textbook and not a royal commission.

On many of the words there are tiny aberdden which would have helped a reader with pronunciation, which means that at some point the book was read aloud.

In fact, the Herald Scotland reports that the text of the manuscript is essentially a teaching aid. In the book, Adam names all the animals, then those animals are used in following chapters as the basis of religious and morality tales, the type of stories used to teach budding theologians.

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Manuscript Index | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen

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The Aberdeen Bestiary–Aleteia

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It has a skull but no spinevelvet smooth skin, and a terrifying pit of a mouth that’s lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth. Comment on this Story. Enter your email address.