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Title: Fantastic Beasts: A Look into Medieval Geographical Stereotypes Depicted in the Bestiary, MS Bodley 764
Authors: Cynkar, Katherine W. (Katie)
Advisors: Barker, Hannah K.
Keywords: Class of 2019;URCAS;Student research;2018 Spring;History, Department of
Issue Date: 27-Apr-2018
Abstract: MS Bodley 764 is a British bestiary that dates from approximately 1220 to 1250. A bestiary is similar to an encyclopedia of animals of which examines the physiology, habitat, and behaviors of animals while also drawing allegorical lessons intended to guide the spiritual and moral behavior of humans through the use of text and illustration. Each animal has a spiritually symbolic interpretation attached to it of which can be good, bad or a warning against sinful behavior. Of all the animals in Bodley 764, 39 animals have locations associated with them. These locations consist of places in Africa including Ethiopia, Egypt and rivers in Egypt, places in Asia including India and Arabia, and places in Europe such as Germany and Ireland. While each individual animal has its own symbolic meaning, each area consists of a group of animals with similar moral symbolism. These symbolic interpretations follow similar didactic guidelines as the medieval map, the mappa mundi, suggesting that there is relative similarity between the animals and geography. This presentation will answer whether or not the descriptions of animals in MS Bodley 764 are similar to perceptions about people in specific geographical locations.
Description: Presentation by Katie Cynkar ('19) delivered at the Rhodes College Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium (URCAS).
Appears in Collections:Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium

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