Loch Ness Monster (cryptid)

The Siren's Call: A beastly menagerie

The Siren's Call: A beastly menagerie

Scan through digital images from the Aberdeen Bestiary and you'll find a marvelous stew of myth and reality.

Alongside familiar animals — leopards, panthers, hyenas — this glorious 12th century illuminated manuscript includes some strange ones: A satyr, for instance, with a humanoid shape and a thoughtful expression on its face, and a dazzling phoenix, resting in a goblet as flames encircle the cup's rim.

Bestiaries were attempts in the Middle Ages to catalog the world's living things, whether they had been truly observed or rumored to exist. And it's no wonder that modern writers have been inspired by the idea of a fanciful menagerie to create whimsical bestiaries of their...

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