In this illustrated lecture Dr. Asma will examine the major kinds of medieval monsters that were feared but also “cavorted with” during the Middle Ages. Some natural monsters of the ancient period continued in the medieval, but also many demons and theological monsters emerged with unprecedented terror.
A celebration of the visual contributions of the bestiary—one of the most popular types of illuminated books during the Middle Ages—and an exploration of its lasting legacy. Brimming with lively animals both real and fantastic, the bestiary was one of the great illuminated manuscript traditions of the Middle Ages. Encompassing imaginary creatures such as the unicorn, siren, and griffin; exotic beasts including the tiger, elephant, and ape; as well as animals native to Europe like the beaver, dog, and hedgehog, the bestiary is a vibrant testimony to the medieval understanding of animals and their role in the world.