medieval bestiary

The medieval bestiary or bestiarium is an illustrated book that focuses on descriptions and illuminated depictions of animals, taken from both the real and fantasy worlds. Each animal, in a symbolic and allegorical way, embodied one of the human vices or virtues; therefore, the texts often also had a moralising purpose or quoted biblical passages. The first bestiaries spread in France and England between the 13th and 14th centuries.