Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obscure Question

I'm looking for information about Medieval bestiaries from the Middle East/Muslim world circa 900 CE. I've found lots of information about the European bestiary tradition, but for obvious reasons, not much about Middle Eastern ones. The European ones are largely descended from a Greek/Egyptian manuscript written in Alexandria around the 4th century, the Physiologus. It was apparently an extremely popular book. Some copies went west, others went east. I've found references to Syrian copies, for example, but no actual descriptions of what they contain. Since the European descendents tend to be very religiously didactic, I'm curious about the way the Muslim varieties evolved. Anybody got any leads?

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