7 votes

10 Surprising Facts about Books of Beasts from the European Middle Ages

3 comments

  1. [3]
    balooga Link
    That was interesting! I enjoy reading about real historical legends of magical objects and beasts. I want to know the stories behind all of these. Did they spring fully-formed out of medieval...

    That was interesting! I enjoy reading about real historical legends of magical objects and beasts. I want to know the stories behind all of these. Did they spring fully-formed out of medieval imaginations? Or are they the product of centuries of rumors corrupted over time like a game of telephone? Things like unicorns and blue-skinned Arabs I suspect were the latter. Fire-stones and manticores, on the other hand, are so farfetched someone must have been willfully inventing them.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      imperialismus Link Parent
      Should be noted that the Norse used the term "blue" to refer to any dark color, not necessarily what we today would classify as "blue". This no doubt influenced writers in the British Isles.

      Or are they the product of centuries of rumors corrupted over time like a game of telephone? Things like unicorns and blue-skinned Arabs I suspect were the latter.

      Should be noted that the Norse used the term "blue" to refer to any dark color, not necessarily what we today would classify as "blue". This no doubt influenced writers in the British Isles.

      2 votes
      1. balooga Link Parent
        Interesting! Thanks for the reference. It must have been a frightening time for people, to live in ignorance of the greater world around them. With no real understanding of what lay beyond their...

        Interesting! Thanks for the reference.

        It must have been a frightening time for people, to live in ignorance of the greater world around them. With no real understanding of what lay beyond their own borders. Every foreign people group was mysterious and exotic, not to mention a potential threat of incalculable magnitude. We know others exist, but are they even human? Do they ride atop monsters we've never encountered? Are they armed with supernatural weaponry? And the answer to all of those questions is a resounding "nobody knows."

        1 vote