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De proprietatibus quorundam animalium. Le bestiaire du manuscrit 28 d’Avranches

Abstract : De proprietatibus quorundam animalium. A bestiary in the ms. 28 of Avranches library. The manuscript 28 of Avranches is the result of the binding of two distinct codices in the seventeenth century. It consists of various short religious texts: commentaries and biblical glosses, distinctiones, treatises on vices and virtues, sermons, etc. Among this extensive textual material for the use of predication, we find, in the second part of the manuscript (dating from the 13th century) a bestiary entitled De proprietatibus quorundam animalium (f. 179-180). This is the unique text on animals kept from the library of the Mont Saint-Michel abbey. A short collection of exempla (partly involving animals) is added to the bestiary, and is entitled Ecce similitudines multe de diversis (f. 180-180v). The bestiary and the collection of similitudines seem to form a set which may have had the same use for the compiler. The bestiary is made of about 30 short chapters, from which ten are perfect copies of the B version of the Physiologus; other chapters can be sourced partly in B or Y, but are often summarized and contain original moralizations which differ from other versions of the Latin Physiologus. I am making the assumption that the author of the bestiary of Avranches may have worked from an incomplete witness of B such as in the codex of Bern, Bürgerbibliothek, Lat. 233, where the elephant and the dove are missing, and where ostrich (asida), panther and aspidochelon are found at the end of the text of the B version. The bestiary of Avranches is interesting from a twofold perspective: it is a new (partial) witness of the Physiologus B and an original creation in its composition and the redaction of some chapters which gives evidence of the reception and the use of old versions of the Physiologus among 13th century preachers.
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Thierry Buquet. De proprietatibus quorundam animalium. Le bestiaire du manuscrit 28 d’Avranches. RursuSpicae, CEPAM (Nice) - IRHT (Paris), 2019, Le Physiologus. Manuscrits anciens et tradition médiévale, 2, pp.1-23. ⟨10.4000/rursuspicae.540⟩. ⟨hal-02372123⟩



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