IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1222: Exemplary Animals: Animal Exempla

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Lani Hardage-Vergeer, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Paper 1222-aDeor and Nytenu Mid Us: Animals in the Works of Ælfric
(Language: English)
Letty Nijhuis, University College Cork / Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 1222-bAnimals as Theological and Moral Metaphors to Decipher the Meaning of the Genesis Initial in Auch, Bibliothèque Municipale Ms 1
(Language: English)
Jill Bradley-Ivatt, Centre for PhD Research, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Index terms: Art History - General, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Mentalities, Theology

Paper -a:
This paper examines the use of animals in Ælfric’s Lives of Saints and Catholic Homilies, outlining the transmission process of various sources of animal knowledge available to and used by Ælfric. The contexts in which Ælfric uses animals, which sources he uses in these passages and how he deviates from his source material (if at all) will show how Anglo-Saxon authors could weave classical, biblical, early Christian and local animal imagery together and incorporate the different traditions in their own work.
Paper -b:
Little attention has been paid to Auch, BM Ms 1. In his catalogue of French Romanesque manuscripts Cahn dismisses the miniatures as being ‘more like part of the ornamental furniture of the initial than carriers of an explicit meaning’. However, a close study of the Genesis initial, f.5r and a comparison with contemporary Bestiaries demonstrates that this initial at least, does carry an explicit meaning. The use of animals as metaphors, their position and relation to the human and divine figures makes this a sophisticated pictorial sermon for the educated 12th-century reader.