Article published in:Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society
Edited by Richard Trachsler and Baudouin Van den Abeele
[Reinardus 32] 2020
► pp. 62–70
Mnemonic verses concerning animals and birds in Cambridge University Library, Ms Oo. Vii.48
This article is devoted to an essentially unknown fragment containing a collection of thirteenth-century mnemonic verses about animals and birds. It is a logical continuation of a study I published in 2010 in Reinardus about the entire corpus of mnemonic verses that appear in medieval Latin bestiaries. As the core of that investigation, I chose a late thirteenth-century English bestiary of the so-called Second Family (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 533). In that article I suggested that further research would likely uncover more such examples in non-bestiary manuscripts. This was confirmed in 2018 by a newly discovered fragment in Cambridge University Library, MS Oo.vii.48, containing the verses present in MS Bodley 533, and additional verses about animals and birds. Using this fragment, I put forward the idea that there was an established medieval tradition of collecting and keeping organized mnemonic verses devoted to animals and birds. I argue that finding these verses from bestiaries and other sources together in one fragment sheds light on the interrelations of bestiaries and other genres.
Published online: 14 April 2021