The Use of Animals in Jewish Medieval Manuscripts

Tuesday, May 24, at 7:00pm, at the synagogue

One of the most fascinating genres of illustrated manuscripts from the Middle Ages is the bestiary.
These manuscripts were
part animal natural histories―real and imagined—and part didactic allegories
about righteous human behaviour. While most medieval bestiaries are distinctly
Christian, many Jewish medieval manuscripts used animals in a similar way. 

this presentation, our own Brian Pollick will discuss with us some of the images
from these manuscripts, the ways in which they supported Jewish moral teaching,
and some of the common scriptural and classical ideas about animals that
informed the writers and artists of these manuscripts. 

About Brian Pollick

Brian is a
PhD candidate in the Art History and Visual Studies Department at the
University of Victoria. His dissertation focuses on how imagery commissioned by
merchants in Trecento Italy formed, affirmed and broadcast their moral
identity. Brian is a keen scholar of medieval manuscripts, with a particular
interest in illuminated bestiaries and the allegorical and metaphorical role of
animals. Brian and his wife, Heather, have donated three medieval manuscripts
to the University of Victoria.

Sponsored by the
Emanu-El Adult Education Team

Published by


An inclusive, warm, and progressive Conservative synagogue in Victoria, B.C.

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