About This Site

This site is the long-term project of David Badke, an independent scholar in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The goal is to gather information about the Medieval Bestiary and its antecedents, as well as related information on the Medieval view of animals in general, both fabulous and real. The end result will (hopefully) be a resource that is of some use to the community of Medieval scholars and anyone else with an interest in the Middle Ages.

To organize the surprisingly large amount of data available on the Medieval Bestiary, I have developed a database and a program to maintain it. The database contains (or will contain) all of the text and images to be published here. The program, in addition to allowing me to enter and organize the data, also generates most of the Web pages found here. The pages are static (I generate them and upload them periodically).

This site is updated with new information periodically. See Chimaera: The bestiary blog to find out what has changed since your last visit.

Age Appropriate Warning

This site may not be appropriate for younger children. The middle ages were frequently violent and animals were often depicted being killed in very graphic images; some of the images on this site are of that nature. Some images also show the bloody and violent killing of humans, either by animals or other humans. Some images and text also contain sexual content. This site does not attempt to censor any of this; it shows medieval attitudes as they really were. Some of this may be disturbing to young viewers or squeamish adults. Teachers in particular who wish to use material from this site for educational purposes should check the material first.

Contribution of materials

Contributions of materials, corrections and suggestions are welcome. I am always looking for articles, images, bibliographic references, and any other relevant information. In particular I need reviews and annotations for Bibliography items that I do not have access to, and scholarly articles to fill the sparse Articles section. Contributed articles and reviews will be fully credited to the author, and the author will retain all copyrights. All contributions must be donated, since I have no funds to pay authors. Queries about submitting materials should be sent to the Webmaster.

Linking to this site

Links to this site are of course welcome, but you should in general link to the site home page at https://bestiary.ca. If you do want to link to a particular page, this is generally safe; while I cannot guaranty that a page's URL will never change, they rarely do. Almost all of the pages on this site use "permalinks" - that is, the page URL will not change even when the site is updated. Page URLs mostly use meaningless numbers (well, not meaningless to me!) following a generic prefix. For example, all beast pages have a URL like https://bestiary.ca/beasts/beastnnnn.htm, where "nnnn" is one of those "meaningless" numbers. The numbers refer to identifiers in my Bestiary database, and those rarely change, so the URL does not change.

Please do not imbed references to images on this site in your own web pages. If you wish to use the image on your web site, you must obtain the permission of the copyright holder (if any) to host the image file on your own web server. Imbedding a reference to an image on this site in your own web page is called "bandwidth theft"; while not (at present) illegal, it is certainly unethical, since it uses resources someone else is paying for. It is also unsafe, since you have no control over the image displayed on your web site; I could remove or modify the image at any time.

Technical Stuff (for nerds)

This site uses several technologies to maintain and display information.

The data is stored offline in an Interbase database managed by a Delphi program written by David Badke. The program also generates the static web pages that make up the Bestiary site, using the data in the database as well as HTML templates.

The web site itself uses standard Web tecnologies plus some public domain/open source libraries.