by on 14 September 2017

No student of our ancient churches can fail to have noticed how frequently animals and other representations of natural history are to be found carved therein. The question will naturally occur: are these sculptures, or paintings, mere grotesque creations of the artistís fancy, or have they rather some meaning which patient investigation will discover for us? It is only during the last few years that a satisfactory answer to these questions has been discovered; though no doubt our grandfathers suspected that these animal carvings were not merely freaks of fancy. Owing to a marked similarity in subjects of far different dates, and at far distant places, they may have felt that there was some link to bind them together. This link has now been found in the natural history books of the Middle Ages, which were in more common circulation than any other book, save, of course, the Bible.

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