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A description of animal life in verse or prose, in which the characteristics of real and fabulous beasts (like the phoenix or the unicorn) are given edifying religious meanings. This kind of allegory was popular in the Middle Ages, and survives in some later children's books. See also beast fable, emblem.

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary Aberdeen Bestiary Project, a well-illustrated archive.

Subjects: Literature.

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