Sunday, November 03, 2013

Physiologus's Salamander

THIS time the literary text discussed on this 'Alexandrian' site does, in fact, come from Alexandria. Last year in university, the teacher of a Byzantinian folk literature course started his semester by presenting three tales from Physiologus.

One fable reminded me particularly of end of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (the healing sun berries that are carried to the old star by the firebird) and C.S. Lewis's other Narnia books, and in retrospect the Wikipedia article clarifies that Physiologus, written apparently before the final downfall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century A.D., is in fact the origin of Christian beast myths which are present throughout Europe even in these centuries.