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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 28  1909  page 368

Sybill Arms at Little Mote, Eynsford By George C. Druce continued

quatre pieds, dont nos miniatures offriraient l’exemple. Cette addition des ailes doit donc avoir une autre cause; et s’expliquerait mieux par l’expression dont se sert le livre ‘de Bestiis’ attribué a Hughes de Saint-Victor (p. 433) en exposant pourquoi cet animal, comma le grand fleuve de la Perse, a reçu un noin qui rappelle le vol d’une flèche. ‘Tigris vocata est propter volucrein fugam,’ éclairissement philologique qui aura entraIné un ‘quiproquo’ zoologique."
   This explanation may be sound, but it is a curious circumstance that whereas the reference to the swiftness of the river Tigris and the arrow occur in the English Latin Bestiaries, none of the illustrations in these MSS. that I have inspected shew the tiger with wings; whereas in the French MS., where there is no mention of either, the tiger has wings. It is true the Picardy Bestiary was translated from the Latin, but from what version it is impossible to say. I think the artist followed the text, and seeing the tiger described as "une maniere de sarpent," he gave it wings, because it was the custom to represent nearly all serpents or snakes in dragon form, and therefore winged.*

   The allusion to the rapidity of the river Tigris came into the Bestiary from Pliny’s Natural History. In Book VI., ch. 31, he describes it, and tells us that "when its course becomes more rapid it assumes the name of Tigris, given to it on account of its swiftness, that word signifying an arrow in the Median language." In Lucan’s Pharsalia (Book VIII., 439) there is also an allusion to the swiftness of the Tigris as opposed to the slow current of the Euphrates. Both Pliny and Lucan, amongst others, were largely drawn upon by the writers of the Bestiaries, as their names are frequently mentioned, and moreover a variety of curious notions appear that are distinctly traceable to the former. In the case of time tiger, not only are we indebted to Pliny for the allusion to the river Tigris, but also for the main part of the story. In Book VIII., cli. 25, he says: "Hyrcania and India produce the tiger, an animal of tremendous swiftness, a quality

* Spaces were left in the text for the illustrations to be filled in afterwards. In MS. 12 F. xiii. (B.M.) they are only partly completed,

Page 368

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