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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 45 1933  page 2

   A few words may be said on the sources of figure and animal sculpture in the twelfth century. This is a period in which the Bestiaries were unusually popular in England. In his sumptuous edition of the Roxburghe Bestiary, Dr. M. R. James has shown how, in that century in our country, the numbers of animals and birds treated in the Bestiaries rose from under forty to above a hundred subjects. The Bestiaries were popular not for their literary and scientific value, but for the beauty and interest of their abundant illustrations. Several of the Barfreston details, notably the lion, the griffin, the siren, the ram and the hedgehog, come from this source. A considerable use seems to have been made of fables from classical sources, and some at least of illustrations from parts of the Bible. Of the latter I would adduce as examples Samson and the lion, and Jacob wrestling with the Angel.
   The craftsman would be guided much by tradition in the almost universal use of foliage based on the acanthus; but he must be allowed the employment of his powers of observation and the play of personal fancy, an example of 

which may be found in the delightful medallion of the two hounds chasing a hare.
   Such elaborate carving was by no means acceptable to all thinking people of the time. St. Bernard in his Apologia de vita et moribus religiosorum deprecates the use of such representations in the cloister, while he admits that they may not be out of place in churches : "But in the cloisters, before the eyes of penitent brethren, what has that ridiculous show of monstrosities, that beauty of ugliness to do? What place is there for dirty monkeys, for monstrous centaurs, for half men, for spotted tigers, for fighting soldiers, for huntsmen blowing their horns? You may see there a number of bodies with a single head, or again many heads upon a single body. Here a four-footed beast is seen with a serpentís tail, there the head of a quadruped upon a fish. Here is a beast whose forepart is a horse, and it drags a half goat after it, there is a horned creature with the hind quarters of a horse. So copious in short, and so strange a

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