The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages

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9780415907682: The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages

The Beast Within illustrates how, as property, food and sexual objects, animals in the middles ages had a distinct, and at times, odd relationship with the people and world around them. For example, animals viewed as property during the period shared in labor and increased their owners' status. However, these animals were regularly punished for the act owners were held responsible for the animals' behavior as well. When animals served as sexual objects for humans, much reflection, debate and even legislation was the result. Mythological and metaphoric animals also played important roles in the fables and religion of the day changing the views of humans about the beasts and themselves.

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About the Author:

Joyce E. Salisbury is the Frankenthal Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has published widely on religion and sexuality, and is the author of Church Fathers, Independent Virgins and the editor of Medieval World of Nature. Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has published widely on religion and sexuality, including Church Fathers, Independent Virgins and Sex in the Middle Ages.

From Library Journal:

Salisbury (history, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay) presents an exploration of how people viewed and used animals from the fourth to the 14th centuries A.D. Clear categories separating humans and animals were established in the early Middle Ages, resulting in a definition of the uniqueness of humans as rational beings. However, through the use of animals as property, food, and sexual objects, human-animal distinctions began to break down, and the process was completed with the rediscovery of classical fables and the Reynard stories. Written for a general audience, this book may be considered an optional purchase where interest in animal rights is strong.
Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Joyce E. Salisbury
Published by Routledge (1994)
ISBN 10: 0415907683 ISBN 13: 9780415907682
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