A siren and an onocentaur, in a bestiary

13th century

The British Library

The British Library

A siren is usually a creature with a woman’s head and a bird’s body, but here it is depicted with a fish-like tail. The text reports that the siren has a violent nature. She enchants sailors with her birdsong and voluptuous body, before dragging them from their ships to eat their flesh. On the shore stands an onocentaur, with the body of a man as far as the navel, and the body of an ass below.Shown here: ff. 47r

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  • Title: A siren and an onocentaur, in a bestiary
  • Date Created: 13th century
  • Location: British Library, London, UK
  • Location Created: France?
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Original Source: Sloane MS 278
  • Rights: Public Domain in most countries other than the UK. For more information visit: https://www.bl.uk/help/how-to-reuse-images-of-unpublished-manuscripts


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