Breaking and Shaping Beastly Bodies: Animals as Material Culture in the Middle Ages by Aleksander Pluskowski

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Author
Aleksander Pluskowski
Publisher
Oxbow Books Limited
Date of release
Pages
239
ISBN
9781842172186
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
63

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Breaking and Shaping Beastly Bodies: Animals as Material Culture in the Middle Ages

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Book review

An important human trait is our inclination to develop complex relationships with numerous other species. In the great majority of cases, however, these mutualistic relationships involve a pair of species whose co-evolution has been achieved through behavioural adaptation driving positive selection pressures. Humans go a step further, opportunistically and, it sometimes seems, almost arbitrarily elaborating relationships with many other species, whether through domestication, pet-keeping, taming for menageries, deifying, pest-control, conserving iconic species, or recruiting as mascots. When we consider medieval attitudes, to animals we are tackling a fundamentally human, and distinctly idiosyncratic, behavioural trait. The sixteen papers presented here investigate animals from zoological, anthropological, artistic and economic perspectives, within the context of the medieval world.


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