Click here to skip to content

People Of Tracota, And Cynocephales, In 'The Travels Of Sir John Mandeville'

People Of Tracota, And Cynocephales, In 'The Travels Of Sir John Mandeville'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1430

Shelfmark: Harley MS 3954

Item number: f.40v

Length: 29

Width: 14.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The Travels Of Sir John Mandeville' presents itself as an account of China, India, and the Holy Land, written by an Englishman, Sir John Mandeville of St. Albans--who is in fact entirely fictitious. The identity of the true author is not known, but he was probably a mid-14th-century French cleric. The text was available in various versions and various languages, including Latin, French, and Middle English. The dialect of the present manuscript suggests that it was written in East Anglia, perhaps Norfolk. 'Sir John Mandeville' spends parts of his narrative describing the wondrous races and creatures that inhabit the edges of the known world. In the upper miniatures the naked cave-dwelling people of Tracota eat snakes and guard their precious stone, traconite; in the lower miniature dog-headed Cynocephales worship an ox on an altar.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: