AbstractThe premodern bestiary tradition portrays the hyena as a creature that annually changes its sex. While the Greek Physiologus interprets it as an allegory of sexual aberration, the various versions of the Latin Physiologus read it as a symbol for religious duplicity. Since the late twelfth century, the bestiaries transform the hyena into a signifier of the abominable par excellence. Throughout the bestiary tradition, the interpretation of the hyena draws on a quotation from the Book of Jeremiah where God compares his land to a hyena's cave (Jer. 12.9).
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