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cover art for Believing in Dragons

Real Fantastic Beasts

Believing in Dragons

Season 2, Ep. 8

This our first of several planned episodes on the most famous of all fantastic creatures.

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  • 34. The golden age of the bestiary

    45:56
    Beth Morrison, senior curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, talks about medieval bestiaries, her favorite imaginary animal, and a new exhibition at the Getty Museum.
  • 33. Medieval Ivory

    50:16
    Guest Sarah M. Guérin explains Medieval Europe's fascination with ivory and the differences between the early ivory trade and the savagery of modern Elephant poaching.
  • 32. The most prophetic bird

    32:06
    We explore the Albatross, unknown until just before the modern era... or was it?
  • 31. Flying Barnacles

    47:27
    Guest Alixe Bovey regales us with the perplexing history of the goose barnacle and the barnacle goose. 
  • 30. Why the phoenix can’t have sex

    46:34
    In which we explore this beautiful and ancient non-binary creature. 
  • 28. Chickens can see the future

    38:26
    We explore the lore of cocks and hens from manuscript illustrations to the classic weathervane.
  • 27. Living Stones

    47:58
    Guest Brigitte Buettner explains how stones had living agency in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
  • 26. The Likeness of a Wolf

    46:47
    We trace the evolution of the werewolf from deliberate transformation to mental illness.
  • 25. How to fall off your horse

    55:18
    Guest Karen Raber takes us through our paces as we explore horses and horse training in the European Renaissance.