Tigers, Lions and Other Big Cats

LIONS

Agent Lion by David Soman and Jacky Davis
Fairytale book published in 1982 by Vladimir Kovarik, illustrated by Daniela Benesova (27 september 1929, Tsjechië)
Fairytale book published in 1982 by Vladimir Kovarik, illustrated by Daniela Benesova (27 september 1929, Tsjechië)
Fairytale book published in 1982 by Vladimir Kovarik, illustrated by Daniela Benesova (27 september 1929, Tsjechië)
Fairytale book published in 1982 by Vladimir Kovarik, illustrated by Daniela Benesova (27 september 1929, Tsjechië)

AESOP’S LION

SAINT GERASIMOS OF THE JORDAN

illustration by Scott Gustafson

Humans like to think we can tame lions as we can dogs. The following has a very Aesop ring to it.

Saint Gerasimos of the Jordan resscued a lion when it was injured. The lion became his pet and a valuable addition to his monastic community. The lion was called Jordanes. When Saint Gerasimos died, the lion lay down on his grave and died as well.

FAIRYTALE LIONS

From The Lady and the Lion, The Brothers Grimm. Illus. by Arthur Rackham, 1909
Illustration by André Hofer for a 1927 edition of Pierre Benoît's L'Atlantide tiger
Illustration by André Hofer for a 1927 edition of Pierre Benoît’s L’Atlantide tiger

TIGERS

Alice and Martin Provensen, The tiger asks Blake for a bedtime story,  cutaway, tiger
Alice and Martin Provensen, The tiger asks Blake for a bedtime story, cutaway, tiger
Composite man and tiger, late Mughal, Shah Alam period, late 18th cent
Composite man and tiger, late Mughal, Shah Alam period, late 18th cent
True Life Romance no 531. 1966, designer unknown tiger show off
True Life Romance no 531. 1966, designer unknown tiger show off

WOMEN WITH TIGERS

Arthur Wardle - After the Ball
Arthur Wardle – After the Ball
A Fairy Tale, 1887 Frederick Stuart Church; 1842-1924) Harper's New Monthly Magazine
A Fairy Tale, 1887 Frederick Stuart Church; 1842-1924) Harper’s New Monthly Magazine

SMALL CHILDREN WITH TIGERS

KITTENS WHO FANCY THEMSELVES TIGERS

TIGERS BEING TIGERS

L. Vladimirsky, Russian Three Fat Men 1953. In this story people think a tiger has captured a girl but they eventually find out it’s a doll.

CORRESPONDENCES: An integral part of the medieval and Renaissance model of the universe known as the “Chain of Being.” The idea was that different links on the Chain of Being were interconnected and had a sort of sympathetic correspondence to each other. Each type of being or object (men, beasts, celestial objects, fish, plants, and rocks) had a place within a hierarchy designed by God. Each type of object had a primate, which was by nature the most noble, rare, valuable, and superb example of its type. For instance, the king was primate among men, the lion among beasts, the sun among celestial objects, the whale among fish, the oak among trees, and the diamond among rocks. Often, there was a symbolic link between primates of different orders–such as the lion being a symbol of royalty, or the king sleeping in a bed of oak. This symbolic link was a “correspondence.” However, correspondences were thought to exist in the material world as well as in the world of ideas. Disturbances in nature would correspond to disturbances in the political realm (the body politic), in the human body (the microcosm), and in the natural world as a whole (the macrocosm). For instance, if the king were to become ill, Elizabethans might expect lions and beasts to fall sick, rebellions to break out in the kingdom, individuals to develop headaches or fevers, and stars to fall from the sky. All of these events could correspond to each other on the chain of being, and each would coincide with the others.

Literary Terms and Definitions
Canadian Lynx by Robert Dallet (1923-2006)
Canadian Lynx by Robert Dallet (1923-2006)
Art By Harold H Piffard 1867 - 1938 The Sultan's Favourite
Art By Harold H Piffard 1867 – 1938 The Sultan’s Favourite
Nature Magazine cover illustration,1932 Two Leopards in a Tree by Herman Rountree
Nature Magazine cover illustration,1932 Two Leopards in a Tree by Herman Rountree

SUPERNATURAL LARGE CATS

Alien Big Cats was recorded in September 2013 at the Folklore Society conference ‘Beasts in Legend and Tradition’. The talk, presented by writer and folklorist Steve Patterson, examines the zoological phenomenon of out of place cats in the landscape. Whilst there is plenty of evidence to suggest that big cats do live in the British landscape, Steve discusses the ways in which these cases feed into the folklore narrative of the creatures before moving on to discuss the image of the cat in mythology.