More moral-didactic than a systematic work of natural science, the allegorical interpretation of the properties of animals and mythical creatures fruitful for the edification of its readers: e.g. the pelican, which tears open his chest for his chicks, as an allegory for Christ who sacrificed himself for humanity. The bestiary was very influential in intellectual history, as demonstrated by the idea of the lion as king of the beasts. It goes back to the model of all bestiaries, the Greek "Physiologus" (approx. 200 AD).