Sea dragons & unicorns
Teratological style — (gr. τέρας teras, “monster”, and λόγος logos, “the study of”) — is a medieval graphic technique based on an agglomerate of monstrously fantastic images and beastly ornaments. Using the vegetative Byzantine ornament, Slavic animal letters appear and a teratological ornamentation system is born. Rough and fresh forms take power as a counter to the refined, sophisticated art of ancient Greece and exist in parallel with the Byzantine style. In ancient Russia, teratological style was especially popular between the 9th and 14th centuries. It was mostly used for manuscript decoration, but also in the artistry and architectural elements. By the 15th century, its popularity had faded. Most likely this style was born in a liberal city of Novgorod. The legend itself is a study of a mysterious ancient and powerful place where unicorns and dragons live in harmony.