A genre beginning with Aesop's fables (6th century BC) and common in the middle ages. It comprises a sequence of tales (beast fables) about animals with human characteristics which were intended to be read allegorically.
Editors. "Beast Epic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=112, accessed 19 April 2014.]