image of vultures (Aberdeen Bestiary)

Week 8: Physiologus.

Background | Background Quiz | Starting Assumptions | Resources | Extras
Vocabulary | Etymology | Grammar | Perseus Dictionary | Perseus Tool

Reading Overview | Reading Quiz: English
| Reading Quiz: Latin
Discussion Questions | Latin Composition | Weekly Checklist


Reading #1: De castore

Go to Reading #2 ->

This story is illustrated in the Aberdeen Bestiary.

Est animal 
quod dicitur castor,
mansuetum nimis,
mansuetum nimis [est]
  what kind of personality does the beaver have?
cuius testiculi 
medicine sunt aptissimi, 
cuius: rel. pronoun at "beginning" of sentence (castoris testiculi)
[note regular substition of "e" for "ae" in this text]
medicine: dative, with aptissimi
  what can the beaver's testicles be used for?
de quo dicit Phisiologus quia 
cum venatorem se insequentem 
cognovit, 
morsu
testiculos sibi abscidit, 
et in faciem venatoris 
eos proicit 
et sic fugiens evadit. 
de quo: rel. pronoun at "beginning" of sentence (de castore)

quia = quod (quod for indirect statement)

se = refers back to subject of main verb, cognovit [castor]

faciem: s.v. facies

what does the beaver do when it is hunted?
Si vero rursus contigerit 
ut alter venator 
eum prosequatur, 
erigit se 
et ostendit virilia sua 
venatori.
contigerit: s.v. contingo

ut...prosequator:  ut + subjunctive

 

what happens if the beaver is hunted a second time?
Quem cum viderit 
testiculis carere, 
ab eo discedit. 
quem: rel. pronoun at "beginning" of sentence (castorem viderit)
quem...carere:  indirect statement (accusative + infinitive)
carere: s.v. careo (takes ablative)
  why does the hunter leave the beaver alone?
Sic omnis 
qui iuxta mandatum dei 
versatur 
et caste vult vivere, 
secat a se 
omnia vicia, 
et omnes impudicitie actus, 
et proicit eos a se 
in faciem diaboli.

versatur: s.v. versor (in sense of "dwell, live, abide")

vicia = vitia (s.v. vitium)

actus: accusative plural

what is the symbolic meaning of the beaver's behavior? what does the beaver teach us to do?
Tunc ille videns 
eum nichil suorum habentem, 
confusus
ab eo discedit. 
nichil = nihil

confusus: s.v. confundo

  what will the devil do if you follow this strategy?
Ille vero vivit in deo, 
et non capitur a diabolo, 
qui dicit:
persequar, 
et comprehendam eos. 
persequar: s.v. persequor (deponent)
  what does the devil say about his intentions towards mankind?
Castor dicitur 
a castrando.
castrando: s.v. castro
  what is the etymology of "castor," according to the Physiologus?

Go to Reading #2 ->


Modern Languages 4970 / MRS 4903: Medieval Latin. Spring 2003 Online Course at the University of Oklahoma. Visit http://www.ou.edu/online/ for more info.
Laura Gibbs, University of Oklahoma - Information Technology © 2003.  laura-gibbs@ou.edu. Last updated: December 29, 2002 7:12 PM