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Bartholomeus Anglicus

TextEdit

De proprietatibus rerum, cap. 90Edit

Latin originalEdit

Bartholomeus Anglicus Unicorn

Rinoceron Grece, Latine animal cornu in nare habens interpretatur, idem est monoceron, id est unicornus, bestia fevissima appellata, eo quod unum cornu in media fronte habeat quatuorpedum, ita acutum et validum, ut quicquid impetierit, aut ventilet aut perforet, ut dicit Isidorus libro xii. Nam cum elephante sepe certamen habet, quam vulneratum in ventre prosternit. Tantae autem est fortitudinis, ut nulla venentium virtute capiatur. Sed sicut asserunt, qui de naturis rerum scripserunt,virgo puella proponitur, quae venienti sinum aperit, in quo ille omni ferocitate deposita, caput ponit sicque soporatus velut inermis, capitur et interimitur iaculis venatoris. Hucusque Isidorus lib. xii. Gregorius super Iob addit in moralibus ad iam dicta. Rhinoceron, inquit, fera est naturae omnino indomitae, et si quomodo capta fuerit, teneri nullatenus possit, impatiens, quia, ut dicitur, ilico moritur.

De Rhinocerote dicit Plinius lib. viii cap. xx. Rhinoceros in nare habens cornu, id est, in media fronte supra nares. Hostis est elephantis, unde suum cornu limat ad saxa et acuit, et sic se preparat pugne, et in dimicatione alvum impetit elephantis, quam scit partem corporis esse molliorem. Longitudo par inest ei ut equo, sed crura multum breviora. Color eius buxeus. Et sicut innuit idem lib. viii cap. xxii. Huius ferae multae sunt species, scilicet Rhinoceron, Monoceron, Egloceron. Est autem Monoceron, ut dicit idem, fera asperrima, similis equo in corpore, et cervo in capite, pedibus elephanti, cauda apro. Mugitum emittit gravem, unum cornu magnum emittens in media fronte habet duorum cubitorum. Hanc feram vivam negant capi. Egloceron species dicitur esse unicornis, et dicitur latine capricornus, ab egla, quod est capra, et ceros quod est cornu, animal est pusillum, simile haedo, acerrimum nimis, in media fronte unum gerens cornu. Item dicit Plinius ibidem; quod in India sunt unicornes boves, habentes candidas maculas et solidas ungulas sicut equi. Sunt et asini quidem Indici unicornes, ut dicit Aristoteles, Avicenna et Plinius, qui sic dicti sunt, eo quod unum in fronte habent cornu inter aures. Residuum autem corporis ipsorum, simile est corpori onagrorum sylvestrium asinorum. Sed talis Monoceros est minoris audaciae et feritatis quam sunt alii unicornes. Et dicit Monoceros a monos quod est unum, et ceros quod est cornu, quasi in capite gestans cornu unum. Et declinatur Rhinoceron, otis, sicut Monoceros, otis. Et sic de aliis.

English translation (John Trevisa, 1402)Edit

Rinoceron in Greeke, is to meaning, an horne in the nose, and Monoceron is an Unicorne, and is a fierce or cruell beast, and hath that name, because he hath in the middle of the forehead an horne of foure foote long, and that horne is so sharpe and so strong, that he throweth downe all or pearceth all that he reeseth on, as Isidore sayeth, libro. 12. And this beast fighteth ofte with the Elephaunt, and woundeth and sticketh him in the wombe, and throweth him downe to the grounde. And the Unicorne is so strong, that he is not taken with might of Hunters. But men that write of the kinde of things, suppose that a maide is sette there as he shall come, and she openeth her lappe, and the Unicorne layeth thereon his head, & leaueth all his fiercenesse, & sleepeth in that wise: and is taken as a beast without weapon, & slaine with darts of hunters. Huc vsque Isidorus, libro 12.[1]

Gregory super Iob in Moralibus saieth heereto, that Rinocero the Unicorne is a wilde beast by kinde, and maye not be tamed in no wise: and if it happen that he be taken in any wise, he may not bee kept in any manner: for he is so vnpatient and so angry, that he dieth anone. Li. 8. ca. 21. Plinius speaketh of the vnicorne and saith, that he hath an horne in the middle of the forehead aboue the nose, and is enimye to the Elephaunts, and froateth and fileth his horne against stones, and sharpeth it, and maketh it ready to fight in that wise. And in the fighting hee as saileth the Elephant on the wombe, for he knoweth that that is the soft place of the Elephants body. His length is as it were the length of an horse: but his legs bee much more shorter, and his coulour is bay. And as he meaneth, libro 8. cap. 22. There be many kinds of vnicornes, for some bee Rinoceron, and some Monoceron and Egloceron. And as he saith, Monoceron is a wilde beast shapen like to the horse in body, and to the Hart in head, and in the feet to the Elephant, and in the taile to the Boare, and hath heauy lowing, and an horne strouting in the middle of the forehead of two cubites long. And they denie that this beast may be taken aliue. And Egloceron is a manner of Unicorne, that is called Capricornus in latine, and hath that name of Egla, that is a Goat, & Ceros that is an horne: And is little a beast like to a Kid, with an horne that is full sharpe in the middle of the forehead. Also Plinius saith there, that in Indie be one horned Oxen, with white speckes and bones, and with thick hoofes as horses haue. And in Indie bee some horned Asses, as Aristotle Auicen, and Plinius say. And bee called one horned Asses, because they haue one horne in the forehead, betweene the eares, and bee called Asini Indici, Asses of Indie, and the other part of their bodyes be like to the bodyes of wilde Asses, and such as Asse is called Monoceros, and is lesse bolde and fierce then other vnicornes, and hath this name Monoceros, of Monos, that is one, and Ceros, that is an horne. And this nowne Rinoceron is declined, hic Rinoceron, ge. huius Rinocerontis. Also Monoceron is declined, Monoceron, tis. Also we finde Rinoceros, & Monoceros, and is then declined Rinoceros, Rinocerotis, in the Genitiue case, and so of other.


  1. The Rhinoceros in Aethiopia, a perpetuall enimie to the Elephant, hee is not so high as the Elephant, armed ouer with shells in steed of haire, so that nothing can easily pearce the same: euen so is the little beast, called of the Affricans Tatton, of Gesner Zibeti, in fo. 20. at the end of his booke of birdes, &c. Which armed case I haue to shew.

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