corvi (corivax) wrote,
corvi
corivax

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As the crow flies

I just wish to announce that while I may be a bird, my entrails are not good for divining. Nor can you predict the gender of your children by my flight, nor the weather by my caw, nor victory in battle by my presence above your army.

The people this message is intended for know who they are!





Translation (in part):

Seers declare that it has to do with the troubles of men by omens, that it discloses the paths of treachery, and that it predicts the future.

It is very wrong to believe that God entrusts his secrets to crows.


This is from a twelth-century bestiary. I highly recommend looking at T.H. White's simplistic but readable translation, The Book of Beasts, or at the website of the Aberdeen Bestiary Project, which has pictures of a gorgeous illuminated manuscript, such as the one above. Their translation is stilted but accurate.

(For the record, T. H. White and the Aberdeen Bestiary Project are working with different versions of the manuscript, and have different illustrations and different Latin texts.)
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