Fantastic Friday: Rivers of Wine and Prophetic Crows

Here is the first half of the Paradoxographus Palatinus: Admiranda. This collection is extremely difficult to date and may hail from Byzantine Greece. As with some of the other paradoxographoi these are new translations, so corrections or questions are welcome.

1 “After an eagle got sick he ate a tortoise and was healed. Then he drank the blood.”

Νοσήσας ἀετὸς χελώνην ἐσθίει καὶ ἰᾶται· αἷμα δὲ πίνει.

2 “Owls, because they wish to keep ants from their young, put the heart of a bat in a temple noticed that the ants would leave the young too if someone set out the heart of a bat for them”

Αἱ γλαῦκες τῶν ἰδίων νεοττῶν τοὺς μύρμηκας κωλύειν βουλόμεναι ἐν τῇ καλιᾷ καρδίαν νυκτερίδος τιθέασιν, ὡς τῶν μυρμήκων καὶ τοὺς φωλεοὺς ἀπολιπεῖν βουλομένων εἰ νυκτερίδος καρδίαν ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς τις θείη.

3 “One animal is named jaundice because of its skin. Which, if someone predisposed to this ailment sees this he reverts straightaway to the diseas.e”

῎Ικτερος ζῷον λέγεται ἀπὸ τῆς χροιᾶς· ὃν εἰ τῷ πάθει τούτῳ τις ἐνεχόμενος ἴδοι, φευξεῖται εὐθὺς τὴν νόσον. [the translation for this one is not good]

4 “Crows don’t have sex with the females of their species before they sing some song to them just like at weddings. And the lady crows, persuaded in this way, sleep with them”

Οὐ μίγνυνται οἱ κόρακες ταῖς θηλείαις πρίν τινα ᾠδὴν αὐταῖς παρακρώξαιεν ὥσπερ γαμήλια· αἱ δὲ πεισθεῖσαι οὕτω συνουσιάζουσι.

5“There is a spring in Kleitori which if someone drinks from he will reject and hate drinking wine.”

Τῆς ἐν Κλείτορι κρήνης ἄν τις πίῃ τοῦ ὕδατος, ἀποστρέφεται καὶ μισεῖ τὴν τοῦ οἴνου πόσιν.

6 “Among the Kannini pitchers are distributed with wet pitch. In the hot season, the morning dew is like pitch.”

᾿Εν Καννίνοις πίττης ὑγρᾶς κρατῆρες ἀναδίδονται· ἐν δὲ θερείᾳ ὥρᾳ ἡ ἑωθινὴ δρόσος πίσσῃ παρείκασται.

7 “In Naxos Aglaosthenês says that wine bubbles up on its own for the earth and when it goes into rivers it does not mix with water. The person who tastes it goes crazy”

Εν Νάξῳ φησὶν ᾿Αγλαοσθένης οἶνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἀναβλύζειν αὐτόματον καὶ διὰ ποταμοῦ φερόμενον μὴ συμμίσγεσθαι ὕδατι. τὸν δὲ γευσάμενον αὐτοῦ παραφρονεῖν.

8 “In Pernikos rocks are found when the earth is dug up which, when the sun warms them until they are like burning coals, cook meat and anything else which is placed on top of them.”

᾿Εν †Περνίκῳ† λίθοι εὑρίσκονται ὀρυσσομένης τῆς γῆς, οὓς ἐπειδὰν διαθερμάνῃ ὁ ἥλιος ἐξανθρακοῦνται, ὥσ<τε> καὶ κρέα ἕψειν καὶ ἄλλ’ ἅττα τοὺς ἐκεῖ χύτρας ἐπιτιθέντας.

9 “In the city Selasphoros a spring flows cold and clear, it has an olive oil-like appearance, but it makes bodies and hair smooth and stops headaches. If someone touches it with burning wax, the water catches on fire from it and throws off sparks until it nears different water. And it is also free of every scent of other waters.”

᾿Εν τῇ πόλει τῇ Σελασφόρῳ πηγὴ ἀναδίδοται ψυχρὰ καὶ διειδής, ἐλαιώδη τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν ἔχουσα, λεῖα τὰ σώματα καὶ τὰς τρίχας ποιοῦσα καὶ κεφαλῆς ἀλγηδόνα παύουσα. ταύτῃ εἰ προσαγάγοι τις κηρὸν ἡμμένον, ὑφάπτεται τὸ ὕδωρ ἐκ τούτου καὶ σπινθῆρας ἀφίησι, ἄχρις ἂν πελάσῃ ἑτέρῳ ὕδατι. ἔστι δὲ τῶν ἄλλων ὑδάτων διειδέστερον τὸ ὕδωρ ἐκεῖνο
ὀδμῆς τε πάσης ἐλεύθερον.

10 “Aristotle says that in Keltikê two crows always appear which prophesy to the people there in this way. When the people are differing about some meaning they come to a preordained place and after making bread they place it on perches. The crows break up the bread of the wrong-doing person with their feet and they eat the bread of the one who acts justly.”

᾿Αριστοτέλης φησὶν ἐν τῇ Κελτικῇ δύο κόρακας ἀεὶ φαίνεσθαι, οὓς δὴ καὶ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις μαντεύεσθαι τόνδε <τὸν> τρόπον· τοὺς διαφερομένους περί τινος συμβολαίου ἔρχεσθαι ἐπὶ τὸν εἰρημένον τόπον καὶ μάζας ποιήσαντας ἐπί τινων πεταύρων τιθέναι· τοὺς δὲ κόρακας τὴν μὲν τοῦ ἀδικοπραγοῦντος μάζαν τοῖς ποσὶ συντρίβειν, τὴν δὲ τοῦ δικαιοπραγοῦντας ἐσθίειν.

Bartholomaeus Anglicus  Livre des proprietes des choses (Le)  1447  Corbeaux nourrissant ses petits
Bartholomaeus Anglicus Livre des proprietes des choses (Le) 1447 Corbeaux nourrissant ses petits