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scapular

28 September 2010 Leave a comment

scap·u·lar 1 /ˈskæpyələr/

–adjective
of or pertaining to the shoulders or the scapula or scapulae.
Origin:
1680–90; < NL scapulāris. See scapula, -ar 1

scap·u·lar 2 /ˈskæpyələr/

–noun
1. Ecclesiastical . a loose, sleeveless monastic garment, hanging from the shoulders.
2. two small pieces of woolen cloth, joined by strings passing over the shoulders, worn under the ordinary clothing as a badge of affiliation with a religious order, a token of devotion, etc.
3. Anatomy, Zoology . scapula.
4. Ornithology . one of the scapular feathers.

Origin:
1475–85; < ML scapulāre, n. use of neut. of scapulāris (adj.). See scapular 1

Source: Dictionary.com.

The monks were now standing at the tables, motionless, their cowls lowered over their faces, their hands under their scapulars.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

dipsa

Latin name: Dipsas
Other names: Dipsade, Situla
A snake so poisionous that its bite kills before it is felt

General Attributes
A snake so small it is not seen before it is stepped on, and so poisonous anyone it bites dies before he feels the bite.

Sources (chronological order)
Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 867-895): “Tyrrhenian Aulus, bearer of a flag, / Trod on a Dipsas; quick with head reversed / The serpent struck; no mark betrayed the tooth: / The aspect of the wound nor threatened death, / Nor any evil; but the poison germ / In silence working as consuming fire / Absorbed the moisture of his inward frame, / Draining the natural juices that were spread / Around his vitals; in his arid jaws / Set flame upon his tongue: his wearied limbs / No sweat bedewed; dried up, the fount of tears / Fled from his eyelids. Tortured by the fire / Nor Cato’s sternness, nor of his sacred charge / The honour could withhold him; but he dared / To dash his standard down, and through the plains / Raging, to seek for water that might slake / The fatal venom thirsting at his heart. / Plunge him in Tanais, in Rhone and Po, / Pour on his burning tongue the flood of Nile, / Yet were the fire unquenched. So fell the fang / Of Dipsas in the torrid Libyan lands; / In other climes less fatal. Next he seeks / Amid the sands, all barren to the depths, / For moisture: then returning to the shoals / Laps them with greed — in vain — the briny draught / Scarce quenched the thirst it made. Nor knowing yet / The poison in his frame, he steels himself / To rip his swollen veins and drink the gore. / Cato bids lift the standard, lest his troops / May find in thirst a pardon for the deed.”

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:13): The dipsas is a kind of asp, called in Latin situla because anyone bitten by it dies of thirst. (Book 12, 4:32): The dipsas is such a rare snake that its trampled without being seen. It releases its poison before it is felt; it causes no grief to the one who will die because its appearance anticipates death.

Source: Medieval Bestiary.

all the animals of Satan’s bestiary, assembled in a consistory and set as guard and crown of the throne that faced them, singing its glory in their defeat, fauns, beings of double sex, brutes with six-fingered hands, sirens, hippocentaurs, gorgons, harpies, incubi, dragopods, minotaurs, lynxes, pards, chimeras, cynophales who darted fire from their nostrils, crocodiles, polycaudate, hairy serpents, salamanders, horned vipers, tortoises, snakes, two-headed creatures whose backs were armed with teeth, hyenas, otters, crows, hydrophora with sawtooth horns, frogs, gryphons, monkeys, dog-heads, leucrota, manticores, vultures, paranders, weasels, dragons, hoopoes, owls, basilisks, hypnales, presters, spectafici, scorpions, saurians, whales, scitales, amphisbenae, iaculi, dipsases, green lizards, pilot fish, octopi, morays, and sea turtles.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

jaculus

Latin name: Jaculus
Other names: Iaculus, Javelin-snake, Javelot
A flying serpent

General Attributes
The jaculus is a serpent that can fly. It hides in a tree until an animal passes underneath, and then it throws itself down on the animal and kills it.

Sources (chronological order)
Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 848): “Swift Jaculus there…”. (verse 962-966): “Upon branchless trunk a serpent, named / By Libyans Jaculus, rose in coils to dart / His venom from afar. Through Paullus’ brain / It rushed, nor stayed; for in the wound itself / Was death…”.

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 35): The iaculus hurls itself from the branches of a tree, so that it is not only dangerous to the feet, but flies through the air like a missle from a catapult.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:29): The iaculus is a flying snake. They jump from trees and dart onto passing animals, from which they get their name, darter (iaculi).

Source: Medieval Bestiary.

all the animals of Satan’s bestiary, assembled in a consistory and set as guard and crown of the throne that faced them, singing its glory in their defeat, fauns, beings of double sex, brutes with six-fingered hands, sirens, hippocentaurs, gorgons, harpies, incubi, dragopods, minotaurs, lynxes, pards, chimeras, cynophales who darted fire from their nostrils, crocodiles, polycaudate, hairy serpents, salamanders, horned vipers, tortoises, snakes, two-headed creatures whose backs were armed with teeth, hyenas, otters, crows, hydrophora with sawtooth horns, frogs, gryphons, monkeys, dog-heads, leucrota, manticores, vultures, paranders, weasels, dragons, hoopoes, owls, basilisks, hypnales, presters, spectafici, scorpions, saurians, whales, scitales, amphisbenae, iaculi, dipsases, green lizards, pilot fish, octopi, morays, and sea turtles.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

amphisbaena

Latin name: Amphisbaena
Other names: Amfivena, Anphine, Anphivena, Fenmine
A serpent with two heads, one at either end

General Attributes
The amphisbaena is a two-headed lizard or serpent. It has one head in the normal position, and another at the end of its tail. It can therefore run in either direction. Its eyes shine like lamps, and has no fear of cold.

The name “amphibaena” is now given to a legless lizard that can move either forward or backward, though this is a relatively modern use of the name.

Sources (chronological order)
Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 843-844): “Dread Amphisbaena with his double head / Tapering…”.

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 35): The amphisbaena has a twin head, that is one at the tail-end as well, as though it were not enough for poison to be poured out of one mouth.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:20): The amphisbaena has two heads, one in the proper place and one in its tail. It can move in the direction of eaither head with a circular motion. Its eyes shine like lamps. Alone among snakes, the amphisbaena goes out in the cold.

Source: Medieval Bestiary.

all the animals of Satan’s bestiary, assembled in a consistory and set as guard and crown of the throne that faced them, singing its glory in their defeat, fauns, beings of double sex, brutes with six-fingered hands, sirens, hippocentaurs, gorgons, harpies, incubi, dragopods, minotaurs, lynxes, pards, chimeras, cynophales who darted fire from their nostrils, crocodiles, polycaudate, hairy serpents, salamanders, horned vipers, tortoises, snakes, two-headed creatures whose backs were armed with teeth, hyenas, otters, crows, hydrophora with sawtooth horns, frogs, gryphons, monkeys, dog-heads, leucrota, manticores, vultures, paranders, weasels, dragons, hoopoes, owls, basilisks, hypnales, presters, spectafici, scorpions, saurians, whales, scitales, amphisbenae, iaculi, dipsases, green lizards, pilot fish, octopi, morays, and sea turtles.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

scitalis

Latin name: Scitalis
Other names: Scytale
A serpent with such a marvelous appearance that it stuns the viewer

General Attributes
The scitalis is a serpent with such marvelous markings on its back that its appearance stuns the viewer, slowing the person down so that they are caught. Its heat is so great that it sheds its skin even in the winter.

Sources (chronological order)
Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 841-842): “Sole of all serpents Scytale to shed / In vernal frosts his slough…”.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:19): The scitalis (scytale) has a skin that shines with such variety that by these marks it slows down any who see it. It creeps slowly and cannot pursue its prey, so it stupifies with its marvelous appearance. It is so hot that even in winter it sheds its skin.

Source: Medieval Bestiary.

all the animals of Satan’s bestiary, assembled in a consistory and set as guard and crown of the throne that faced them, singing its glory in their defeat, fauns, beings of double sex, brutes with six-fingered hands, sirens, hippocentaurs, gorgons, harpies, incubi, dragopods, minotaurs, lynxes, pards, chimeras, cynophales who darted fire from their nostrils, crocodiles, polycaudate, hairy serpents, salamanders, horned vipers, tortoises, snakes, two-headed creatures whose backs were armed with teeth, hyenas, otters, crows, hydrophora with sawtooth horns, frogs, gryphons, monkeys, dog-heads, leucrota, manticores, vultures, paranders, weasels, dragons, hoopoes, owls, basilisks, hypnales, presters, spectafici, scorpions, saurians, whales, scitales, amphisbenae, iaculi, dipsases, green lizards, pilot fish, octopi, morays, and sea turtles.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

spectaficus

The spectaficus is an asp which, when it bites a man, destroys him, so that he turns entirely into fluid in the snake’s mouth.

Source: The Aberdeen Bestiary.

all the animals of Satan’s bestiary, assembled in a consistory and set as guard and crown of the throne that faced them, singing its glory in their defeat, fauns, beings of double sex, brutes with six-fingered hands, sirens, hippocentaurs, gorgons, harpies, incubi, dragopods, minotaurs, lynxes, pards, chimeras, cynophales who darted fire from their nostrils, crocodiles, polycaudate, hairy serpents, salamanders, horned vipers, tortoises, snakes, two-headed creatures whose backs were armed with teeth, hyenas, otters, crows, hydrophora with sawtooth horns, frogs, gryphons, monkeys, dog-heads, leucrota, manticores, vultures, paranders, weasels, dragons, hoopoes, owls, basilisks, hypnales, presters, spectafici, scorpions, saurians, whales, scitales, amphisbenae, iaculi, dipsases, green lizards, pilot fish, octopi, morays, and sea turtles.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

prester

The prester is an asp that moves quickly with its mouth always open and emitting vapour, as the poet recalled like this: ‘The greedy prester that opens wide its foaming mouth’ (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 722). If it strikes you, you swell up and die of gross distention, for the swollen body putrefies immediately after.

Source: The Aberdeen Bestiary.

all the animals of Satan’s bestiary, assembled in a consistory and set as guard and crown of the throne that faced them, singing its glory in their defeat, fauns, beings of double sex, brutes with six-fingered hands, sirens, hippocentaurs, gorgons, harpies, incubi, dragopods, minotaurs, lynxes, pards, chimeras, cynophales who darted fire from their nostrils, crocodiles, polycaudate, hairy serpents, salamanders, horned vipers, tortoises, snakes, two-headed creatures whose backs were armed with teeth, hyenas, otters, crows, hydrophora with sawtooth horns, frogs, gryphons, monkeys, dog-heads, leucrota, manticores, vultures, paranders, weasels, dragons, hoopoes, owls, basilisks, hypnales, presters, spectafici, scorpions, saurians, whales, scitales, amphisbenae, iaculi, dipsases, green lizards, pilot fish, octopi, morays, and sea turtles.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.