Beaver and Ibex.

If you’re a person with testicles, hang on to ’em. :D

The beaver is a gentle animal whose testicles have a medicinal value. When hunted, the beaver escapes with his life by biting off his testicles. If he is hunted for a second time he shows his incompleteness and is spared.

The ibex has two enormously strong horns. If it jumps from the top of a mountain, its body is held safe by its horns.

Text Translation:

Of the beaver  There is an animal called the beaver, which is extremely gentle; its testicles are highly suitable for medicine. Physiologus says of it that, when it knows that a hunter is pursuing it, it bites off its testicles and throws them in the hunter’s face and, taking flight, escapes. But if, once again, another hunter is in pursuit, the beaver rears up and displays its sexual organs. When the hunter sees that it lacks testicles, he leaves it alone. Thus every man who heeds God’s commandment and wishes to live chastely should cut off all his vices and shameless acts, and cast them from him into the face of the devil. Then the devil, seeing that the man has nothing belonging to him, retires in disorder. That man, however, lives in God and is not taken by the devil, who says: ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them…'(Exodus, 15:9) The name castor comes from castrando, ‘castrate’.

Of the animal called the ibex There is an animal called the ibex, which has two horns of such strength that, if it were to fall from a high mountain to the lowest depths, its whole body would be supported by those two horns. The ibex represents those learned men who are accustomed to manage whatever problems they encounter, with the harmony of the two Testaments as if with a sound constitution; and, supported as by two horns, they sustain the good they do with the testimony of readings from the Old and New Testament.

Folio 11r – Elephant, continued. De castore; the beaver. De animale qoud dicitur ibex; the ibex.


  1. Raucous Indignation says

    I’ll hang onto my “vices and shameless acts” if it’s all same to you, m’kay?

  2. says

    I was expecting something about the ibex eating snakes and having poison-curing saliva. Although as far as I’m aware, that legend applies to only one species called the markhor.

  3. says

    Markhors are fascinating, but I’m not sure there’s a medieval bestiary equivalent. There might be though, I’ll keep an eye out. Tomorrow is Hyena and Bonnacon, both of which are fun. You have to love an animal whose defense was spraying acrid, burning shit.

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