This is where two leaves, after f.21v are missing which should have contained ox, camel, dromedary, ass, wild ass, part of horse. Filling in from other sources today, and partly tomorrow, with horse.
Oxen can predict the weather, and knowing when it is about to rain, refuse to leave their stalls. They do not like to be separated from their kind; an ox wants to be with its usual partner when pulling a plow, and they will roar if separated. There are several kinds of ox: in India lives a particularly cruel sort with one horn, that cannot be tamed. Ox horns are used to make drinking cups.
The dung of an ox cures the bite of a water snake called hydros (Isidore, Etymologies, 12, 4, 22). [This is a hydrus, click image for full size.]
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 70): Indian oxen are said to be as tall as camels and to have horns up to four feet wide. Among the Garamantes oxen only graze while walking backwards. A tale is told of an ox that is worshipped as a god in Egypt.
There are two types of camels: Bactrian, which have two humps and are strong; and Arabian, which have one hump and are more numerous. They hate horses. Camels can endure thirst for three days and prefer to drink muddy water; if only clear water is available, they will stir it up with their feet to muddy it. When they drink, they fill up for both past thirst and for future needs. Some camels are good for carrying burdens, while others are better suited to traveling. Their hoofs do not wear down. They can live for one hundred years, unless they are taken to a foriegn country, where the change of air makes them ill. Female camels are used in war. Camels grow wild with the desire to mate; this desire can be destroyed by castration, which also makes the camel stronger.
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 26): Camels are found in the East, and are of two kinds: Bactrian, with two humps, and Arabian, with one hump. Both kinds are like oxen in having no teeth in the upper jaw. They live fifty to one hundred years, but are vulnerable to rabies. They are used to carry burdens; they will refuse to carry more than the regulation load. They are also used in battles, but are slower than horses, for which they have an inate hatred. They can travel four days without water; when they find water they drink to quench their thirst and to provide for the future, first stirring up the water with their fore feet. Their strength is increased by denying them sexual intercourse; for this reason both males and females intended for war are gelded.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 1:35): The camel gets its name either from the Greek chamai meaning low and short, because camels lie down while they are being loaded, so they are shorter or lower; or from the Greek chamai (meaning hump) because they have a hump on their back. Most camels come from Arabia. Camels from other lands have one hump, but Arabian camels have two.
The dromedary is a kind of camel, but smaller and swifter than the usual kind. It can travel a hundred Roman miles or more in a single day. It is an animal that chews its cud.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 1:36): The dromedary is a kind of camel; it is smaller but faster than ordinary camels. From its speed it gets its name: the Greek word dromos means course and velocity. Camels can travel a hundred miles or more. They chew their cud like other beasts.
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 68): Asses are useful for ploughing, and for the breeding mules, which are the offspring of an ass and a horse. Though female asses have great affection for their young, they have an even greater dislike of water, so that they will go through fire to reach their foals but will not cross even a small stream to do so. Asses will only drink from a stream they are used to and can reach without wetting their hooves; they will refuse to cross a bridge if the water of the river can be seen through cracks in the bridge boards.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 1:38): The ass (asinus) takes its name from “sitting” (sedendo, taken as a-sedus). It resists commands for no reason, and is a slow animal.
Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (De proprietatibus rerum, book 18): The ass is fair of shape and of disposition while he is young and tender, or he pass into age. For the elder the ass is, the fouler he waxeth from day to day, and hairy and rough, and is a melancholy beast, that is cold and dry, and is therefore kindly heavy and slow, and unlusty, dull and witless and forgetful. Nathless he beareth burdens, and may away with travail and thraldom, and useth vile meat and little, and gathereth his meat among briars and thorns and thistles…. And the ass hath another wretched condition known to nigh all men. For he is put to travail over-night, and is beaten with staves, and sticked and pricked with pricks, and his mouth is wrung with a bernacle, and is led hither and thither, and withdrawn from leas and pasture that is in his way oft by the refraining of the bernacle, and dieth at last after vain travails, and hath no reward after his death for the service and travail that he had living, not so much that his own skin is left with him, but it is taken away, and the carrion is thrown out without sepulture or burials; but it be so much of the carrion that by eating and devouring is sometimes buried in the wombs of hounds and wolves.
On March 25 the onager brays twelve times to signal the spring equinox; he brays both in the night and the day, and the number of brays marks the hour. The onager represents the devil, who on seeing sinners converted brays in anger at his loss. (The latter per Philippe de Thaon.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_de_Thaun
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 46): Each male wild ass is the lord of his own herd of females. Because he is jealous of rivals, he watches his females and castrates with a bite any male foals that are born. To prevent this, the females try to give birth in secret. The wild ass indulges in a great deal of sexual activity.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 1:39): The wild ass is called onager because “ass” in Greek is onus and “wild” is agrion. The wild asses of Africa are large and wander in the desert. A single male is lord over a flock of females. Being jealous of newborn males, the male lord bites off their testicles; in fear of this, the females hide their young in secret places.
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