Ze Slovníku středověké latiny: fele a furion
FROM THE DICTIONARY OF MEDIEVAL LATIN IN CZECH LANDS: FELE AND FURION
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The purpose of this article is to identify the origin and meaning of two Latin zoological terms in the works of Thomas of Cantimpré and Czech medieval lexicographer Bartholomaeus de Solencia dictus Claretus. Both works employ names of animals that are extremely difficult to interpret both semantically and linguistically and whose Greek or Latin origin is not immediately clear. Most of them are attached to animals the description of which Thomas claims to be derived from Aristotle or Pliny the Elder. Thomas used the Latin translation of the Aristotle’s work Historia animalium translated from Arabic by Michael Scotus. Due to phonetical differencies between these languages as well as inaccuracies and mistakes in both translations, the text of Aristotle and the forms of the original Greek names were variously modified. Aristotle’s term ai[louro", denoting the wildcat (Felis silvestris Schreber) or the housecat (Felis silvestris cattus Linné), appears at Michael Scotus in the form furoniorum (gen. pl.), at Thomas of Cantimpré in the form furionz and at Claretus as furion; the same animal is also referred by the second analysed term feles, taken by Thomas of Cantimpré from Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis historia; it appears in the work of Claretus in the form fele.
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