Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Illustrated: Draco in Laci Fundo


M0630 - M0631 - M0632
631. Draco in Laci Fundo. Homo prae magno timore unicornis fugiebat. Incidit in quendam lacum; erat in ripa arbor magna in qua se appendit, duos ramos ipsius tenens, et pedes posuit in alio ramo. Erantque ibi quattuor serpentes circa lacum et, respiciens ad fundum, vidit draconem os apertum habentem. Iterum vidit duos mures, unum album et alterum nigrum, comedentes radices arboris super quam stabat. Hiis stupefactus, quaerebat qualiter de tantis malis liberari posset. Aspiciens sursum, vidit mel defluens a summitate arboris. De melle gustans, oblitus est salutis suae et non est recordatus unicornis nec quattuor serpentum nec duorum murium comedentium radices arboris et quod, postquam comederint eas, cadet arbor et ipse cadet in gutture draconis, sed perseverans in mellis dulcedine perditus fuit.

Homo, Arbor et Mel

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Kalila-wa-Dimna images from this manuscript. Even though the manuscript is damaged, it is very beautiful, I think!

M0631 = Perry609. Source: Liber Kalilae et Dimnae Prologue 3.10 (shortened). This is Perry 609. This story is often accompanied by elaborate allegorical explanations. For example, the white mouse and the black mouse are a symbol of time, i.e. the alternation of day and night, gnawing away at the world’s existence. The story is Indian in origin, and can already be found in the Mahabharata, Book 11.5.

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