Fantastic Fish of the Middle Ages
Here after followeth of the natures of the fisshes of the See whiche be right profitable to be vnderstande. Wherof I wyll wryte be the helpe and grace of almighty god, to whose laude & prayse this mater ensueth.
- Lawrens Andrewe




"... a muskle in whose fysshe is a precious stone..."

Echeola is a muskle / in whose fysshe is a precious stone / & be night they flete to the water syde / and there they receyue the heuenly dewe, where throughe there groweth in them a costly margaret or orient perle / & they flete a great many togeder / & he that knoweth the water best / gothe before & ledeth the other / & whan he is taken, all the other scater a brode, and geteth them away.

The Echeolais a mussel that has in it a precious stone, and by night they float to the waterside and there they recieve the heavenly dew, which goes through them and grows into a costly Margaret or Oriental pearl. And many of them float together, and the Echeola that knows the water best goes before and leads the others, and when that Echeola is captured, all the others scatter about and get away.


Echynus is a lytell fysshe of half a fote longe / & hath sharpe prykeles vnder his bely in stede of fete.

The Echynus is a little fish about half of a foot long which has sharp thorns under its belly instead of feet.


"Ezox is a very grete fissh in that water danowe... "

Ezox is a very grete fissh in that water danowe be the londe of hungarye / he is of suche bygnes that a carte with .iiij. horses can nat cary hym awaye / and he hath nat many bones, but his hede is full / and he hath swete fisshe lyke a pork, and whan this fysshe is taken, thanne geue hym mylke to drink, and ye may carye hym many a myle, and kepe hym longe quicke.

The Ezox is a very large fish in the Danube River in the land of Hungary. He is so big that a cart with 4 horses cannot carry him away. He doesn't have a lot of bones, but his head is large. His flesh is sweet like pork, and when this fish is caught, then give him milk to drink, and you may carry him many a mile and and keep him for a short time.

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© James L. Matterer

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