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



The Gladius

"Gladius... is mouthed after the fascyon of a sworde poynt"

Gladius is a fisshe so named because he is mouthed after the fascyon of a sworde poynt / and ther-fore often tymes he perseth the shyppes thorough, & so causeth them to be drowned.

The Gladius is a fish so named because he has a mouth which resembles the point of a sword, and therefore very often he pierces ships through and causes them to drown.


Aristotiles. Gastarios is a fisshe lyke the scorpion / and is but lytell greter than a spyder / & it styngeth many fisshes with her poyson so that they can nat endure nowhere / and he styngeth the dolphin on the hede that it entreth in-to the brayne.

Aristotiles: Gastarios is a fish that is like the scorpion, and is only a little bigger than a spider. It stings many fish with its poison and kills them. It stings the dolphin on the head so the poison enters the brain.


"... a fisshe lyke the scorpion"


Isidorus. Glaucus is a whyte fissh that is but seldom sene except in dark rayne weder / and is nat in season but in the howndes dayes.

Isidorus: The Glaucus is a white fish that is seldom seen except in dark, rainy weather. It is only in season during the dog days.


Gobio is a smale longe fissh with a rounde body / full of scales and litell blacke spottys / and some say they leue of drounde caryon / & the fisshers say contrarye, that they leue in clere watere in sandy graueil / and it is a holsom mete.

The Gobio is a small, long fish with a round body full of scales and little black spots. And some say that they live off of drowned carrion, but fisherman say contrary, that they live in clear water in sandy gravel. It is a wholesome food.

The Gobio

"... fisshers say... that they leue in clere watere in sandy graueil."


Grauus is a fisshe that hath an iye aboue on hys hede, and therwith he loketh vp, and saueth hym from them that wyll eat hym.

The Grauus is a fish that has an eye on the top of its head, and with it he looks up and saves himself from those that will eat him.

"Grauus is a fisshe that hath an iye aboue on hys hede... "

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© James L. Matterer

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