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



"Orchun is a monster of the se"

Orchun is a monster of the se / whose lykenes can nat lightely be shewed / & he is mortal ennemye to the balene, & tereth asounder the bely of the balene / & the balene is so boystous that he can nat turne hym to defende him, and that costeth him his lyfe / for as sone as he feleth him selfe wounded, than he sinketh doune to the botom of the water agayne / & the Orchun throweth at him with stones / & thus balena endith his lyfe.

The Orchun is a monster of the sea whose likeness cannot be easily shown. He is a mortal enemy to the Balena, and tears asunder the belly of the Balena; the Balena is so buoyant that he cannot turn over to defend himself, and that costs him his life, for as soons as he feels himself wounded, he sinks down to the bottom of the water again, and the Orchun throws stones at him, and so the Balena dies.


Ostren is an oyster that openeth his shell to receyue the dewe & swete ayre. In the oyster groweth natural orient perles that oftentymes laye on the see stronde, & be but lytell regarded, as Isidorus saith.

The Ostren is an oyster that opens its shell to recieve dew and sweet air. In the oyster grows natural Oriental pearls that often lay on the sea shore and are regarded very little, as Isidorus says.

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© James L. Matterer

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