Albertgallus in English

The chicken of Albertus Magnus

contained in
De animalibus libri XXVI
I Volume - books 1-12 - 1916
II Volume – books 13-26 - 1920
Hermann Stadler – Münster – 1916-1920

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to download the 1st and the 2nd volume of Hermann Stadler edition

Latin text transcribed by Fernando Civardi
translated by Elio Corti with revision of Roberto Ricciardi
English text reviewed by Elly Vogelaar


It is uncertain when Albertus wrote his Book on the animals, as well as when he wrote his scientific commentaries to Aristotle (384-322 BC), perhaps after his renunciation to the Episcopal chair of Regensburg in 1262. Already toward 1255 Albertus would attend, as main activity, to the annotation of the writings of Aristotle. Other people, but in a less convincing way, are dating this job around 1268.

De animalibus libri XXVI of Albertus is kept in about 40 manuscripts, of which 3 at least of XIII century, 10 of XIV, the others of XV. The more important is without doubt the codex Coloniensis (W 258a of civic archives of Cologne), called C by Hermann Stadler, and that can be regarded as the original writing of the work, because it is the only one offering the complete text (while the other manuscripts and the printed editions suffer from lacunae and omissions), because it is free from many errors of reading (whose presence in the testimonial codices is explained only in dependence from C), and because of the presence of corrections going back to the principal sources of Albertus, that is, Aristotle and Avicenna, showing the activity of the author changing during his work. In the codex C are enclosed other two works of Albertus: De motu et origine animae and De principiis motus processivi.

The style of writing, individual at all, corresponds to the manner of writing in use toward the half of XIII century. According to a tradition dating back to 1483, Albertus was buried in the Convent of Dominicans in Cologne. Here, near a theological work, was found a volumen de naturis animalium de manu sua (just the codex C). These works were brought, from the Convent destroyed during the wars with French at the beginning of XIX century, in the civic archives of Cologne, where they still are. Naturally, as we said, there are other manuscripts of Albertus. The parchment codex C is composed of 429 (in reality 427) sheets; it is written by one hand, with marginal additions (which seem belonging to this hand). Of another hand are perhaps small additions (in critical apparatus Stadler denotes them as m2 and m3). There are many abbreviations not different from the abbreviations of that time. The orthography, as Stadler is observing, is 'consequent in the inconsequence', that is, the same word in the same line can be written in a different way. The punctuation is that in use in the coeval French manuscripts.

Afterwards we remember the codices Basiliensis F 1,19 and F 1,20 (= B of Stadler), the codex Divisionensis M. Nr. 262 of Dijon (= D), both copies of C, the codex Suessionensis Colb. 3 ms. 33 of Soissons (= S). The other codices have lesser importance. As far as the printed editions is concerning, the History of the animals was published in editio princeps (first printed edition) in Rome in 1478, then in Mantua in 1479, in Venice in various reprints between 1490 and 1515. Stadler in his edition tried to distinguish what is pertaining to Albertus from what is coming from his sources, and he employed vertical bars, so that the loanwords are among simple (I) and double bars (II), while the ingredients of Albertus are among double bars (II) and simple (I). For example in IX 69 we find:

I Adhuc autem omnia [Aristoteles et Scotus] II sive quadrupedia sive bipedia sive pedibus carentia [Albertus] I prima [Aristoteles et Scotus] II ante completam quantitatem [Albertus] I tenent capita sua [Aristoteles et Scotus] II in matrice [Alberts] I etc.

Alberts follows the Arabic-Latin translation of Michael Scot (c. 1175 - c. 1235), dealing with zoology in 19 books (10 De historia animalium; 4 De partibus animalium; 5 De generatione animalium). For this he used a reproduction of the Latin codex Vindobonensis 97 (= Sc. in critical apparatus). Stadler supplies in apparatus the lost names of the Greek animals, that Albertus is changing in his text so that they are incomprehensible. Of Avicenna Albertus uses the Canones in his anatomical books, as also the extracts of the De animalibus of Aristotle, while Galen (129/130 - 199/201) is indirectly quoted by him through Avicenna (980-1037), whose at his times circulated Latin versions, afterwards printed.


The asterisk indicates that the item is present in lexicon

Matreshka egg*

Incipit liber de animalibus primus, qui est de membris animalium et praecipue perfectissimi animalis, quod est homo.

The first book on animals begins and it concerns the parts of animals' body and above all of that very perfect animal that is the man.

I - 81

I - 81

Ovantium autem quaedam ova sunt durae testae et continent in se duos humores, album videlicet et citrinum, sicut omnia ova avium aput nos notarum. Ego tamen iam vidi ovum gallinae, quod habuit duas testas, unam intra aliam, et in medio duarum testarum habuit albuginem, et intra interiorem etiam non fuit nisi albugo, et fuit ovum parvum, totum rotundum ad modum sperae. Sed hoc erat unum de naturae peccatis et monstris. Quaedam autem ovantium ova sunt mollis testae, quae est sicut pellis, et humor qui est in eis, est unius et eiusdem coloris. Et talia sunt ova piscis quem supra nominavimus, qui keleti vel celeti[1] vocatur. Sunt autem talia etiam ranarum et piscium et aranearum ova et vermium multorum. Animalium autem generantium vermes quidam vermes moventur in eadem hora suae nativitatis, et quidam non faciunt hoc nisi post aliquot dies, sicut vermes formicarum et apum: et de omnibus hiis diversitatibus exsequemur inferius cum ratione subtili causam assignantes omnium dictorum.

Moreover some eggs of oviparous animals have a hard shell and contain inside two liquids, that is the white and the yellow, as all the eggs of the birds known to us. Nevertheless I have also seen an egg of hen having two shells, one inside the other*, and among the two shells it had some egg white, and also in the more inner one there was only egg white, and it was a small egg, completely round as a sphere. But this was one of the errors and anomalies of nature. On the contrary some eggs of the oviparous animals have the shell soft like the skin and the liquid they contain is of one identical colour. Such are the eggs of the fish we previously quoted, which keleti or celeti is said – cartilaginous fish. Besides they are such also the eggs of frogs, fishes, spiders, as well as of many worms. However some worms in the eggs of the animals giving birth to worms are stirring in the same moment the eggs are laid, and some do this only after some days such as the worms of ants and bees. And later we will deal with all these differences by attributing with precise reasons the cause of any statement.

The spurs and the comb

Incipit liber secundus de animalibus in quo agitur de comparatione aliorum animalium ad hominem secundum convenientiam et differentiam.

The second book on animals begins in which the other animals are compared with the man on the basis of similarity and difference.

II - 75

II - 75

Amplius autem quaedam genera avium quae non habent magnos ungues habent in crure suo quiddam prominens, sicut sit digitus quidam corneus, sicut gallus: et gallina habet etiam signum istius sed non est perfectum, eo quod fere in omnibus deficit sexus femininus, quae perfecta sunt in masculo. Nullum autem volatile magnorum et curvorum unguium communicat cum isto additamento: quia in illis avibus materia illius additamenti transit in ungues. Volatile autem curvi unguis boni est volatus: et volatile quod praedictum habet additamentum, gravis est volatus sicut fasianus et perdix et gallus et orix[2] et omnia talia, quae aut habent dictum additamentum aut signum ipsius.

Moreover, some species of birds not endowed with big toenails, have on their legs something sticking out like a horny toe, as the cock: and also the hen has a hint of it, but it is unfinished, since in almost all the birds the female sex is lacking what in the male is complete. However no bird with big and hooked toes is dealing with this appendix, since in these birds the material of such appendix moves into toenails. Moreover, a bird with hooked toenails flies well, but the bird having the aforesaid appendix flies badly, as the pheasant*, the partridge*, the rooster, the orix and all those birds endowed with the aforesaid appendix or with a hint of it.

Adhuc autem quaedam genera avium habent in capitibus suis additamenta coronalia, quasi sint galeata: et hoc aliquando est ex pluma sicut in pavone et upupa. Aliquando autem est ex dura substantia, quae media est inter carnem et cartillaginem, sicut in capite galli et gallinae et in capite eius quod vocatur pullus aquae[3], et est nigrum habens galeam albam iacentem super verticem capitis sui non erectam.

Besides some species of birds have on their head some appendixes shaped like a crown, as if they were endowed with helmets: and sometimes this happens thanks to the feathers as in peacock and hoopoe. But this sometimes happens thanks to a hard substance whose consistence is between the flesh and the cartilage, as on the head of rooster and hen and on the head of that species called waterfowl that is black and has a not erect and white helmet laying on the summit of its head.

The crop

II - 105

II - 105

[...] Quaedam enim huius generis animalium habent in anteriori suo sub collo interius papam[4] quae est a quibusdam dicta struma[5], et a quibusdam vocatur vesicula avis, eo quod creatio eius est ex tela nervali sicut vesica, sicut gallus et columba et perdix et sperewerius et aliae huiusmodi aves: et creatio huius papae est ex corio sive tela magna profunda extensibili secundum cibi tumescentis quantitatem: et in ipso continetur cibus indigestus. Et causa huius est, quia stomachus talium avium est parvus, et aliquando spissae carnis et durae et non extensibilis, in quo non potest reponi cibus nisi prius amittat tumorem inflationis sicut in gallina et ansere.

In fact some animals of this species have, at the front under the neck and more inside, a crop which by some people is called struma and by some people is called little bladder of bird, since its formation comes from the muscular tissue as for the bladder, as it happens in rooster, dove, partridge, sparrow hawk and in others of such birds: and the formation of this crop comes from the layer of skin or great deep tissue which is extensible according to the quantity of the food inflating itself, and in it is contained the food not yet digested. And the cause of this lies in the fact that the stomach of such birds is small and sometimes made up by thick, hard and inextensible flesh, in which the food cannot find place if first it has not lost the swelling of the bulge, as in hen and goose.

The voice and the crowing

Incipit liber quartus animalium.

The forth book on animals begins.

IV - 95

IV - 95

[...] Quaedam vero genera avium sunt, quae uno modo vociferant tam mas quam femina. In quibusdam autem diversificantur mas et femina in vocando: aves vero parvi corporis plus garriunt aliis propter levitatem spirituum et sanguinis: parvae etiam frequentius loquuntur et maxime moderatae quae sunt mediae inter parvas et magnas, sicut sturnus et psitacus et pica et huiusmodi. Garritus autem earum maxime est tempore coitus. Differentiam autem habent in garritu quoniam quaedam musica sunt in garritu ut coturnix et filomena[6] et multa alia. Quaedam autem non cantant, sed sono quodam clamant vocando feminam sicut id quod coaf vocatur et columba et multa alia. Quaedam autem vociferant distinguendo tempora noctis et diei et post victoriam in prelio sicut gallus: et ideo uno gallo cantante et alter cantat, ne videatur vinci ab ipso. [...] In quibusdam autem avibus masculi quidem dant vocem musicam, et non feminae sicut gallus et mas coturnicis: sed mas coturnicis habet vocem exilem fere sicut grillius, et femina habet vocem grossam.

There are indeed some species of birds in which both male and female emit sounds in only one manner. On the contrary in some species male and female differ in call: the birds with little body chirrup more than the others because of the lightness of breath and blood: the small ones also speak more frequently, above all those of not excessive size lying fifty-fifty between the small and big ones as starling, parrot, magpie and similar. Their chattering especially occurs in mating time. In fact they show a difference in the manner of chattering since some are musical in uttering the voice as quail*, nightingale and many others. However some don't sing, but cackle by uttering a certain sound to call the female, as that called coaf - the partridge*, the dove and many others. On the contrary some have a distinguishing call in daytime and nighttime as well as after they won in fight, as the rooster: and therefore when a rooster sings also the other one sings so that it doesn't seem that he was defeated by the first. [...] In some birds the males utter a musical voice, and not the females, as the cock and the male of the quail. But the male of the quail has a weak voice almost as a cricket, while the female has a strong voice.

Time of eggs laying

Incipit liber animalium quintus de generatione animalium in communi, cuius primus tractatus est de coitus eorum diversitate.

The fifth book of animals begins on the generation of animals in general and its first item is concerning their different manner of mating.

V - 40

V - 40

Avis autem agrestis non aquatica coit et ovat semel in anno: sed yrundines ovant bis in anno et similiter merula quae Graece a quibusdam fastoroz, ab aliis autem fartokoz vocatur[7]. Sed ova prima quandoque tempore frigoris supervenientis corrompuntur propter hyemem et aliquando proveniunt. Ova vero posteriora semper complentur et faciunt pullos: et hoc fit in hyrundinibus quae frigus sustinere non possunt. Avis vero domestica propter cibi habundantiam et mansionis temperamentum et alia fomenta libidinis coit frequenter sicut columbae et gallinae. Ovant enim istae aves tota aestate et non multiplicantur ova eius nisi propter multitudinem coitus sui. Tempore tamen quo sol intrat tropicum hyemalem, non pullificat columba et certum experimentum est, quod etiam tunc pullificat, si calidam habeat habitationem et cibi habundantiam: sed non pullificat altero istorum deficiente, et hoc quidem faciunt columbae domesticae.

A wild not aquatic bird mates and lays eggs once a year: but the swallows* lay eggs twice a year and the same thing does the blackbird* that in Greek by some people is called fastoroz, by others fastocoz. But sometimes the first eggs in the period of the arrival of the cold decay because of the cold and occasionally they hatch. On the contrary the following eggs always reach completion and produce chicks: and this happens in the swallows that are not able to bear the cold. A domestic bird, because of the abundance of food and the mild temperature of the house, and because of other urges of lust, is mating often, as doves and hens. In fact these birds lay eggs for the whole summer and their eggs multiply because of the high number of their mating. Nevertheless in the period when the sun enters the winter tropic of the Capricorn the dove doesn't produce chicks, but it is a proven experiment the fact that also in such period she produces chicks if she has a warm house and abundance of food: but she doesn't produce offspring if one of the two things is lacking, and actually this is what the domestic doves are doing.

The eggs and the birth of the chick



Incipit liber sextus de animalibus de natura et anathomia et generatione ovorum, cuius tractatus primus de alteratione et diversitate est ovorum.

The sixth book of animals begins on nature, anatomy and generation of eggs, and the first item is concerning the differentiation and the diversity of eggs.

Cap. I.

De diversitate nidorum et ovorum in numero et colore et figura.

Chapter I

The diversity of nests and eggs about number, colour and appearance.

[1] Adhuc autem de generatione animalium loquentes oportet etiam in isto libro determinare modum ovantium volatilium et modum, quo ovum mutatur in animal, et tempora, quibus concepta semina in creaturas transmutantur: hoc enim specialem requirit determinationem praeter eam, quam iam in praehabito libro de potentia generativa animalium fecimus.

[1] Furthermore, speaking again about animals' generation, it is opportune to clarify also in this book the manner in which the volatiles lay eggs, the way according to which an egg turns into a living being, as well as the times according to which the seeds of the conception turn into creatures: in fact this requires a precise definition, besides that we exposed in the previous book about the procreative capacity of animals.

Dicamus igitur, quod cum eo, quod diximus in libro praecedente, oportet scire, quod quaedam aves coeunt et pullificant omni tempore, si calidas habeant mansiones et delicatum et habundans nutrimentum, sicut gallinae et columbae: quoniam gallina ovat toto anno, praeterquam in duobus mensibus tropicorum: et tunc etiam forte plures ovabunt, si affuerint ei<s> duo, quae diximus: sed plures retrahuntur in tropico hyemali propter frigus constringens vias et materias ovorum et spermatum.

Therefore we say that, along with what we told in the previous book, it is necessary to know that some birds are mating and proliferating in whatever season if they have warm houses and a refined and abundant nourishment, as hens and doves: since the hen lays eggs the whole year except the two months of winter's solstice: and also in that period it is not excluded that a lot of them will lay eggs if they will have available those two prerogatives we have said: but mostly they recede from laying during winter's solstice because of the cold that reduces the ways and the components of eggs and sperm.

[2] In tropico autem aestivo, licet sit signum humidum, quod est Cancer, tamen propter sperae artitudinem et nimiam moram radii solaris circa idem exsiccantur etiam humiditates et abscinditur sperma in avibus et animalibus pluribus: non enim habent ingenium impediendi in corporibus suis celestem effectum, quemadmodum habet homo, qui haec celestia praevidens in se praevenit frequenter et in aliis et disponit corpora in contrarium: tamen in tantum praevalet in hominibus, quod mulieres parturientes in tropico hyemali vel alio simili frigore hyemis ex celestibus causato sunt in periculo vitae propter viarum constrictionem, et concipientes circa tropicum aestivum frequenter debiles pariunt propter spermatis parvitatem, quod conceperunt. Quaedam tamen de numero gallinarum in aliquibus regionibus temperatis multa faciunt ova ante cubationem, ita quod forte ponunt sexaginta et amplius ova. Cubantes autem aliquando ova fecundiores sunt in ovando quam non cubantes.

[2] During summer's solstice, although it is a damp constellation being the Cancer, however, because of the influence of celestial sphere and the excessive delaying of solar irradiation, in such period also the dampness dry up, and in birds and several animals the sperm wears itself down: in fact they don't have the power to prevent that in their bodies the effect of the sky is occurring as on the contrary the human being can do, who foreseeing these celestial effects often prevents them in himself and in others, and he places the bodies turned contrarily: however in human beings this has more influence, since the women giving birth during winter's solstice, or during another similar winter cold period caused by celestial influences, they are in danger of life because of the narrowing of genital ways, and when they conceive around Cancer's tropic they often give birth being weaken because of sperm's shortage they housed in themselves. Nevertheless in some mild regions some hens lay a lot of eggs before the period of brooding, so that in case they lay 60 and more eggs. But sometimes those brooding the eggs are more fertile in laying them than those which are not brooding.

[3] Adhuc autem quaedam sunt gallinae, quae Adriani regis vocantur, et aput nos dicuntur gallinae magnae, et sunt magni et longi valide corporis, et habundant in Selandia et Hollandia et fere ubique in Germania inferiori. Ovant omni die et sunt malorum morum ad pullos suos, saepe enim interficiunt eos: et colores earum sunt diversi, sed aput nos frequentius sunt albae: multae tamen etiam sunt aliorum colorum et pulli earum diu iacent sine pennis: quaedam etiam gallinae domesticae propter habundantem pastum ovant bis in die. Quaecumque autem earum multum ovant, debilitantur et citius moriuntur. Palumbes autem et turtures et huiusmodi aves bis ovant in anno in regionibus calidis vel temperatis, sed in frigidis non ovant nisi semel. Columbae autem ovant decies in anno et forte duodecies, sicut in priori ante hunc habito libro determinavimus.

[3] Moreover are existing some chicken hens called of the king Hadrian* said big hens among us, and they show a great and very lengthened build, and they abound in Zealand and Holland and almost anywhere in the province of Germania Inferior*. They lay every day and have a bad behaviour towards their chicks, in fact often they kill them: and their colour is various, but among us more often they are white: nevertheless many of them are also of other colours and their chicks remain without feathers for a long time: besides some domestic hens because of an abundant feeding lay twice a day. But all those among them which are laying a lot of eggs, weaken and die more quickly. On the contrary the wild doves and the turtle doves and birds of this type lay twice a year in warm or mild regions, but in cold ones they lay only once. Pigeons on the contrary lay ten times a year and perhaps twelve, as we affirmed in the book preceding this.

[4] Amplius autem maior pars avium ovat in vere et sunt quaedam, quae multa ovant ova, et maxime parvae aves: et sunt quae multotiens ovant sicut gallinae. Sed omnes fere aves nobis notae curvorum unguium, quae rapaces vocantur, sunt paucorum ovorum, praeter eam, quae Graece kayandoz, Latine seneris vocatur, et hanc quidam Graeci vocant tenesym: haec enim avis inter omnes notas habentes ungues curvos ovat multotiens et pullificat ad minus quatuor: sed cubeg et harcohyz frequenter non ovant in nido, sed super ramos coniunctos, et aliqua corpora humida supponunt ovis. Avis autem, quae Graece baharcaria, Latine merobs vocatur: et est picus viridis, cuius vocem et volatum multum observant augures, similiter autem avis, quam obarcham Graeci vocant, ovant in foramine terrae, quod faciunt et construunt rostris suis, aut forte factum inveniunt. Istae tamen aves in nostra terra nidum aliquando faciunt in cavernis antiquarum arborum putrefactarum.

[4] Besides the largest part of the birds lays the eggs in springtime and there are some of them laying a lot, above all the little birds: and there are those laying often, as the hens. But almost all the birds with hooked toenails known to us, said birds of prey, lay few eggs, except that - the kestrel* - said kayandoz in Greek, seneris in Latin, and called tenesym by some Greeks: in fact this bird, among all those known with hooked toenails, lays quite a lot of times and proliferates at least four times. Moreover cubeg and harcohyz - the partridges* and the quails* - often don't lay the eggs in the nest but on joint branches, and they put damp material under the eggs. That bird - the skylark* - called baharcaria in Greek and merobs in Latin, which is the green woodpecker*, whose voice and flight the augurs observe quite a lot, and likewise that bird - the bee-eater - called obarcha by Greeks, lay their eggs in a hole of the earth, which they prepare and build with their beaks, or casually they find it already made. Nevertheless in our territories these birds sometimes make the nest in hollows of old rotten trees.

[5] Similiter autem animal, quod triangel Graece et aulones Latine vocantur, facit nidum sicut yrundines ex luto in superiori altitudine arborum et ponunt et ordinant nidos consequentes sibi in acie, sicut etiam yrundines faciunt, quae in superioribus murorum acies ponunt nidorum suorum. Acoz autem, qui est picus marinus, inter alia nidificantia facit nidum intra corpora arborum in concavitate ipsa, ut non timeat de pullis: et hic est picus varius, qui solo cognomine marinus vocatur, non quod in mari cibum venetur. Cignus autem albus, qui et olor vocatur, nidificat in domibus, quando est domesticus, et in lapidibus iuxta aquas: aput nos autem nidificat in paludibus inter herbas, sicut fere omnis avis aquatica. Animal autem, quod radoryz Graece vocatur et est species quaedam picorum fere similis turdo, et hoc etiam in Affrica cacalyz vocatur, nidificat super arbores non altas, sed in ramis terrae propinquis.

[5] Likewise that animal - the thrush* - called triangel in Greek and aulo in Latin, using the mud like the swallows* do, builds the nest in the higher part of the trees and places and orders the nests one following the other so to make an array, as also the swallows do, which arrange the arrays of their nests in the top of the walls. But among the other nesting animals the acoz - the  hoopoe - that is the marine woodpecker, builds its nest inside the trunk of the trees in the concavity itself, so to not be afraid for the chicks: and this is the variegated woodpecker*, called marine only by nickname, not because it goes in search of food  throughout the sea. And the white swan*, also called olor, when domestic nests in the houses and among the stones in proximity of the water: but among us it nests in the swamps among the grass, as almost every aquatic bird. Then an animal called radoryz in Greek - the capercaillie* - and that is almost a kind of woodpecker similar to the thrush*, and that in Africa is also called cacalyz, nests above not high trees, but also on branches near to earth.

[6] Adhuc autem in ovis avium magna est diversitas. Quaedam enim sunt dura, et quaedam sunt mollia, facile fractiva sicut ova gallinarum et multarum aliarum avium. Dura autem voco, quae non facile franguntur propter spissitudinem testarum suarum sicut ova strutionum. Et quaedam ova sunt duorum colorum, citrinum habentia interius in substantia vitelli et album extra sicut fere omnia ova avium aput nos notarum. Quaedam autem sunt unius coloris tantum sicut ova quorundam reptilium. In quantitate etiam vitellorum est diversitas in ovis avium, quoniam citrinum in ovis avium aquaticarum, sicut in ovis anatum et anserum et huiusmodi, fere duplum est ad citrinum, quod est in ovis avium terrestrium, non in aqua, sed in ripa habitantium, ita quod comparatio fiat inter ova eiusdem quantitatis, quae etiam sint avium eiusdem quantitatis.

[6] Besides a great difference exists among the eggs of the birds. In fact some are hard, while some are soft and easy to get broken as the eggs of hens and many other birds. On the other hand I define hard those not easily getting broken because of the thickness of their shells, as the eggs of ostriches. And some eggs are of two colours, of lemon colour in the central part of the yolk and of white colour outside, as it happens for almost all the eggs of the birds known to us. But some have only one colour as the eggs of some reptiles. In the eggs of the birds also a difference exists about the quantity of the yolk, since in the eggs of the aquatic birds, as in those of ducks and geese and similar birds, the yellow is almost the double in comparison with the yellow present in the eggs of terrestrial birds, dwelling not in water but on shores, so that the comparison has to be between eggs of the same greatness, which moreover have to be of birds of the same build.

[7] Adhuc autem ova diversantur in colore testarum: quaedam enim sunt albi coloris sicut ova perdicum, gallinarum et columbarum, et quaedam sunt viridia, declinantia ad {citrini tatem} <citrinitatem>[8], sicut ova avium palustrium, sicut anatum et huiusmodi avium, et quaedam sunt picta, sicut ova picarum et cornicum et passerum et eius avis, quae Latine meleagridis, Graece autem melagoydoz vocatur, et ova catheaiar, qui Latine theagridi vocantur. Avis autem eius, quae Graece forahydez, Latine autem fasianus vocatur, ova sunt rubea, similia fere ovis milvorum.

[7] Besides the eggs differ in shell's colour: in fact some of them are of a white colour as the eggs of partridges, hens and doves, while some are green verging to yellowish as the eggs of marsh birds like ducks and such birds, and some are mottled, as the eggs of magpies, crows, sparrows and of that bird called meleagris in Latin - the guinea-fowl* - and melagoydoz in Greek, and the eggs of catheaiar called theagridi in Latin. But the eggs of that bird called forahydez in Greek, fasianus in Latin - the common pheasant* - are reddish, almost similar to the eggs of kites*.

Amplius autem ova diversantur in figura, quoniam quaedam sunt acuta, et quaedam sunt lata rotunda. et quaedam secundum duas extremitates suas habent utramque figuram, et in hiis prius ab ave exit latum rotundum, quia hoc versum est exterius, et posterius exit acutum, eo quod hoc versum fuit ad dyafracma avis: propter quod etiam illa extremitas est durior et ex calore aliquantulum corrugata in ovis gallinarum.

But the eggs further differ in shape, since some are sharp and others are completely round. And some according to their two extremities have both shapes, and for those of this type from the bird firstly comes out the round side being externally turned, and subsequently comes out the acute side, since this side was turned toward the diaphragm of the bird: that's why in the eggs of hen this extremity is also harder and a little bit wrinkled by heat.

[8] Dicit autem Aristoteles, quod ova longa acuti capitis producunt mares avium, rotunda vero et habentia in loco acuti anguli rotunditatem producunt feminas. Et hoc est falsum omnino et vitium fuit ex scriptura perversa, et non ex dictis philosophi: propter quod dicit Avicenna, quod ex rotundis et brevibus ovis producuntur mares et galli: ex longis autem et acutis ovis producuntur gallinae: et hoc concordat cum experientia, quam nos in ovis experti sumus, et cum ratione, quoniam perfectio virtutis in ovo masculino aequaliter ambit et continet extrema: sed eiusdem imperfectio in feminino causa est, quare materia diffluit longius a centro.

[8] But Aristotle* says that the elongated eggs with sharp extremity produce male birds, while those rounded and that in place of the sharp end show a  rounded edge, produce females. But this is quite false and has been a mistake due to an error of transcription, not to what the philosopher affirms: that's why Avicenna* says that from round and stumpy eggs males and roosters are born, while from elongated and sharp eggs hens are born: and this is agreeing with the experience we have about the eggs and with the reason, since the strength's improvement in the masculine egg encircles and at the same time contains things that are at the extremes: while its imperfection in female egg is the reason because the matter gets quite a lot further from centre.

[9] Calor enim alterativus et maturativus ovi est in ipso ovo, et fomentum, quod praestat avis{,}[9] extrinsecus est amminiculans: quoniam in quibusdam calidis terris meridionalibus ponuntur ova gallinarum sub terrae superficie et per se complentur sicut in Egipto: Egiptii enim complent ova sua ponendo sub fimo ad solem: et in civitate, quae antiquitus vocabatur Theoharoz, fuit quidam bibulus, qui posuit ova sub culcitra calida et dixit se posse continuare potum usque ad exitum ovorum: et hoc probant experta, quoniam gallinis nolentibus incubare ova sua ova ponuntur in vasis calidis, et superponitur stuppa calida, et lento calore fovente et non adurente extrahuntur pulli: et praecipue calore vitali alicuius animalis, sicut si in sinu hominis teneantur, aut si forte sub fimo calido ponantur aut sub cineribus lente calefactis aut aliquo huiusmodi.

[9] In fact the modifier and maturing heat of the egg is present in the egg itself and the heating the bird supplies from outside acts as help: since in some warm territories of the south the eggs of hen are set under the surface of the earth and they are completed alone, as in Egypt: in fact the Egyptians make their eggs to hatch by placing them in the sun under manure*: and in a city in ancient times called Theoharoz - Syracuse - there was a guzzler who put some eggs under a warm mattress and said that he could go on with drinking until eggs' hatching: and some experiments show this, since when the hens don't want to brood their eggs, the eggs are placed in warm vessels and above is put warm tow, and heating for long time, but without burning, the chicks are made to go out: and above all with the body heat of some animal, as if they were kept in the womb of a human being*, or even if they are set under warm dung or under slowly heated ashes or under something similar.

Cap. II.

De completione ovorum et generatione in ovantibus perfecta, antequam exeant ova.

Chapter II

About the completion of the eggs and their completed formation in animals laying eggs, before the eggs come out.

[10] Oportet autem scire, quod spermata omnium avium sunt alba, sicut et aliorum omnium animalium, et proicitur sperma a masculo, et femina recipit ipsum, et reponitur in matrice superius prope telam, quae myrach[10] vocatur, et cum est ovo incorporatum et fovetur et alteratur in gallina, primo quidem apparet album, et deinde mutatur et fit rubeum et accipit colorem sanguinis propter calorem, qui digerit ipsum: et quando crescit ovum in gallina, in principio quidem incrementi totum non apparet nisi citrinum, ac si sit vitellum quoddam, et cum inceperit inspissari substantia ovi et compleri, dividitur substantia alba a citrina, et ponitur citrinum in medio in cibum, et album in circuitu, ut ex ipso fiat substantia membrorum radicalium: et tunc membrana circumducitur fortis et circa illam testa dura: et cum sic completum fuerit ovum, exibit ab ave, et in descensu ovum quando exit a gallina, induratur quasi per congelationem. Signum autem eius quod diximus, est, quod quando finditur gallina, inveniuntur ova sub mirach, et sunt multa simul diversae quantitatis fundata interius supra spondiles gallinarum: et sunt tota ova, licet sint diversae quantitatis citrini coloris.

[10] Then it is worthwhile to know that the sperm of all birds is white, as well as of all other animals, and the sperm is ejaculated by the male and the female houses it, and it is stored aloft in the uterus near the diaphragm, which is called myrach, and when in the hen is incorporated by the egg it becomes both heated and altered, actually at first it appears white and subsequently it changes and becomes reddish and takes the colour of the blood because of the heat ripening it: and when in the hen the egg's volume increases, at the beginning of the growth it wholly appears yellowish, as if being a yolk, and when the substance of the egg started to thicken and complete itself, the white substance splits up from the yellow one and the yellow is placing itself at the centre to become food and the white all around, so that the substance of the sketches of body's parts takes origin from it: then all around is placed a strong membrane and around it a hard shell: and when the egg will be so completed it will go out of the bird, and the egg during its descent when goes out of the hen becomes hard almost if being a freezing. Further the proof of what we said lies in the fact that, when the abdomen of the hen is opened, the eggs are found under the diaphragm, and at the same time they are quite a lot in variable quantity, internally fixed close to the vertebrae of the hens: and they are all eggs, even if they are in variable quantity of yellow colour.

[11] Illi autem, qui dixerunt ova venti esse superfluitatem relictam ex ovis generatis per coitum, mentiti sunt, quoniam multae gallinae et anseres et spervarii et columbae, similiter autem et aliae aves, ovant sine coitu. Ova autem venti voco ea, quae in figura et humiditatibus similitudinem quidem habent ovorum, sed deficiunt a semine masculi. Sunt autem aliquantulum aliis minora, eo quod calor seminis masculi trahit materiam aliquam in ovis completis, quae deest in istis. Sunt etiam ceteris humidiora aquosa humiditate et insipidiora ideo, quod deest eis digerens et complens semen maris: et quando aliquod ovorum venti ponitur sub gallina, non alterabitur per incubationem, sed albugo remanebit alba et vitellum remanebit citrinum: per quod scitur falsum dixisse Galienum in eo, quod dixit, quod semen feminae coagulat in generatione et format, licet minus coagulet et formet semine maris.

[11] But those people who affirmed that windy eggs represent a residual overabundance coming from eggs produced through coition, they told a lie, being that a lot of hens, geese, sparrow hawks, doves and also other birds lay eggs without coition. In fact I define eggs of the wind those that in look and liquids have undoubtedly a similarity with the eggs, but are lacking in the seed of the male. Actually they are a little bit smaller than the others, since the heat of masculine seed brings with itself some matter in completed eggs, in which the latter is lacking. Besides they are damper than others thanks to a watery dampness and are more tasteless since they are missing the seed of the male endowed with ripening and fertilizing ability: and when some of the windy eggs is set under the hen, it won't be modified through incubation, but the egg white will be white and the yolk will be yellow: that's why we know that Galen* said the falsehood since he affirmed that the seed of the female coagulates during the generation and takes shape, even if the seed of the male coagulates and takes shape in a lesser way.

[12] Ova autem venti sunt quidem in gallinis et columbis, pavonibus, anseribus, accipitribus et malokaroz, hoc est perdicibus, et multis aliis avibus. Dicuntur autem ova venti, eo quod calor ipsa resolvere quidem potest in ventum, sed non formare in pullum: haec tamen ova coagulabilia sunt epsesi et optesi[11], sed non formabilia, sicut diximus: sunt enim materia quidem pulli proprio formante destituta, quae est sicut permixtio spermatis feminae cum sanguine menstruo in ceteris animalibus, ex qua materia nichil omnino generatur: et in tali quidem materia non est in potentia aliquid, eo quod, sicut diximus in Physicis[12], potentia formae, quae est in materia, est per formae et formantis aliquam incoationem. Haec igitur dicta sint de ovis venti.

[12] The windy eggs* are present in hens and doves, in peacocks, geese, sparrow hawks* and in malokaroz, that is, partridges* and many other birds. They are called windy eggs since the heat is able to dissolve them into wind but not to turn them into a chick: nevertheless these eggs can harden if boiled and roasted, but they cannot take a shape, as we said: in fact they are substance of the chick devoid of its formative impulse, which substance in the other animals is like a mixture of female seed with menstrual blood, from which substance nothing at all is born: and in such a substance nothing in strength exists, being that, as we told in Physicorum, the power of the shape present in the matter exists through some sketch of the shape and of which gives shape. Therefore this has to be said about windy eggs.

[13] Quod autem diximus in praehabitis, semen maris mutare et complere ovum usque ad exitum, probatur ex hoc, quod si frangitur ovum completum, invenitur semen galli in ovo tres habere proprietates: in colore enim est albius, quod puritatem suae demonstrat substantiae: in substantia autem est multo spissius, quam sit albugo cetera, et hoc est, ut retineat intra se spiritum et calorem formantem, ne exalare de facili possit: in situ autem pertingit per albuginem totam usque ad vitellum et illi ex parte acuminis ovi infigitur, ut virtus sua sit quidem in albugine, ex qua fit pulli substantia, et pertingat usque ad vitellum, ex quo fit creaturae cibus conveniens, quamdiu est in testa ovi. Ovum autem venti tali spermate destitutum omnino caret formante et ad speciem deducente et non est nisi sicut materia aedificii, ad quam non accedit manus artificis: propter quod etiam quando ova gallinarum ponuntur ad incubandum, aspiciuntur ad solem, ut videatur, an semen galli sit in eis vel non, et eiciuntur ea, quae carent galli semine.

[13] But as far as what we previously said, that is, that the seed of the male changes and completes the egg until when it goes out, is proven by the fact that, if a completed egg is broken, we find that the seed of the rooster present in the egg has three properties: as far as colour is concerned it is more white, which shows the purity of its substance: actually as far as substance is concerned it is more thicker than the remaining egg white, and this happens so that it keeps inside of itself the breath and the formative heat so that it doesn't succeed in easily exhaling: in fact from where it is located it stretches through the whole albumen until the yolk and sticks in it from the sharp end of the egg, so that its strength is present in the albumen from which is formed the matter constituting the chick, and stretches up to the yolk from which a proper food for the creature comes until it is inside the shell of the egg. But the windy egg devoid of such seed is completely lacking in what gives shape and look, and it is nothing than the material of a building which is not reached by the hand of the craftsman: that's why also the eggs of hens when put for brooding are looked facing the sun in order to be able to see if the seed of the rooster is present in them or not, and are removed those devoid of the seed of the rooster.

[14] Post incubationem autem septem dierum iterum inspiciuntur: et si quod est, quod soli exhibitum non est alteratum, eicitur, quoniam scitur esse ovum venti et inutile esse ad pullum. Licet autem dixerimus ova duarum esse humiditatum, albuginosae quidem et citrinae, tamen quaedam ova venti inveniuntur, in quibus non est nisi albugo, et haec fiunt, quando in materia coitus habundant gallinae ex aliquo cibo singulariter materiam coitus operante: tunc enim absque citrino humore testa albugini circunducitur, et figura ovi datur et producitur: ovum enim gallinae michi transmissum pro miraculo ego vidi totum rotundum sicut spera, quod habebat duas testas, unam intra aliam, et inter testas albuginem aquosam tenuem, et intra secundam testam non habuit nisi albuginem tenuem et aquosam, et nichil penitus in eo erat de citrino. Non est autem visum fieri ovum venti ex sola citrina substantia, quoniam haec paratur in cibum et non circumducitur ei nisi secundina, qua distinguitur ab albugine, et est res incompleta ad partum nisi circumducatur albugo, quae est sperma feminae virtute matricis et testiculorum attracta ad ovi substantiam. Inveniuntur tamen quaedam ova venti non habere testam exteriorem, sed membranam quae est sub testa tantum: et hoc contingit eo, quod talia ova humida sunt et aquosa et non habent in se sufficienter distinguentem calorem inter terrestre decoquendum in testam et viscosum humidum convertendum in membranam, et ideo sola membrana contenta ovantur a gallinis. Adiuvat autem adhuc cibus humidus aquosi seminis factivus, sicut in antehabitis diximus. Talis igitur materia est et natura ovorum venti.

[14] But they are again checked after an incubation of 7 days: and if there is something that, exposed to the sun, is not modified, the egg is eliminated, since it is known to be a windy egg and that it is not useful for getting a chick. We could say that the eggs show two types of dampness, that of the albumen and that of the yolk, nevertheless some windy eggs are found in which only the albumen is present, and these are formed when the hens have abundance of material for the coition coming from some food  producing material for coition in a special way: in fact in such case in absence of yellow liquid the shell surrounds the albumen and is produced and realized the shape of the egg: in fact I have seen an egg of hen, sent me as if being a miracle, that was completely round as a sphere, since it had two shells, one inside the other, and among the shells a thin watery albumen, and inside the other shell there was only thin and watery albumen, and inside this shell there was nothing yellow at all. Actually it doesn't seem that the windy egg is formed only from the yellow substance, since this turns into food and is surrounded only by secundine - the vitelline membrane*, thanks to which remains distinct from the albumen, and it is an incomplete thing for the birth unless the albumen puts itself around, since it is the seed of the female attracted toward the substance of the egg by the strength of the uterus and of the gonads. Nevertheless some windy eggs deprived of the most external shell are found but endowed with a membrane that is only under the shell: and this happens since such eggs are damp and watery and don't have in themselves in enough way the heat separating what of earthy must be turned into shell and what of sticky and damp has to turn into membrane, and therefore they are laid by hens contained only in the membrane. Besides comes useful a damp food able to produce a watery seed, as we previously told. Therefore this is the substance and the structure of the windy eggs.

[15] Aliquando tamen ex aliis causis corrumpuntur humores ovorum, ita quod non egreditur pullus ex ipsis sicut nec ex ovis venti: et hoc fit quadrupliciter in genere: et una quidem causa est corruptus humor albuginis, propter quam non obedit formativae deducenti ad speciem et figuram animalis. Secunda autem causa est corruptio humoris citrini, ex quo non potest trahi supplementum et cibus pulli formandi, et ideo destituuntur membra ipsius. Sed differentia est inter primum et secundum modum, quod in primo quidem modo nichil omnino formatur per incubationem, sed totum ovum turbatur et corrumpitur, eo quod calor digerens in generatione tunc corrumpit humorem, sicut corrumpitur humor in apostemate: et ideo multum efficiuntur fetida talia ova. In secundo autem modo formatur imperfecte ovum, et inveniuntur quaedam membra in ipso non completa et non coniuncta sicut in animali, quod patitur aborsum ante compaginationem lineamentorum creaturae.

[15] However sometimes the liquids of the eggs become rot for other reasons, so that the chick doesn't come out of them as neither from windy eggs: and this generally happens because of four reasons: one cause lies in the corrupt liquid of the albumen and because of this it doesn't obey to the creative impulse bringing to aspect and shape of the animal. The second cause is the deterioration of the yellow liquid, from which the additional matter and the food of the chick that has to take shape cannot be drawn, and therefore its organs are not completed. But a difference exists between the first and the second manner, since in the first manner nothing is formed at all through the incubation, but the whole egg is upset and altered, because the heat spreading during the generation now corrupts the liquid, as the liquid rots in an abscess: and therefore such eggs become quite a lot fetid. In the second manner the egg is formed in a defective way and in it are found some incomplete organs and not connected as it happens in an animal suffering an abortion before the sketches of the creature are connected.

[16] Tertius autem modus corruptionis est ex corruptione secundinarum ovi et ex corruptione filorum, quae extenduntur per albuginem: tunc enim corrupta tela, quae continet vitellum, fluit humor vitellinus in albuginem, et confunditur unus humor cum alio, et impeditur ovi fecunditas: corruptis autem filis corrumpuntur venae et nervi creaturae et cordae, et impeditur via nutrimenti, et dissolvitur compago destructis cordis et ligamentis, et remanebit sine sensu destructis nervis. Quartus autem modus corruptionis est antiquitas ovi, eo quod tunc evaporat spiritus in quo est virtus formativa, et vitellum pondere suo penetrat albuginem et decidit ad testam in latere, super quod iacet ovum.[13]

[16] The third manner of corruption comes from the alteration of the egg's membranes and from the deterioration of the fibers arranging themselves through the albumen: and then, the membrane containing the yolk being rotted, the liquid of the yolk flows out in the albumen and one liquid mixes with the other, and the fertility of the egg is stopped: being rotted the fibers, the veins, the nerves and the ligaments of the creature become corrupt and the way of nourishment is stopped, and the structure breaks up being destroyed fibers and ligaments, and will remain without sensibility when the nerves are destroyed. The fourth manner of corruption consists in the old age of the egg, since at this point evaporates the vital strength in which lies the formative power, and the yolk with its weight penetrates in the egg white and falls toward the shell on the side above which the egg lies.

Ex hiis igitur causis sterilia efficiuntur ova completa, sicut sunt ova venti. Ex secunda autem aliquando contingit, quod in corruptione humorum partes igneae combustae feruntur ad testam ovi et respergunt eamdem, et fit ovum lucens in tenebris sicut quercus putrefacta, sicut accidit in ovo, quod se vidisse testatur Avicenna in civitate, quae vocatur Kanetrizine in terra Corasceni: et forte multi sunt alii modi corruptionis ovorum, qui sub istis de facili poterunt comprehendi.

Therefore, for these reasons, some complete eggs, as windy eggs are, become sterile. Sometimes then for the second reason it happens that during the corruption of the liquids the burnt woody parts move toward the shell of the egg and sprinkle it, and comes out an egg brighting in darkness - by bioluminescence* - as being a rotten oak, as it happened in an egg that Avicenna* testifies to have seen in a city called Kanetrizine in the Khurasan region*: and perhaps a lot of other manners of corruption of the eggs exist, that could easily be listed in those just described.

Cap. III.

De tempore, quo aves ovant et fovent usque ad exitum pullorum.

Chapter III

On the period in which the birds lay and brood the eggs until the coming out of the chicks.

[17] De tempore autem fecunditatis ovorum hoc sciendum est, quod quando gallina cubat in aestate, citius finduntur ova ad exitum pullorum quam in hyeme. In decem et octo enim diebus fota finduntur in aestate, et in viginti quinque finduntur fota in hyeme: et hoc etiam attenditur secundum climata calidiora et frigidiora, quoniam in calidis citius, in frigidis autem exeunt tardius.

[17] About the time the eggs need to be prolific it is necessary to know that when the hen broods during the summer, the eggs open more quickly to make the chicks to go out than it happens in winter. In fact they open in 18 days when heated in summer and open in 25 days when heated in winter: and the same thing is observed according to more warm and cold climates, since in those warm they open earlier, on the contrary later in those cold.

Attenditur autem in hoc etiam virtus stellarum, quoniam in temporibus aequaliter calidis citius exeunt sole ascendente, quam sole descendente.

On this point also the power of the stars is observed, since in equally warm periods they hatch more quickly when the sun is ascending than when the sun is descending.

Adhuc autem luna post accensionem crescente citius exeunt quam eadem decrescente, quamvis in omnibus aliis paria sint tempora.

Moreover during the period of waxing moon they hatch more quickly than when the moon is waning, but in all other phases the times are the same.

[18] Amplius autem quando tonitrua fortia veniunt in hora cubationis, quae non agunt in sensum auditus tantum, sed etiam commovent aerem, ita quod concutit ova, corrumpuntur tunc ova ex commotione, et praecipue si iam in eis formati sunt pulli: hoc tamen secundum magis et minus nocet ovis diversarum avium: sed inter omnes aves magis dicitur nocere ovis corvorum, et ideo videntur anticipare tempus tonitrui ovando et fovendo, ita quod semper videntur in Martio pullos educere. Videtur autem haec etiam esse causa, propter quam avis Dyomedis[14], de qua supra diximus, fovet in hyeme et quaedam avium aliarum. Commotio enim tonitrui turbat praecipue humida et tenera, et facit in eis dislocationem et corruptionem, quamvis testam propter sui subtilitatem non inveniatur corrumpere. Animalia tamen, quae ab antiquis vocantur zabuza et wara, hoc est se abscondentia, praecipue educunt pullos in aestate, et minus nocet eis tonitrus quam aliis. Et quaedam illorum animalium, sicut dicit Avicenna, vocatur chychelynches[15], quae sunt aves compositae ex ansere et strucione, quae etiam in aestate pullos educunt.

[18] Besides, when strong thunders come during brooding time, which don't act only on hearing, but also shake the air to such a point that it shakes the eggs, then the eggs become corrupt because of shaking and above all if in them the chicks already are formed: however this second situation damages more or less the eggs of the various birds: but it is said that among all the birds it mostly damages the eggs of the crows, and therefore it seems that they anticipate the period of the thunder by laying and brooding the eggs, so that always they are seen to make the chicks to be born in March. It seems that this is the reason why also the bird of Diomedes, about which we have previously spoken, and some other birds brood in winter. In fact the shake of the thunder ruins above all those damp and delicate and provokes in them a movement and an alteration, even if it is not observed to ruin the shell because of its thinness. Nevertheless those animals called by ancients zabuza and wara, that is, which are hiding themselves, give birth to chicks above all in summer and the thunder harms them less than the others. And some of these animals, as Avicenna* says, are called chychelynches, which are birds composed by goose and ostrich giving birth to chicks also in summer.

[19] In omnibus autem avibus feminae semper magis inveniuntur circa ovorum custodiam quam mares: quaedam tamen nullo modo custodiunt ea nisi per occultationem, neque inveniuntur fovere ea sicut strucio, sed in loco calido ponit ea sub arena, et per calorem solis vivificantur et exeunt: et ideo proverbium est, quod “duratur ad ova, quasi non sint sua”: haec etiam avis exeuntes non pascit filios, quia per se statim nati comedunt, et fomentum matris non valeret eis, quia fere est sine plumis et corpus pulli operire non posset, et si operiret ipsum, pondere corporis gravaret. Quod autem dicitur visu fovere ova sua strucio, fabula est falsa, quoniam nichil cubat visu, sed forte raro ad ipsa aspicit propter custodiam, et ex hoc vulgus imperitum putat, quod visu foveat.

[19] Among all the birds it is found that always the females are keeping the eggs more than males: however some females keep them only by hiding them, and no one is found heating them as the ostrich does, that puts them in a warm place under the sand, and thanks to sun's heat they take life and hatch: therefore there is the proverb saying "it devotes itself to the eggs as if they were not its own": in addition this bird doesn't nourish the born children since the newborns immediately eat alone and the mother's heating doesn't serve to them since she is almost without feathers and would not be able to cover the body of the chick, and if she covered it, she would oppress it with the weight of the body. As far as it is said that the ostrich heats its eggs with the glance, this is a false gossip, since it doesn't brood anything with glance, but perhaps every now and then it glances at them in order to look after them, and relying on this the incompetent people think that it heats them with glance.

Amplius autem animalia inflativa, quae inflatione et ventositate quadam ova concipiunt et ideo inflativa dicuntur, et Graece vocantur zacorye[16], maxime ova venti concipiunt in autumno flante vento austrino: hic enim aperit corpora avium, et humectat et fecundat. Ex tempore autem autumni habundat in eis sicca ventositas, et humor quidem concrescit calore venti austrini. Ventositas autem movet eum et extendit genitalia, et tunc excitatur libido et praeparatur materia generationis et formatur in ova.

Besides the animals absorbing air, that thanks to a breath and a certain windiness conceive eggs, therefore called windy*, and called zacorye - zephyrian - in Greek, they conceive windy eggs especially in autumn when the wind of the south is blowing: in fact this wind - Auster* - opens the bodies of the birds and dampens and fertilizes them. In fact starting from autumn a dry windiness abounds in them and the dampness increases thanks to the heat of southern wind. The windiness shifts the dampness and dilates the genitals, then the lust is excited and the material of the generation is prepared and organized in the eggs.

[20] Quaedam autem aves segregatae a maribus etiam ova venti faciunt in vere, quando recipiunt ventum austrinum calore et humore moventem ad materiam generationis.

[20] Also some birds separated from males are laying windy eggs in spring, when they accomodate Auster that with heat and damp stimulates to the production of generation's material.

Adhuc autem aliquando ad tactum manus supra anum et per confricationem excitatur in avibus libido, quae attrahit materiam conceptus et formatur in ovum venti, sicut ad tactum mulieris in ore vulvae semen adducitur infecundum.

Moreover sometimes in the birds, at hand's touch on the anus and by rubbing, the lust is excited, which recalls the matter of conception turning into a windy egg, as it happens that by touching the vulvar rima of a woman an infertile seed is introduced.

Aliquando etiam ova, quae ut ova venti concipiuntur, aliquando pullificant, quando post conceptum tactum fuerit a semine galli sive masculi. Contingit autem etiam ova ex coitu formata et concepta alterari ad sterilitatem ovorum venti, quando citrinum ad albedinem per evaporationem caloris transmutatur. Ova tamen venti maxime ex vento concipiuntur in avibus. Rara enim corpora habent et aerea et locum ani, per quem concipiunt, vento expositum: propter quod vento etiam moventur ad libidinem et materiae generationis attractionem: sicut etiam mulieres vento austrino vulvas aperientes libidine coitus delectantur, et attrahitur eis menstruum. Fit autem hoc frequentius in avibus propter volatum et continuum caudae motum, propter quem etiam attrahitur semen ad matrices earum. Feminae enim avium testiculos habent super caudam et in exteriori corporis, sed mares habent interius in loco, ubi aliis animalibus siti sunt renes.

Sometimes, also those eggs conceived as windy eggs, produce chicks when after they have been conceived enter in touch with the seed of the rooster or of a male. It happens that also the eggs grown and conceived because of the coition, go bad until to reach the sterility of windy eggs when the yellow turns into albumen through the evaporation of the heat. However the windy eggs in the birds are conceived mostly because of the wind. In fact they have rarefied bodies and light like the air, and the location of the anus, through which they conceive, exposed to the wind: for this reason they are pushed to lust and attraction of generation's matter also by the wind: as also the women opening the vulva to southern wind take pleasure in the lust of coition and their menstruations are stimulated. This happens more often in birds because of flight and continuous movement of the tail, because of which the seed is also attracted to their uterus. In fact the females of birds have the gonads above the tail and in the external side of the body, while the males have them inside, there where in other animals the kidneys are located.

[21] Gallinae autem veteres praecipue ovant in principio veris, eo quod tunc calido humido frigiditas complexionis earum temperatur. Gallinae autem iuvenes ovant in aestate, quando superfluus humor exsiccatur in eis. Ovant autem etiam in autumno.

[21] The old hens lay mainly at spring's beginning since in this period the hypothermia of their body is mitigated by damp heat. The young hens lay in summer when the humor in excess dries up in them. But they lay also in autumn.

Adhuc autem minoris quantitatis sunt ova gallinarum iuvenum quam antiquarum, propter nutrimentum, quod in iuvenibus maxime transit in substantiam corporis.

Moreover the quantity of eggs of young hens is lesser than that of old hens because of the food, which in youth ones turns above all into body's structure.

Adhuc autem gallina multum ovans et non cubans ova infirmatur frequenter et moritur, eo quod non abstrahitur ab ovando et ex ipsa per nimia ova educitur subiectum vitae. Ea autem, quae cubat, infirmatur quidem ex affectu pullorum, quod ostendit acumen vocis eius: sed tamen sanatur per restitutionem humidi vitalis in ipsa, ex hoc, quod interim non ovat.

Besides, a hen laying a lot of eggs and that doesn't brood them, often gets sick and dies since she is not taken away from laying eggs and because of too much eggs her vital strength is reduced. On the contrary that one who is brooding is weakened by the love of the chicks, as the acute tone of her voice is showing: nevertheless she is restored to health through the re-establishment in her of the vital humor since in the meantime she doesn't lay eggs.

[22] Adhuc autem gallina post coitum excutit se cum horripilatione, eo quod in concupiscentia transit per eam vapor faciens extensiones et alices[17] in ea, sicut in homine, quando languet desiderio coitus, et quia concupiscentia pertingit ad sensibilia capitis, tunc confricando se saepe paleam accipit in ore et reponit quasi nidum componens: et eadem est causa de osculo avium, quoniam non osculantur, sed vapore libidinis excitato ante completum motum coitus confricant se faciendo sibi et augendo coitus delectationem: et hoc idem faciunt etiam, quando ovant, eo quod tunc semen interius tangit nervos et delectat. Sicut etiam mulier praegnans plus delectatur in coitu quam illa, quae non est impraegnata, propterea quod semen conceptum movet nervos, et ideo quaerit confricationem: et ideo gallinae sedentes in nido saepe rostro convertunt paleas, et similiter faciunt aliae aves. Hac etiam de causa columbae, quae calidiores sunt, tempore libidinis incurvant caudam ad terram et trahunt eam super terram, et ita moventur ad invicem masculus et femina. Anseres autem et anates tempore libidinis natant in aqua, eo quod frigidae sunt aves, et evaporaret ab eis calor coitus, si non restringeretur aquae frigiditate: cuius signum est, quia etiam homo surgens et exponens se frigori fortius movetur ad libidinem ad mulierem accedens, quam ille qui in calore iacuit iuxta mulierem.

[22] Besides the hen after coition shakes and lift the feathers since during the lust she is crossed by a passion causing in her tensions and torsions like in a human being when languishing for the desire of coition, and since the lust extends to the sensible zones of the head, then rubbing herself often takes straw in mouth and lays it down as preparing a nest: and identical is the reason of the kiss of the birds, since they are not kissing each other, but after having stimulated the flame of the lust, before having carried out the movement of coition they rub becoming aroused and increasing the pleasure of the coition: and this same thing they do also when laying eggs, since at that moment the seed internally touches the nerves and provokes pleasure. As also a pregnant woman takes pleasure during the coition more than that one is not pregnant, because the conceived seed shakes the nerves and therefore provokes a rubbing: and therefore the hens crouched in the nest often move the straw with their beak and the other birds act likewise. Always for this reason the doves, that are more ardent, in the period of sexual desire bend the tail landward and drag it on the ground, and both male and female alternatively move in this way. On the contrary geese and ducks in the period of sexual desire swim in water since they are cold birds, and the heat of the coition would exhale away from them if it was not imprisoned by the cold of the water: and an additional proof is the fact that also a man, that gets up and exposes himself to the cold, when approaching a woman, he becomes more libidinous than that who has lain at warm near a woman.

[23] Adhuc autem multae aves valde leviter concipiunt, sicut perdices, ita quod dicitur, quod concipiunt ex semine vaporabiliter transfuso a mare in feminam: propter quod aliquando cum femina vertit anum ad masculum et flaverit ventus a mare ad feminam, dicuntur concipere: ego tamen non credo, quod illa conceptio fecundet, nisi forte ad ovum et non ad pullum: sed ad pullum exigitur receptio seminis in corporali humore transfusi. Quidam etiam probantes, quod vaporabiliter semen perdix mas transfundat, dicunt fetorem excitari a perdicibus tempore coitus ex vapore seminis transfusi, quod vaporabiliter transfundi dicunt. Sed hoc non est signum nisi fallax, quod inducunt. Omne enim animal fetet post coitum, et praecipue femina: et hoc contingit ideo, quia calor coitus educit humidum et multum corrumpit de ipso: et ille humor corruptus est, qui fetet: et ideo fetor ille est in genitalibus, quae vaporosa sunt membra, et est similis fetori sudoris, sed acutior est in tanto quantum humidum seminale subtilius est humore sudoris ex parte passivi, et in tanto, quantum calor coitus acutior est calore sudantis ex parte activi. Experta etiam probant non esse verum, quod inductum est, quia perdices domesticas iam vidimus coeuntes sicut coeunt aliae aves.

[23] Moreover many birds conceive in a very delicate way, as partridges*, so that it is said that they conceive thanks to a seed transfused through air by male to female: that's why it is said that sometimes they conceive when the female turns the anus toward the male and a wind blew from the male toward the female: nevertheless I don't believe that such way of conceiving is able to fertilize, unless perhaps is referred to the production of an egg and not of a chick: but to produce a chick it is required to receive the seed transmitted in a liquid of the body. Some people that also agree about the fact that the male partridge transmits the seed through the vapor, they say that in mating period the stench is provoked by partridges subsequently to the vapor of the transmitted seed, that, as far as they say, is transmitted as vapor. But this characteristic they produce is no better than false. In fact whatever animal smells bad after coition, and above all the female: and this happens since the heat of coition makes some dampness to go out and quite a lot of it is spoiling: and that smelling humor is corrupt: and therefore that stench is present in the genitals that are structures full of air, and it is similar to the stench of the sweat, but it is more penetrating because the seminal damp is more penetrating than sweat's liquid which partly is passive, and because the heat of coition is more penetrating than the heat of he who is sweating, being partly active. Also the practice confirms that it is not true what has been observed, since we already have seen some domestic partridges mating as the other birds are mating.

Adhuc autem vaporabilis exalatio seminis non habet motum ad matricem feminae, sed potius dilatationis, quando exalat a gallo perdicis, sicut et alia vaporabiliter exalantia ex aliquo.

Furthermore the vaporous exhalation of the seed, when coming out from male partridge, is not endowed with a movement toward the uterus of female, but rather with a dilating movement, as also the other vaporous exhalations coming out from a living being.

Cap. IV.

De tempore completionis ovorum et de anathomia eorum et mutatione in formam pulli.

Chapter IV

About the time needed to the completion of the eggs and their anatomy and the transformation in chick.

[24] Genera autem pullorum diversantur secundum tempus cubationis et anathomiam ovorum. Ovum enim gallinae fecundum, quod a semine galli concipitur, ab undecimo die seminis concepti completur in quantitate et figura ad emissionem ovi ut frequentius, contingit tamen in gallinis duplex ovi conceptus. Unus quidem est a semine galli, quod primum intra matricem concipitur et attrahit materiam ovi et format eam, sicut semen gressibilium generantium sibi simile attrahit materiam conceptus: et ille conceptus et formatur et perficitur ad ovi perfectionem ut frequentius in diebus undecim. In gallina tamen iuvene cicius completur quam in antiqua, et in climate calido cicius quam in frigido: et in ea quae utitur nutrimento calido, cicius completur quam in ea quae utitur nutrimento frigido: et sic est de aliis accidentibus considerandum, quae complexiones variant gallinarum.

[24] The birth of the chicks differs according to incubation's duration and eggs' anatomy. In fact a fertile egg of a hen, conceived thanks to the seed of the rooster, starting from the eleventh day from seed's reception it completes itself in volume and aspect for the coming out of the egg, as it happens more frequently. Nevertheless in hens a double conception of the egg is happening. A conception comes from the seed of the rooster, that is received as first in the uterus and it attracts the matter of the egg and gives it a shape, as the seed of breeder walking animals attracts the matter of conception similar to it: and such conception happens and completes until the completion of the egg mainly in eleven days. Nevertheless in the young hen it is completed more quickly than in the old one, and in a warm climate more quickly than in a cold one: and in the hen using a warm food it is completed more quickly than it happens in the hen using a cold food: and in the same way we have to consider about the other happening things making to vary the constitution of the hens.

[25] Alius autem conceptus est, quando sperma galli receptum invenit materiam ovi venti in matrice aut in parte aut in toto praeter pellem et testam completam: tunc enim sociatur ei et fecundat item ovum et immutat, et hoc ovum cicius ovatur secundum quod magis vel minus materiam in matrice praeparatam invenit. Aliter enim est de avibus et aliter de animalibus. Aves enim aliquando retinent intra se materiam ovorum diucius, et aliquando emittunt tardius: et hoc apparet in avibus, quibus auferuntur ova. Illae enim post modicum ovant alia, quae retinerent, si ova priora eis ablata non fuissent: et probabile est quod coitus, quem iterant amissis ovis, ad haec cooperetur: sed tamen, nisi haberent quasi in thesauro ovorum materiam, non ita cito ovarent post amissionem ovorum: et quando non amittunt ea, non coeunt: et ideo non complentur, et forte consumitur materia eorum per calorem famis et calorem naturalem.

[25] Moreover a different manner of conceiving occurs when the sperm of the rooster when has been accepted finds in the uterus the matter of the windy egg partly or entirely completed, except the membrane and the shell: in fact then the sperm joins the matter and at the same time it fertilizes the egg and makes it to change, and this egg is laid more quickly according to whether it finds more or less ready material in the uterus. In birds and in animals the things occur in a different way. In fact sometimes the birds hold the material of the eggs for a longer time inside of themselves and sometimes they send it forth more belatedly: and this is visible in birds whose eggs are removed. In fact soon after they lay others, and they would hold them if the previous eggs had not been removed: and it is probable that the coition, that they reiterate after having lost the eggs, cooperates to this purpose: nevertheless if they didn't have, so to say, treasured the matter of the egg, they would not lay so early after having lost the eggs: and when they don't lose them they don't mate: and therefore they don't become pregnant, and perhaps the matter of the eggs exhausts through the heat of the hunger and the natural heat.

[26] Feminae autem pavonum et columbarum et plurium aliarum avium osculantur ante coitum propter libidinem, ut cicius pruritum inducant per confricationem, ut superius diximus: et in tempore libidinis aliquando femina saltat super feminam, quando deest eis mas, sed non concipit ex hoc ovum fecundum, sed potius ovum venti, eo quod per confricationem sola substantia materialis ovi ad matricem congregatur: sed quando osculatur marem, tunc post modicum excitata libidine mas ascendit super feminam et coit et fecundat ova ipsius. Sed tamen pavonis femina et columbae in hoc habent differentiam, quoniam mas columbus non utitur ad coitum columba tempore, quo fovet ova e quamdiu parvuli sunt columbi: pavo autem mas etiam tempore quo femina fovet ova, utitur ea ad coitum: et ideo locum, in quo cubat pava ova sua abscondit a pavo: quia coeundo super eam frangit ea. Dixit tamen michi quidam valde expertus circa pavones, quod ex zelo pavonis contingit fractura ovorum: pugnant enim tunc pava et pavo pro incubatione ovorum ex nimia ovorum dilectione: sicut etiam pro pullis ducendis pugnant grus masculus et grus femina: ita quod vidimus oculis nostris gruem marem deicere feminam gruem et occidere rostro undecim vulneribus sibi datis, eo quod pullos abstraxit a mare, ne sequerentur eum: et hoc accidit in Colonia, ubi sunt grues domesticae pullificantes.

[26] Because of the lust, the females of peacocks and doves and of many other birds are kissing before coition, with the purpose to induce more quickly the excitement through the rubbing, as we previously told: and in the period of sexual desire sometimes a female climbs on a female when they are without male, but from this fact she doesn't conceive a fertile egg, on the contrary a windy egg since in the uterus is gathering only the substance compounding the egg. But when she kisses the male, then soon after, the lust having been excited, the male climbs on the female and mates and fertilizes her eggs. Nevertheless the peacock's and dove's female shows a difference, since the male of dove doesn't use for coition the time in which the female is brooding the eggs and until the doves are rather small: on the contrary the male peacock uses the female for coition also in the time she is brooding the eggs: and therefore the female peacock conceals from the male the place where she is brooding her eggs: because when mating by being above her he breaks them. Nevertheless a man very experienced about peacocks told me that because of the jealousy of the peacock it happens that the eggs are breaking: in fact in that period the female and male peacock because of the excessive love for the eggs fight with the purpose of brooding the eggs: as also the male and the female of the crane fight for raising the chicks: so that I have seen with my eyes a male of crane knocking down a female and killing her with eleven wounds he gave her with the beak, since she had taken away the chicks from the male so that they didn't follow him: and this happened in Cologne where domestic crane are giving birth to chicks.

[27] Generatio autem pullorum quantum ad ipsam ovi transmutationem et anathomiam est fere secundum unum modum in omnibus avibus magnis et parvis, et hoc ostendemus in ovis magis notis, quae sunt ova gallinarum, de quibus sciendum, quod habent tres pelliculas universales, quarum una est, quae interius coniungitur testae, quae fere est sicut dura mater in capite hominis: et altera est intra illam, quae continet albuginem: quae est sicut pia mater cerebri humani: et hoc apparet in ovis antiquis, quae resederunt aliquantulum a testa retracta: in hiis enim etiam oculo praedictae apparent pelliculae. Tertia vero est, quae includit vitellum ovi.

[27] The generation of the chicks, as far as modification and anatomy of the egg is concerned, occurs almost in only one way in all big and little birds, and we will illustrate it in the more known eggs that are the hens' eggs, apropos of which we have to know that they have three membranes identical in all the eggs, one of which is that sticking inside to the shell and which practically is like the dura mater lying in the head of human beings; the other one is lying at its inside and surrounds the albumen, and which is like the pia mater of human brain: and this is visible in old eggs that moved back a little bit from the shell which withdrew: in these eggs in fact the above-mentioned membranes are equally visible. The third membrane is that containing the yolk.

[28] In gallinis igitur, postquam ova cubaverint per tres dies, statim apparet ovi ad formam pulli mutatio: tamen in maioribus avibus erit hoc post plures dies: et in minoribus avibus, quam sunt gallinae, erit hoc post pauciores dies proportionaliter pensata quantitate. In spatio enim trium dierum in gallinis ascendit citrinum ovi versus acumen ovi, eo quod ibi est maior calor et vis spermatis, et trahit ad se materiam cibalem, unde accipit supplementum carnis, quam ponit inter nervos et venas, sicut supplementum accipit formativa, quae est in spermatibus animalium generantium sibi similia, ex sanguine menstruo: propter quod etiam caro pars materialis est, quae influit et effluit per augmentum et diminutionem et pinguedinem et maciem.

[28] Therefore in hens, after they brooded the eggs for three days, immediately appears a change of the egg that takes the shape of a chick: nevertheless in bigger birds this will occur after a greater number of days: and in birds smaller than hens this will occur after a lower number of days proportionately to the correspondent volume. In fact in hens within three days the yellow moves toward the acute end of the egg, since here the heat and the strength of the sperm are greater, and it attracts the nutritional material toward itself, from which it receives an increase of the flesh it places between the nerves and the veins, so as the structure present in the sperms of the animals producing beings similar to them starting from the menstrual blood, undergoes an increase: that's why also the flesh is a portion of matter penetrating and coming out through an increase and a decrease, a fatness and a thinness.

[29] Sic autem ascendente citrino ad acumen ovi continue ascendit tractum ad illum locum ovi, ubi apparet fissura in testa, quando egreditur pullus: haec enim fissura fit in superiori parte ovi versus acumen[18], ubi formatur caput et rostrum avis: et ibi postquam ascendit citrinum, apparet in albo ovi quasi gutta sanguinis: et illa gutta primitus inter membra formatur in cor avis, quod statim ut formatur, spiritu plenum est ex calore digerente et formante humidum, in quo spiritu vehit se virtus formativa in formationem aliorum membrorum ex corde: qui exitus spiritus a corde non fit nisi per motum cordis secundum systolen et dyastolen, et ideo cor tunc movetur: sed a principio est lentus motus eius propter multum humidum, quod est in ipso, quod cito a calore vinci non potest. Motus autem hic relinquit supponens animam sensibilem: licet non tunc insit ut actus corporis organici physici, sed sicut artifex in artificiato faciens et instituens organa, in quibus expleat vitae potentias. De hoc tamen in sequentibus cum de generatione hominis agetur, erit aptior locus inquirendi.

[29] And so the yellow, moving toward the acute end of the egg, continually moves being attracted toward that zone of the egg where a crack appears in the shell when the chick comes out: in fact this crack occurs in the upper part of the egg toward the point- not! towards the blunt end, where the head and the beak of the bird is formed: and in this point, after the yellow moved aloft, in the white of the egg something is appearing similar to a drop of blood: and such drop firstly takes shape structuring itself in the heart of the bird, and as soon as it is formed it is full of vital strength coming from the heat distributing and giving life to dampness, and in this vital strength the formative ability transfers itself to compose the other structures starting from the heart: and this out coming of the vital strength from heart happens through a movement of the heart relying on systole and diastole, and therefore then the heart moves: but initially its movement is slow because of the great damp present in it, since the damp cannot be quickly overwhelmed by heat. But the heat allows the movements, adding a perceptible breath: although in this period is not present something similar to the push of a physical organic body, but something similar to a craftsman that in a laboratory creates and prepares some instruments in which he accomplishes the potentialities of the life. Nevertheless it will be a better moment to investigate this when later the generation of the human being will be discussed.

[30] A gutta autem sanguinis, ex qua cor formatur, exeunt duae viae quasi venales et pulsatiles: et est in eis sanguis purior, ex quo formando sunt membra principalia sicut epar et pulmo et talia: et illae viae primo sunt valde parvae et crescunt continue, ita quod extenduntur usque ad telas illas exteriores, quae totam includunt ovi materiam, et ibi incipiunt ramificari divisione multa: sed una maior earum apparet in tela, quae includit ovi albuginem: illa enim albugo primo valde est alba, et per venae illius virtutem mutatur quasi in palearem colorem: et tunc via, de qua diximus, procedit ad locum, in quo formatur caput pulli, portans illuc virtutem et puriorem materiam, ex quibus caput formatur et cerebrum, quod est medulla capitis: et in formatione capitis formantur etiam oculi, et quia sunt ex humido aqueo, quod vix completur calore primo, sunt valde magni turgentes ante caput pulli, et postea modico tempore resident aliquantulum et deturgent diminuti propter caloris digestionem: et hoc totum operatur virtus vecta per viam, quae directa ad caput separatur et ramificatur a vena continente telam albuginis: et huius signum est, quod qui frangit ovum in illo tempore, inveniet caput apparere in humore ovi absque omnibus aliis inferioribus membris.

[30] From the drop of blood from which the heart is forming two ducts go out similar to veins and pulsating: in them purer blood is present from which have to form the principal organs as liver and lung and similar: and at first these ducts are very small and continually grow, so to stretch until those external tissues containing the whole substance of the egg, and here they start to branch through many subdivisions: but one of them appears greater in the membrane containing the albumen: in fact that albumen at first is very white and thanks to the power of such vein it almost turns into straw colour: and therefore the duct of which we have spoken goes towards the area in which the head of the chick is forming, bringing there energy and purer material from which the head and the brain are forming, being the latter the inner part of the head: and while the head is forming also the eyes are forming, and being that they originate from a watery dampness which barely disappears at first heat, they appear very big and turgid in the anterior part of chick's head, and subsequently they shortly stop a little bit and go flat since they decrease because of heat's absorption: and all this is producing the strength transported through that way which directed toward the head separates and branches from the vein containing the membrane of the albumen: and this is confirmed by the fact that he who breaks the egg at that time will find that the head appears in the liquid of the egg except all other structures placed beneath.

[31] Prius enim in formatione pulli apparent partes superiores, eo quod sunt spirituales et nobiliores factae ex subtiliori parte ovi, in qua magis potuit vis formativa: et tunc hoc facto una duarum viarum, de quibus diximus, quod a corde oriuntur, ramificatur in duo: et una quidem pars eius vadit ad spiritualia, quae cor {ocntinent} <continent>, et dividitur in eis portans eis pulsum et subtilem sanguinem, ex quo pulmo et spiritualia formantur: et alia extenditur per dyafracma, et in extremitate sua claudit in se citrinum ovi: et circa illud format epar et stomachum: et ideo ista dicitur habere vicem umbilici in animalibus, quoniam per illam trahitur nutrimentum in supplementum carnis, quae formatur in corpore avis: principium enim generationis radicalium membrorum pulli est ex albugine: sed cibus, unde fit caro supplens vacuitates, est ex vitello.

[31] In fact during the formation of the chick the upper parts appear at first being spiritual and more noble, being constituted by the most delicate part of the egg in which the formative strength had a greater power: and then, once this happened, one of the two ducts, we said to originate from heart, branches in two parts: and one of its portions quickly advance toward the spiritual things containing the heart, and the former subdivides in them bringing them a pulsation and not very thick blood from which the lung and the respiratory structures are forming: and the other portion stretches through the diaphragm, and at its extremity it contains in itself the yellow of the egg: and around the latter it forms the liver and the stomach: and therefore this part is said to have the function of the navel of animals, since through it the nourishment is assumed for helping the flesh's growth that is forming in the body of the bird: in fact the principle of the generation of the sketches of chick's organs originates from albumen: but the food from which the flesh closing the voids is formed, comes from yolk.

[32] Et quando sic transierint decem dies a principio cubationis, in quibus huiusmodi fiunt distinctiones membrorum, erit pullus complete lineatus in omnibus membris suis, licet adhuc membra eius sint humida mollia: sed tamen omnes partes eius apparent manifeste, si frangatur ovum: et caput suum tunc est secundum apparentiam maius toto corpore, eo quod humidum medullare cerebri adhuc non resedit: propter quod etiam in infantibus hominum capita etiam post generationem sunt aperta, donec exsiccatum paulatim fuerit cerebrum: et in eodem tempore oculi pulli non habent visum aliquem, eo quod non adhuc coadunatum est in eis humidum: et si quis discooperuerit a tela palpebrae oculos in illo tempore, inveniet oculos nigros magnos, ita quod quantitatem fabae aequant vel forte excedunt: et si frangatur tunica oculi, emanat ex eis humiditas alba, frigida valde et aquea: et nichil duriciae vel glandulositatis invenitur in illa, eo quod non adhuc adunati fuerint humores oculi.

[32] And so when ten days will be passed from the beginning of the brooding, when such differentiations of the organs are occurring, the chick will be entirely sketchy in all its organs, although its organs are still damp and soft: nevertheless all its parts are clearly visible if the egg is broken: in this moment its head appears greater than the whole body, since the damp marrow of the brain has not yet stopped: that's why also in the newborns of humans, also after they are born, the head remains open until the brain will have dried a little: and always in this moment the eyes of the chick don't have any visual ability since the dampness has not yet assembled in them: and if someone in this moment freed the eyes by opening the membrane of the eyelids, he will find some big black eyes, so big to match or perhaps to overcome the size of a broad bean: and if the membrane of the eye is broken, a white fluid escapes from it, very cold and watery: and nothing of hard or of glandular is found in it, since the liquids of the eye have not been yet assembled.

[33] Sed interiora instrumenta viscerum in illo tempore manifesta sunt in pullo: et tunc apparent etiam viae venales, quae extenduntur a corde ad oculos per telas capitis, et illae habent quosdam ramos, qui se extendunt ad citrinum, ex quibus nutrimentum apportatur oculorum. Et in hoc tempore citrinum est magis humidum et liquidum, quam sit, quando est in esse naturali ante cubationem: et hoc ideo fit, ut aptius possit fluere per subtiles vias venarum: et tunc multum ramificantur venae, et quaedam earum vadunt ad telam, quae continet totum pullum et quaedam vadunt ad telam vitelli afferentes cibum et quaedam etiam vadunt ad humiditatem albuginis, quae est inter duas telas dictas: et crescente quidem pullo paulatim et paulatim dividitur citrinum, et erit una pars eius sursum in nutrimentum superiorum et alia deorsum ad inferiorum nutrimentum: in intermedio autem duorum citrinorum est alba humiditas, quae est radicalis humiditas membrorum in intermedio illo formandorum. Similiter autem sub citrino, quod nutrit inferiora, descendit albus humor, qui est sicut primus humor ovi, qui est radicalis inferioribus membris: et cum transeunt decem dies a perfecta pulli formatione, de qua diximus, erit inferius in corpore pulli totum album, et de eodem album paucum spissum quoddam declinans est versus citrinum, per quod sugitur nutrimentum: et haec quidem est pulli formatio.

[33] But in the chick the inner set of the entrails is well visible in such period: and in this moment also the venous ways are visible, extending from heart to eyes through the head's membranes, and such ways have some branches reaching the yolk, and through them a nourishment is brought to the eyes. And in this period the yolk is more damp and liquid than it naturally is before incubation: and therefore this happens so that it can flow more easily through the thin venous ways: and then the veins are branching a lot and some of them proceed up to the membrane containing the whole chick and some go to the membrane of the yolk since they bring food and rather some push forward to the albumen's liquid laying among the two above-mentioned membranes: and while the chick slowly grows, also the yolk gradually subdivides, and one part of it will be aloft and will serve as nourishment of upper parts and the other one will be downwards to feed the inferior parts: in the part interposed to the two portions of yolk the dampness of the albumen is present, that is the fundamental dampness of the organs that have to form in such area. Likewise the white liquid goes down below the yolk nourishing the inferior parts and such liquid is, so to say, the first liquid of the egg and represents the root of the lower organs: and when ten days passed since the formation of the chick is completed, about which we have spoken, the whole albumen will be in the lower part of chick's body, and a little bit of this not much dense albumen is going towards the yolk, through which the nourishment is sucked: and this is the formation of the chick.

[34] Situs autem telarum est secundum istum modum, quem dicemus. Prima quidem tela, quae quidem non est testa, sed quasi dura mater defendens substantiam ovi a testa, est in posteriori parte ovi interius per circuitum contingens testam. Alia autem, quae est sub ista sicut pia mater, habet intra se albam rem humidam, ex qua fiunt substantiae radicales membrorum pulli: et ipsa in generatione est quasi secundina[19] continens totum pullum. Inter telam autem et telam est humor indigestus, qui reicitur in formatione pulli: et tela interior separat pullum ab humido illo, quia in ipso impediretur formatio et completio eius: et post istas ambas telas invenitur citrinum in tela quadam sub pullo, inferius situm versus naturalia pulli, remotum a spiritualibus ipsius partibus, et sicut diximus superius, ad citrinum illud vadit una vena loco umbilici existens et alia vadit ad telam continentem pullum. Et ista omnia sunt intra telam exteriorem, quae sicut dura mater est, et cum hiis humidum, quod est sicut virus, quod reicitur et tenetur intra duas telas exteriores usque ad exitum pulli.

[34] The layout of the membranes is in the way we will say. The first membrane, that in reality it is not the shell, but almost a dura mater protecting the substance of the egg from the shell, in the back part of the egg - at the obtuse end - is arranged more inside through a circular formation that is in touch with the shell. The other membrane, laying under this as being the pia mater, shows inside a damp white substance from which the sketches of chick's organs are forming: and still this membrane during the generation behaves almost as a secundine containing the whole chick. Between one membrane and the other there is an undigested liquid that is excluded during the formation of the chick: and the most inner membrane separates the chick from this liquid since in it its formation and completion would be prevented: and after both these membranes the yolk is found, inside a membrane below the chick, located beneath toward the genital organs of the chick, far from its respiratory parts, and, as we said before, a vein goes towards this yolk acting as navel and another goes towards the membrane containing the chick. And all these things are inside the external membrane which is as the dura mater, and along with them the liquid that is like a poison pushed away and kept among the two external membranes until the coming out of the chick.

[35] Post illud enim humidum est alia tela vice piae matris et secundinae, quasi ipsa intendat separare pullum ab illo relicto humido et reiecto. Et sub isto humido, quod in se continet haec tela, invenitur citrinum coopertum in alia tela, ad quod extenditur umbilicus a corde, sicut diximus. In vicesimo autem die completam habet vitam pullus, et si moveatur ovum, quasi auditur interius fistula et sibilus pulli. Si autem frangatur ovum intra decimum diem formationis pulli, invenitur caput eius supra crus dextrum ipsius, et supra myrach complicatum, et alae eius complicatae supra caput ipsius: et in isto tempore tela exterior est sicut corium quoddam positum supra telam interiorem, quae sequitur eam, ad quam superius diximus extendi unam duarum venarum a corde ramificatarum: et ista tela, quae est post exteriorem, est in qua invenitur pullus.

[35] Beyond that liquid there is another membrane acting as pia mater and secundine, almost wishing to separate the chick from that refused residue of dampness. And under this liquid that this membrane contains in itself, there is the yolk, covered by another membrane, which is reached by the navel starting from the heart, as we said. On the twentieth day the chick has a complete vitality and if the egg was moved, the whistle and the hiss of the chick at its inside would almost be heard. If then the egg is broken around the tenth day of chick's formation, its head is found placed above its right leg and refolded above the diaphragm, and its wings refolded above its head: and in this moment the outer membrane is as a leather laying on the inner membrane that goes toward that we previously told is connecting one of the two veins branching from the heart: and this membrane, that is found after the external one, is that in which the chick is found.

[36] Adhuc autem apparet etiam alia tela similis corio membranali, quae continet citrinum, ad quam diximus aliam venam cordis extendi. In isto enim tempore, quod est formationi pulli deputatum, venit umbilicus ex parte exteriori istius tertiae telae extensus a corde ad coreon[20], quod est tela membranalis: et pars {eius dem} <eiusdem> venae, quae est vice umbilici, apparet quasi continuata cum pullo aput intestinum involutum gracile, quod est sub stomacho, per quod sugitur quasi per meseraicas nutrimentum. Et isto tempore pullus emittit superfluitatem valde humidam extra inter duas telas, de quibus diximus, per foramen interioris telae versus anum pulli factum. Aliquando autem aliquod parvum superfluum eiciendum retinetur in eius interiori sub tela interiori: et est illa superfluitas alba, tenuis et intus et extra.

[36] Besides the other membrane also appears similar to thin leather containing the yolk, and to which we said to stretch the other vein of the heart. In fact in this time's interval, devoted to the formation of the chick, the navel coming from the external part of this third membrane stretches from the heart to the chorion which is a thin membrane: and a part of the same vein, that acts as a navel, appears almost in continuation with the chick near the thin curled up bowel that is under the stomach, through which bowel the nourishment is sucked as if happening through mesenteries. And  in this period the chick sends forth a very damp overabundance among the two membranes, of which we have spoken, through a hole of the inner membrane toward the chick's anus that is formed. In fact sometimes a little superfluous quantity, that has to be sent out, is kept at its inside under the inner membrane: and it is that white superfluous quantity, thin both inside and outside.

[37] Cum autem completur pullus, primo quidem citrinum est multum et apparet etiam in exitu pulli in ventre eius multum citrinum, et postea efficitur paucum: et cum tempus processerit et perfecte corroboratur pullus, dissolvitur totum citrinum, ita quod nichil apparet de ipso. Si quis enim pullo iam completo et perfecto findat testam et findat etiam intestinum, quod vicinatur citrino pulli, et venam, quae est vice umbilici, in ventre quidem venae inferius, in quo ambit citrinum, inveniet adhuc aliquid de citrino, sed residuum iam dissolutum est. Ante tempus autem illud pullus in ovo est quasi dormiens propter multum humidum capitis eius: et tremunt oculi eius, eo quod non adunatum habent visum, et non vociferat propter debilitatem et molliciem organorum suorum: sed in suis oculis et in suo corde propter venas pulsantes invenitur ampulla elevata et depressa a spiritu pulsante, quasi sit anhelans.

[37] When the chick is completed, at first the yolk is quite a lot and also during the out coming of the chick a lot of yolk is present in its abdomen, and later it becomes little: and  with the passing of time and with the chick growing stronger the whole yolk dissolves, so that no more is seen in it. In fact if someone, when the chick is by now completed and finished, would break its shell and also would split the bowel that is near the yolk of the chick, as well as the vein carrying out the task of navel, inside the abdomen, set below the vein, in which the yolk moves, he will still find some yolk, but the remainder already disappeared. In fact before that time the chick is like sleeping in the egg because of the lot of dampness of its head: and its eyes are trembling since they are not able to see, and it doesn't send forth any voice because of the weakness and the softness of its organs: but in its eyes and in its heart because of the veins that pulsate, is found an ampulla tall and low because of the pulsations due to the breath, almost gasping.

[38] Iste igitur est modus generationis pulli. Multa tamen sunt ova non quidem venti, sed coitus, infecunda, ex quibus nichil generatur, sicut in antecedentibus diximus: et quando illa ova cubat gallina, non pullificant omnino: et similiter est in aliis avibus secundum proportionem ad ova gallinarum. Apparet autem hoc praecipue in columbis, in quibus saepe invenitur alterum ovorum non pullificare, cum tamen columbae multum coeant.

[38] This is therefore the way the chick is begot. However the infertile eggs are a lot, not the windy ones, but those from coition, from which nothing is born, as we previously told: and when the hen broods those eggs, they don't produce chicks at all: and the same happens in the other birds by the same token it happens to the eggs of the hens. This occurs especially in the doves in which it is often found that one of the two eggs doesn't give chick, despite the doves are mating quite a lot.

Cap. V.

De gemellis ovorum et de numero ovorum diversarum avium, praecipue gallinae et columbae.

Chapter V

The twins of the eggs* and the number of the eggs of different birds, above all of hen and dove.

[39] Inveniuntur autem ova, ex quibus exeunt gemelli, eo quod duas habeant gemmas et duo citrina, inter quae est tela subtilis. Sunt enim quaedam gallinae, quae quasi semper faciunt ova gemellina. Ita quod inventa est apud Macedones gallina, quae decem et octo fecit ova: et quando cubavit ea, ex quolibet eorum exiverunt duo pulli, ita quod triginta sex produxit pullos ex decem et octo ovis. Et unus quidem gemellorum ovi frequenter est parvus et alter magnus et perfectus: et multotiens contingit parvum monstruosum fieri, vel utrumque: minor autem gemellorum fit monstruosus, ideo quod virtus spermatis maioris fortius trahens corrumpit secundinas eius et aliquid forte materiae trahit ad seipsum. Cuius signum est, quia frequenter in aliquo membro deficit minor gemellorum. Uterque autem monstruosus efficitur, quando uterque trahendo dislocationem materiae facit in utroque: ex hoc enim etiam contingit dispositio inordinata membrorum.

[39] Some eggs are found from which twins go out since they have two germinative disks and two yolks, among which a thin membrane is present. Actually there are some hens almost always laying twin eggs. So that among the Macedonians a hen was found that laid 18 eggs: and when she brooded them from each of them went out two chicks, so that she produced 36 chicks from 18 eggs. But often one of the twins of an egg is small while the other one is big and complete: and often it happens that the small one becomes monstrous, or both: actually the smaller of the twins becomes monstrous since the strength of the major sperm alters its secundines by attracting with greater energy and perhaps attracts to itself a little bit of material. Of this is confirmation the fact that often to the smaller of the twins some structure is missing. But both become monstrous when, both attracting, they provoke a displacement of the material in both: from this also occurs a misarrangement of body's parts.

[40] Et iam in terra nostra apparuit pullus anseris, qui duplicis fuit corporis et habebat duo capita et quatuor pedes et quatuor alas, et coniunctio fuit in dorso, ac si haberet dorsum unum: et quocumque verteretur, erat, ac si anser unus alterum portaret in dorso, ita quod dorsa verterent ad se invicem: quod accidit ex ruptura secundinae, quae distinguere debuit unam gemmam ovi ab altera a parte dorsi: et omnia alia membra erant integra et salva, eo quod in formatione avis in ovo membra capitis et pedum et alarum convertuntur ad ante et non ad dorsum. Quaedam autem gallinae habent quasi in proprietate naturali facere huiusmodi ova duplicium gemmarum: et illae sunt, quae habent matrices longas et largas, quae moventur in receptione seminis galli. Motus enim matricis facit spermatis divisionem: et tunc aut duo ova, aut unum duplicis gemmae concipiunt. Sic igitur se habet de ovis gallinarum.

[40] Besides in our territory appeared a gosling having a double body and two heads and four feet and four wings, and the point of junction was at level of the back as having only one back: and anyway it was turned it was like if one goose carried the other on the back since the backs were turned one towards the other: which happened because of the breaking of the secundine that had to separate the germinative disk of an egg from the other at back's level: and all other structures were entire and intact, since during the formation of the bird in the egg the structures of head, legs and wings are turned forward and not toward the back. In reality some hens have almost as natural endowment that of producing such eggs with two germinative disks: and they are those having a long and wide uterus that is stirring when receiving the seed of the rooster. In fact the movement of the uterus produces a subdivision of the sperm: and then they conceive or two eggs, or only one endowed with two germinative disks. Here therefore as are the things about the eggs of hens.

[41] Omnes autem aves, quae vicinantur naturae columbarum, sicut columba, turtur, palumbae et columbae, quae cavernarum dicuntur et nigrae sunt aliquantulum et in arboribus habitant, non ovant nisi duo ova, et raro tria, sed tertium frequenter corrumpitur. Turtures autem et palumbi ovant bis in vere, et si corrumpantur aut auferantur ova secunda, tertio aliquando ovant. Alia autem genera columbarum multotiens ovant in anno, sicut diximus superius.

[41] All the birds approaching the aspect of pigeons, as dove, turtle dove, wild doves and the doves said of caverns that are a little bit black and live on trees, lay only two eggs, rarely three, but often the third one goes bad. The turtle doves and the wild doves lay twice in spring, and if the eggs of the second nestful go bad or are stolen, sometimes they lay a third time. Moreover other genera of pigeons lay a lot of times in the year, as we previously told.

[42] Amplius autem maior pars generum avium ovare incipit post aetatem unius anni: columba tamen et gallina nata in Aprili vel ante incipit ovare in autumno eiusdem anni post aestatem, si fuerit locus calidus, et copiosa habuerit pascua. Nec est avis, quae pullificet sine ovis, licet aliquando non videantur ova quarumdam avium: aut propter ocultationem aut forte propter paucitatem earum. Columbae autem ut frequentius simul pullificant marem et feminam: et quando ovant primo, ut frequentius ovant ovum masculinum et sequenti die femininum: et quando exeunt ova, ut frequentius primo die exit masculinum et sequenti die femininum, vel cicius, sed tamen post masculinum propter calorem maiorem, qui est in masculino quam in feminino. Adhuc autem columbus cubat ova de die frequentius et femina de nocte. Et primum quidem ovum in utero completur in septem diebus, et postea fovetur per quatuordecim dies, qui sunt dies viginti et unus: et tunc finditur ovum et exit pullus. In fissura autem ovi primo quidem columba parvula in ovo existens primo penetrat testam anteriori rostri sui, ita quod testa ibi elevatur ad quantitate<m> grani tritici, et postea dividit eam in duo et exit pullus. Postquam autem exiverint mas et femina, parentes calefaciunt eos simul divisis temporibus: sed tamen femina magis sollicita est de eis quam mas sicut et in omnibus aliis animalibus.

[42] Besides most of the species of birds start to lay after reaching the age of one year: nevertheless a dove and a hen born in April or previously start to lay eggs in autumn of the same year, after the summer, if the zone will be warm and if they will have available abundance of food. Neither a bird exists producing chicks without eggs, although sometimes eggs of some birds are not seen: or because they have been hidden or perhaps because they are few. The doves mostly give birth contemporarily to a male and a female: and when they lay the egg the first time, mostly they lay a male egg and the following day a female egg: and when the eggs are laid, mostly the first day goes out that male and that female the following day, or later, nevertheless after the male one, because of the heat present in the male egg being greater than in the female one. Moreover the male pigeon mostly broods the eggs during the day and the female during the night. And the first egg is completed in uterus within 7 days and then is heated for 14 days, that in total are 21 days: and then the egg opens and the chick goes out. At first the very little dove that is in the egg firstly penetrates the shell with the anterior part of its beak in the fissure of the egg, so that here the shell raises for the height of a grain of wheat and subsequently divides it in two parts and the young goes out. After the male and the female went out, the parents heat them for equal periods of time: however the female takes care of them more than the male, as also it happens in all other animals.

[43] Columbae autem aliquando ovant decies in anno, et aliquando cubant undecies, et aliquando duodecies in calidis locis, sicut est Egiptus: et de hoc diximus satis in antehabitis. Masculus autem columbae frequentius coit post unum annum. Aliqui tamen dixerunt turtures et columbas nigrescentes, quae fehytae[21] dicuntur, coire post tres menses: sed hoc rarissime contingit, et in hiis solum quando ante tempus vernum vel in principio veris procreantur. Communiter etiam tempus impraegnationis in generibus columbae similibus est quatuordecim diebus a prima ovi conceptione usque ad completam ovationem amborum ovorum: et cubant tunc per dies quatuordecim, et pulli complentur ab exitu ab ovo usque ad completionem alarum et volatus in quatuordecim diebus, ita quod extunc difficulter capiuntur. Dicunt autem quidam columbas cavernales, quae nigriores sunt et minores communibus columbis, vivere per quadraginta annos. Sed compertum est aput nos columbam vivere per viginti annos: et raro vivit ultra hoc tempus. Columba autem quando complet pullos, ovat iterum, ita quod inter unam ovationem et aliam sunt triginta dies, quia aliter non posset ovare singulis mensibus, sicut superius determinatum est.

[43] Sometimes the doves lay eggs ten times in one year, sometimes brood 11 and sometimes 12 times in warm places, as Egypt is: and about this previously we told enough. The male dove more often mates after one year of age. Nevertheless some people reported that turtle doves and blackish doves said fehytae - the wild doves - mate after three months of age: but this happens very rarely, and in them it happens only when they are procreated before spring or at spring's beginning. Moreover the time during which a bird of species similar to dove is pregnant, is usually of 14 days starting from the beginning of egg's conception until the complete laying of both eggs: and then they brood for 14 days, and the young, starting from the out coming from egg until the completion of wings and flight, are completed in 14 days, so that starting from then they are captured with difficulty. Some people say that the doves of caverns, darker and smaller than common doves, live for forty years. But among us it was found that the dove lives twenty years: and seldom is living later than this time. The dove newly lays when brings the young to completion, so that, between one laying and the other, 30 days are elapsing, since otherwise it could not lay every month, as previously has been affirmed.

Cap. VI.

De cubatione et sollicitudine filiorum avium rapacium et aliarum.

Chapter VI

About incubation and care of young of birds of prey and other birds.

[44] Vultur autem, qui Graece haraham[22] vocatur, nidificat super montes, ad quos vix potest ascendere homo, et quaerunt rupes silicum planorum parietum altissimorum, et in foraminibus illorum altis nidificant. Et similiter faciunt herodii et falconum genera et aquilarum. Et ideo dicit Aristoteles, quod numquam invenitur nidus vulturis: sed hoc non est verum in terra nostra, in qua saepissime multi nidi eorum inveniuntur. Pulli etiam iuvenes huius avis rare inveniuntur propter eamdem causam. Propter quod etiam Arotimus[23] poeta asserit, quod vultur in Graecia non pullificat, sed venit ab alia terra remota, et huius signum dicit esse, quod nemo umquam in Graecia vidit pullos eius, licet multi antiqui vultures in Graecia saepe appareant.

[44] The vulture*, said haraham in Greek, nests on mountains, on which man hardly succeeds in climbing, and the vultures are looking for cliffs made of flat flints on very high walls and they nest in their hollows set aloft. And the herons and the species of hawks* and eagles* behave in similar way. And therefore Aristotle* says that a nest of vulture is never found: but this is not true in our territories, where very often a lot of their nests is found. For the same reason also the young of this bird are rarely found. That's why also the poet Herodorus affirms that the vulture doesn't proliferate in Greece but that it comes from another far land, and he says that it is proven by the fact that nobody in Greece has never seen its chicks, even if in Greece many elderly vultures often are appearing.

[45] Est autem avis haec infausta sequens exercitus, quando strages futura est in eis aut pestilentia. Et huius causam dicunt esse odoratum huius avis: sicut nos in aliis locis scientiae naturalis in libro secundo de Anima determinavimus, nec hic repetere oportet. Huius tamen causam scire difficile est, licet iam experimento compertum sit, quod avis ista sua congregatione post exercitum stragem indicat futuram. Non enim providentia futurorum est in ave ista: sed si quid est, oportet, quod sit ab odoratu aut ex instinctu stellarum. Divinitatem enim, quam huic avi attribuunt augures, difficile est valde investigare. Si quid tamen est talium in hac et in ceteris avibus, in scientia augurum est inquirendum.

[45] This bird is inauspicious and follows the armies when a slaughter or a pestilence is about to happen in them. And they say that the reason of this is the sense of smell of this bird: as we precisely affirmed in other passages of natural science, in the second book of De Anima, and it is not worthwhile to repeat it now. However it is difficult to know the reason for this, although it has been already verified by experience that this bird assembling at the suite of an army points out a future slaughter. In fact in this bird the ability of foresee the future is not present: but if something in it is present, it has to come from the sense of smell or from the inspiration it receives from the stars. But it is very difficult to investigate the divination the augurs attribute to this bird. Nevertheless if in this and in other birds such a peculiarity is present, it has to be sought in the science of the augurs.

Vultur autem duo facit ova, quia plura nutrire non posset, et est commune fere omnibus avibus rapacibus et omnibus, quae carnes comedunt, semel in anno tantum facere pullos praeter hyrundines, quae solae inter comedentes carnes bis pullificant in anno. Et hoc dicuntur habere proprium pulli hyrundinum, quod si quis perforaverit oculos eorum, antequam aperiant eos, oculi iterum revertuntur et consolidantur.

The vulture lays two eggs, since it would not be possible to raise more, and it is a characteristic common to almost all birds of prey and to all those eating meat, and they give birth to young only once a year, except the swallows*, the only ones among the eaters of meat to produce young twice a year. And it is said that the young of swallows have this characteristic, that is, if someone pierces their eyes before they open them, the eyes are re-formed and strengthen.

[46] Genus autem aquilarum frequenter ponit tria ova: sed [non] ut frequenter non extrahit nisi a duobus duos pullos, secundum quod dixit Melissus[24] in libro animalium suorum. Hic enim dicit, quod etiam si extrahat ex tertio, quod eicit ipsum a nido. Et hoc iam compertum est ab aucupibus, quod aquila tres pullos habuit et eicit tertium a nido suo, eo quod graviter cubat et cibat tres. Cuius causam quidam dicunt esse, quod in tantum debilitatur cubando, quod non potest venari pullos aliarum avium, quod sufficiant tribus, sed vix potest procurare duos ex eis. Incurvantur enim tunc ungues sui, ita quod ipsis parum rapere potest, et albescunt alae suae: et ex hoc gravatur nimis ad procurandum cibos tot filiis. Et quod mirabile esse videtur, avis[25], quae Graece kym, Arabice autem cekar vocatur, quam Avicenna vocat kahyn, accipit filium aquilae eiectum et nutrit eum: et hoc aput nos, ubi tamen in montibus plurima sunt genera aquilarum, numquam potuit experiri, nisi quod rumor communis est, quod sic aquila quosdam eiciat, sicut dictum est, et alia quaedam parva aquila et nigra eiectos nutriat, quando invenit eos, et cum nutriti sunt ab ea, ita quod volare possunt, devorant alumnos suos.

[46] The genus of the eagles* often lays three eggs: but mostly doesn't get two young than from two, according to what Musaeus told in the book of his animals. In fact he says that even if the eagle brings the young from the third egg into being as well, she would throw it away from the nest. And already it has been checked by bird catchers that an eagle having had three young throws the third one from her nest since it is difficult for her to brood and feed three of them. Some people say that the reason is the fact that when brooding she weakens so much that she doesn't succeed in capturing young of other birds so that they are enough for three, but hardly she is able to get two of them. In fact in that period her claws are bending so much to be able to seize not very much things with them, and her wings become whitish: and because of this it becomes extremely difficult for her to get food for so many young. And a thing that seems to be amazing consists in the fact that a bird - the bearded vulture* / the giant petrel* - said kym in Greek and cekar in Arab, that Avicenna* calls kahyn, accepts the young refused by the eagle and nourishes it: and among us, where however on mountains a lot of species of eagles exist, it never has been possible to ascertain this, apart from being a common gossip that the eagle throws away some of them, as it has been said, and that another small and black eagle nourishes the outcasts when she finds them, and when after having been fed by her so to succeed in flying, they devours those who fed them.

[47] Aquila autem per triginta dies ova cubare dicitur. Hoc enim tempus commune est cubationis ovorum omnium fere magnarum avium rapacium. Mediarum autem tempus cubationis est viginti dies, sicut milvi et accipitris et huiusmodi avium. Similiter autem aves magnae non rapaces cubant triginta dies ut anser et cignus. Quoddam autem genus accipitris, quod Arabice ancatynez, Latine accipenser vocatur, ut frequentius non ovat nisi duo ova, et forte pullificat bis, ita quod facit pullos semel duos et semel unum in eodem anno. Avis autem rapax, quae Graece agulneos, Latine autem egonus vel egythynus vocatur et est quoddam genus accipitris, aliquando pullificat quatuor pullos. Corvus autem niger numquam pullificat duos tantum, sed semper plures, et cubat ova viginti diebus: et cum omnes pascere non potest, eicit aliquos. Aves enim magnae, quae pullificant simul multos filios, ex consuetudine eiciunt aliquos sicut ciconiae.

[47] They say that the eagle broods the eggs for 30 days. In fact this is the usual time of incubation of the eggs of almost all the big birds of prey. Of those of medium size the time of brooding is of 20 days as the kite* and the sparrow hawk* and such birds. Likewise the big non rapacious birds brood for 30 days as goose and swan*. But a species of sparrow hawk said ancatynez in Arab, accipenser in Latin, for the more doesn't lay but two eggs, and in case gives birth to young twice, so it produces only once two young and only once one in the same year. A rapacious bird, said agulneos in Greek - aigøliós = barn owl - and said egonus or egythynus in Latin, and that is a kind of sparrow hawk, sometimes produces 4 young. The black crow never produces only two young, but always quite a lot, and it broods the eggs for 20 days: and when it cannot feed all of them, it throws away some of them. In fact the birds of big size, contemporarily producing many young, usually throw away some of them, as the storks do.

[48] Amplius autem genera aquilarum non eodem modo nutriunt pullos, sed ut frequentius aves habentes caudas albas magnae gravantur magis in cibando pullos suos et cicius separantur ab eis: et quae habent caudam nigram, levius cibant pullos, eo quod communius habent nutrimentum. Omnes autem aves curvorum unguium rapaces, quando vident suos pullos posse volare, eiciunt eos a se, percutiendo alis et cogendo exire de nido, et quando pulli completi sunt, non amplius sollicitantur de eis, sed potius stringunt eis rostrum et consolidant et eiciunt. Avicenna tamen dicit, quod nati adhuc sequuntur parentes, et parentes fugiunt eos, ita quod aliquando tam fugientes parentes quam insequentes filii simul cadunt in retia aucupum.

[48] Besides the various species of eagles don't nourish the young in the same manner, but as it happens more often the big birds with white tail are in trouble quite a lot in feeding their young and they separate rather soon from them: and those having a black tail nourish the young more easily since more often they have food available. When seeing that their young can fly, all birds of prey with bent claws push away them from themselves by striking them with their wings and forcing them to go out from nest, and when the young are completed they don't further beaver for them, on the contrary they tighten them the beak and strengthen it and they send them away. Nevertheless Avicenna says that the young still follow the parents and that the parents shun them, so that sometimes both the fleeing parents and the young pursuing them fall in the nets of bird catchers.

[49] Dixerunt etiam aliqui experti, ut dicit Avicenna, quod aliquando morantur volando cum parentibus duobus annis et in unum praedantur. Sed quod mihi dixerunt aucupes et quod sum expertus, est, quod accipitres quos vocamus astures, et speruwerii cibant pullos suos volantes fere per unum mensem, et postea retrahunt se ab eis et docent eos capere aves sic, quod parentes deferunt eis aves vivas et dimittunt coram eis et incitant filios ad capiendum: et postquam perfecti sunt volatus ad capiendum, tunc abstinent ab eis. Aquilae autem terrae nostrae non cibant filios suos nisi in nido, et postea educunt, et communiter praedantur cum parentibus, et post modicum abstinent ab eis parentes. Sed falcones cibant filios in nido, et cum volare possunt, educunt ad praedam: et cum praedari possunt per se, educunt eos longe valde a loco nidi sui, ita quod in loco nidi vix umquam ultra comparent: et parentes eorum retinent habitationem, ita quod narravit michi falconarius, qui multos cepit falcones, quod etiam in eadem regione pater filium secum esse non permittit, postquam perfectus fuerit ad praedandum.

[49] As Avicenna says, some experts also said that sometimes when they fly they are remaining with their parents for two years and for one year they act as raptors. But what the bird catchers told me, and I know by experience, is that the sparrow hawks, we call goshawks* and speruweri, nourish for almost one month their flying young, and then they go away from them and they teach them to capture birds so that the parents give them some alive birds and they release them at their presence and incite the young to capture them: and after they are improved in the flight for capturing them, then they go away from them. The eagles of our territories nourish their young only in the nest, and then they make them to go out and they hunt the preys together with their parents, and after little time the parents go away from them. But the hawks nourish the young in the nest and when they are able to fly they lead them outside to plunder: and when they are able to plunder alone they lead them very far from the place where their nest is, so that they never appear where the nest is: and their parents keep the house, so that a falconer, that captured many hawks, told me that also in the same territories the father doesn't allow the child to be with him after becoming experienced in hunting preys.

[50] Aquila etiam magna, quae aput nos est et herodius vocatur, raro aput nos invenitur habere nisi unicum pullum, licet duo faciat ova. Et hoc iam comperimus per sex annos continuos visitando nidum aquilae cuiusdam. Sed in talibus difficile est experiri propter altitudines montium, in quibus nidificant: nec potuimus experiri nisi desuper quodam submisso in fune maximae longitudinis de rupe. Talis enim est usus aput nos eorum, qui falcones et aquilas de nidis accipiunt.

[50] Also that big eagle living among us and that is called heron, among us mostly is found to have only one young despite laying two eggs. And we have found this for 6 consecutive years visiting the nest of some eagle. But about these birds it is difficult to know something because of the height of the mountains where they nest: and we have been able to know something only by making to go down from the high of a cliff a person tied up to a rope of extreme length. In fact among us such is the practice of those people catching from the nests the hawks and the eagles.

Aves tamen carnes quidem comedentes, sed curvum rostrum et curvos ungues non habentes, sicut est hacehac Graece dicta[26], quam nos cornicem vocamus, cogitat de suis pullis magno tempore, postquam evolaverint de nido: volat enim cum eis et dat eis cibum: et similiter facit fere omne genus avium corvini generis, sicut cocix[27] et monedula et plura alia genera avium hiis similia. Cocix autem Latine vocatur avis, quae maioris est quantitatis quam cornix, et habet rostrum magnum et album iuxta caput, ubi sunt nares, et non comedit carnes: et hanc quidam graculum vocant, in lingua vero Germanica ruch[28] vocatur.

Nevertheless there are birds eating meat but that don't have hooked beak and claws, as is that said hacehac in Greek and we call crow, which devotes itself for quite a lot of time to its young after they flew away from nest: in fact it flies with them and gives them food: and almost all the species of birds belonging to the genus of the crows behaves in analogous way, as cocix and magpie and a lot of other species of birds similar to these. In Latin is called cocix that bird present in greater quantity than the crow and that has a big beak and some white near the head where the nostrils are, and it doesn't eat meat: and some call it crow and in German is called ruch - the common crow, the rook.

[51] Est autem quoddam genus avium compositum ex duobus avium generibus, sicut gugulus maior et gugulus minor. Maior enim gugulus componitur ex asture et palumba, quoniam rostrum et ungues et pedes habet similes palumbo, et ceterum corpus simile est asturi, nisi quod varietas pennarum in gugulo habet maculas nigras quasi rotundas: in asture autem sunt lineae nigrae: et in volatu etiam assimilatur asturi: et haec avis Graece kokokoz ab imitatione vocis vocatur, Arabice autem ab Avicenna kabul vocatur. Aliquando enim quando coniungit voces, triplicat eas, et tunc profert sonum kokokoz, Latine autem vocatus gugulus maior. Minor autem gugulus componitur ex columba et sparvario, habens rostrum et pedes columbae et cetera corporis et volatum similia sparverio: propter quod vulgi opinio fabulatur gugulum maiorem aliquando esse asturem, et e contrario fieri de asture gugulum maiorem, et gugulum minorem aliquando fieri sparvarium, et e contrario, licet hoc sit falsum.

[51] Moreover some species of birds exists composed by two species of birds, as major cuckoo and minor cuckoo. In fact the major cuckoo is composed by goshawk and wild dove since it has beak, toenails and legs similar to the wild dove, while the rest of the body is similar to the goshawk, except the fact that in the cuckoo the variegation of the feathers shows almost rounded black patches: in goshawk on the contrary black lines exist: and also in the flight it seems a goshawk: and this bird in Greek is said kokokoz by imitating its voice, in Arab is said kabul by Avicenna. In fact sometimes when joining the cries it triples them and therefore sends forth the sound kokokoz, and in Latin is said cuculus maior. The minor cuckoo is composed by dove and sparrow hawk since it has beak and feet of the dove while the remaining parts of the body and the flight resemble the sparrow hawk: that's why the popular opinion tells tales that sometimes the major cuckoo is a goshawk, and that for the major cuckoo the contrary happens since it comes from the goshawk, and that sometimes the minor cuckoo becomes a sparrow hawk, as well as the contrary, even if this is untrue.

[52] Causa autem dicti est, quod gugulus uterque occultatur in hyeme: et in illo tempore etiam raro apparet astur et nisus, qui sparvarius vocatur, et in aestate apparet utraque avis. Sed accipiter sive astur est curvorum unguium, sed non kokokoz, neque in capite assimilatur accipitri{.}<:> sed potius in duobus hiis videtur similis columbae: sed in colore assimilatur accipitri, nisi quod in alis accipitris nigrae sunt lineae, et in kokokoz sunt maculae quasi rotundae. Sed in sua magnitudine, et in suo volatu gugulus uterque similatur accipitri magno et parvo, hoc est asturi et niso. Sed opinio vulgaris haec falsa est, quia in multis temporibus et in multis terris simul apparent istae quatuor aves: et videtur saepe astur capere gugulum, et comedere eum. Et forte multi modi sunt huiusmodi gugulorum. Et pulli quidem gugulorum numquam inveniuntur in nidis propriis, neque gugulus invenitur umquam portare ad nidum, quia mos est suus pullificare in nidis aliarum avium. Sed mos maioris guguli est pullificare in nido palumbi, et mos minoris guguli est pullificare in nido parvae avis, quae filomenam cantu imitatur et habet quantitatem filomenae, et nidificat in rosariis, et Germanice grasemusche[29] vocatur.

[52] The reason of the gossip consists in the fact that both cuckoos are hiding in winter: and in that period the goshawk and the nisus, said sparrow hawk, are rarely seen, and in summer both the birds are seen. The sparrow hawk or the goshawk show hooked toenails, but not the cuckoo that neither in head resembles the sparrow hawk: contrarily, for both these structures, it is similar to dove: but in colour it resembles the sparrow hawk except the fact that in the wings of sparrow hawk are present black lines and in the cuckoo there are some almost round patches. But in size and flight the cuckoo resembles both big and small sparrow hawk, that is goshawk and nisus - the sparrow hawk. But this popular conviction is false, since in different seasons and in different territories these four birds appear at the same time: and the goshawk is often seen to catch the cuckoo and to eat it. And perhaps quite a lot of types of these cuckoos exist. And the young of the cuckoos are never found in their nests, neither it is ever found that the cuckoo brings them in the nest, since its habit is to make the young to be born in the nest of other birds. But the habit of the major cuckoo is to make the young to be born in the nest of the wild dove, and the habit of the minor cuckoo is that to make the young to be born in the nest of a small bird that imitates the song of the nightingale and has the size of a nightingale, and nesting in rosaries, and said grasemusche in German.

[53] Aliquando tamen visa est ovare in nido aviculae aquaticae, quae movens caudam vocatur. Propter quod Avicenna dicit se gugulum minorem in utriusque avis nido invenisse semel in ripa fluminis, et semel in arbore peranginis[30], et vidisse aviculas illas cibasse gugulum et in nido et in terra, et cibaverunt eum cibo vermiculorum, qualem cibum pullis suis ferre consueverunt. Cum autem isti modi gugulorum ovant in nidis avium aliarum, primo sorbent ova illarum avium, et postea sua ponunt in locum illorum: et ideo aliae aves fere omnes impugnant gugulos: sed occulte accedunt ad eas, et raro faciunt nisi unum ovum, vel duo ad plus. Interim autem, quando pullus guguli maioris nutritur a palumbis, est pinguis valde et bonae carnis propter nutrimenti convenientiam: et in hoc convenit cum pullis accipitris qui sunt valde bonae carnis, eo quod carnibus et bonis cibis nutriuntur.

[53] Nevertheless sometimes it has been seen to lay the eggs in the nest of a small aquatic bird that is called wagging-the-tail. That's why Avicenna says that only once on the shore of a river he has found the minor cuckoo in the nest of both birds, and only once on a tree of perangine, and to have seen those birdies feeding the cuckoo both in nest and ground, and they gave it to eat a food of little worms as that they usually bring to their chicks. When these species of cuckoos lay eggs in the nests of other birds, firstly they drink the eggs of those birds and later they lay their eggs in place of those: and therefore almost all other birds attack the cuckoos: but these approach them secretly and seldom lay an egg, or two at most. In the meantime, when the young of major cuckoo is fed by wild doves, it is very well-fed and is of good flesh because of the adequacy of the nourishment: and in this it corresponds to the young of the sparrow hawk that are of very good flesh since they are fed with good meat and foods.

[54] Invenitur autem unum genus accipitrum, quod suum nidum facit in locis valde altis inaccessibilibus: et ideo raro eius pulli auferuntur, et hoc praecipue faciunt herodii aput nos, qui nidificant in parietibus montium altissimorum in Alpibus, ita quod non est accessus nisi per funem aliquis submittatur a vertice montis: et hunc oportet ligari in sporta profunda fortibus vinculis, ne ab herodiis antiquis deiciatur: et oportet multos homines desuper montem submittere sagittas et ictus lapidum super antiquos herodios ne lacerent carnes eius, qui submissus est ad accipiendos herodios iuvenes. Multae autem aliae aves faciunt nidos comportando sarmenta, sicut diximus de columbis, et cubant successive aliquando mas, et aliquando femina, sed tempus cubationis masculi est tempus minus quam quo cubat femina: non enim cubat mas nisi tempore, quo indiget femina ad sui cibationem. Sed feminae avium kanebralium[31], hoc est earum, quae sunt de genere gallinarum et anserum, solae cubant pullos suos absque maribus: et postquam incipiunt cubare, non recedunt a cubatione ovorum suorum nisi tempore modico, quo cibum accipiunt.

[54] Only one species of sparrow hawks is found building its nest in very high and inaccessible places: therefore seldom its young are removed, and this among us is done overall by herons nesting in Alps on walls of very high mountains, so that it is not possible to enter but by means of a rope that someone makes to go down from the top of the mountain: and it is worthwhile that this fellow is tied with strong ropes in a deep basket so that is not made to fall by elderly herons: and it is worthwhile that from the top of the mountain several men throw arrows and stones on elderly herons so that don't lacerate the fleshes of who has been made to go down for taking out the young herons. Many other birds build the nest by accumulating twigs, as we told about doves, and alternate in brooding once the male and then the female, but the time devoted to brooding by male is lesser than the time during which the female broods: in fact the male broods only for the time the female needs to feed herself. But the females of the birds kanebrales, that is, of those whose species belongs to that of hens and geese, are the only ones to brood their chicks without the males: and after they start to brood they don't desist from incubation of their eggs but for the short time when they feed.

[55] Aves autem lacunales, sicut anates et anseres et cigni, pullificare consueverunt inter arbores et herbas virides iuxta profundum aquarum: et ideo semper stant cum suis pullis non recedentes ab eis, eo quod in illis locis cibi sui est copia in seminibus herbarum et in ipsis herbis aquaticis.

[55] The aquatic birds as ducks, geese and swans, got into the habit of make the chicks to be born among trees and green grasses in proximity of deep waters: and therefore they are always together with their chicks without leaving them, since in those places there is abundance of food suitable for them both in seeds of grasses and in aquatic grasses themselves.

Adhuc autem feminae corvorum nigrorum cubant solae ova sua, sed mares ducunt feminis cibum ad nidum, quod non faciunt mares gallinarum et avium aquaticarum. Femina vero avis, quae Graece kariez vocatur, quae est palumbus, incipit cubare ova a medio die et continuat usque mane sequentis diei cubationem: et mas cubat a mane usque ad meridiem. Avis autem, quae cubech vocatur, facit ex ovis suis duas acies, et femina cubat aciem unam, et masculus cubat aliam aciem, et cum exiverint pulli, uterque sollicitatur de eis, quos ipse cubavit: et postea illis adultis iterum mas coit cum femina et pullificant dividendo acies ovorum sicut prius.

Besides the females of black crows brood their eggs alone, but the males bring food to the females up to the nest, a thing the males of hens and aquatic birds don't do. The female of the bird said kariez in Greek, and that is the wild dove, starts to brood the eggs beginning from midday and continues to brood until the morning of the following day: and the male broods from the morning until midday. That bird said cubech - the partridge - divides its eggs into two groups, and the female broods one group and the male the other group, and when the young have hatched both take care of those that everyone brooded: and afterwards, once they became adult, the male newly mates with the female and they give birth to young dividing the groups of the eggs as previously.

[56] Pavo autem dicitur vivere viginti quinque annis et pullificare, quando est trium annorum, et deinde colorantur eius pennae melius. Cubat autem ova sua per triginta dies sicut aves magnae, de quibus supra diximus: hoc enim tempus est, quo luna accessu vel recessu ad solem perficit peryodum et quatuor modos temporum. Post triginta autem dies aut circa hoc finduntur eius ova: et non pullificat nisi semel in anno. Ovat autem duodecim ova aut parum minus: et interpolate ponit ova, ita quod post unum ovum stat duobus diebus aut tribus, et tunc ponit aliud: non enim ovat consequenter sine interpolatione. Et prima quidem vice quando pullificat, forte facit octo ova, et frequenter ovat ova venti, et ideo paucos facit pullos. Et in terra nostra non sunt visi nisi quinque vel sex foti simul. Coitus autem pavonis est in vere, et post vernum tempus statim ovat: et eicit pennas, quando primo arbores folio fluere incipiunt. Nascuntur autem iterato pennae, quando arbores primo folia habere incipiunt.

[56] They say that the peacock lives 25 years and that it produces chicks when 3 years old, and that then its feathers become better coloured. It broods its eggs for 30 days like the big birds about whom we have spoken before: this interval of time corresponds to that in which the waxing or waning moon towards the sun achieves a cycle and four phases. After more or less 30 days its eggs hatch: and it produces chicks only once a year. It lays 12 eggs or little less: and it lays the eggs at intervals, so that after an egg it stops two or three days, and then it lays another: in fact it doesn't lay in succession without intervals. And the first time it gives birth to chicks, perhaps it lays 8 eggs, and often lays windy eggs, and therefore it produces few chicks. And in our territories they are not been seen other than 5 or 6 raised contemporarily. The mating of the peacock happens in spring and lays the eggs immediately after the spring time: and it lets the feathers to fall when the trees start to lose the first leaves. The feathers grow again when the trees start to have the first leaves.

[57] Ab aliquibus autem ponuntur ova pavonum sub gallinis, et cubantur ab eis, eo quod, sicut diximus superius, pava a pavo ascenditur interim dum cubat ova, et franguntur ova a strepitu coeuntis: et ideo etiam feminae nidum abscondunt a masculis. Et similiter faciunt feminae multarum avium agrestium et cubant ova sua solae in locis occultis. Quando autem ova pavonum sub gallina ponuntur, non sunt ponenda nisi duo, eo quod vix amplius extrahi potest a gallina pullus pavonis: et oportet, quod homo sollicite observet, ne gallina dimittat cubationem ovorum illorum: quia hoc est gallinis aliquibus proprium, quod ad tempus cubant, et tunc cubare non curant: et oportet, ut cogatur ad cubandum per frequentem ad ova reductionem, et quod cibetur super ova et quod multum maceretur.

[57] Moreover by some people the eggs of peacocks are placed under hens and they are brooded by them, since, as we said before, sometimes the pea-hen is mounted by the peacock while she is brooding the eggs, and the eggs are broken by his tumultuous movements when mating: and therefore the females also hide the nest to males. And the females of many birds living in fields behave in similar way and they brood their eggs alone in hidden places. Besides when the eggs of peacock are put under a hen, no more than two have to be placed, since if they are in larger number, hardly to the chick of peacock can be given birth by a hen: and it is necessary that the man pays many attention that the hen doesn't stop the brooding of those eggs: since some hens have the characteristic of brooding until a certain time, and then they don't take care of the hatching: and it is worthwhile that they are forced to brood by re-placing them often on eggs, and that they are fed on the eggs and that are tired out quite a lot.

Omnibus autem avibus convenit, quod testiculi eorum crescunt tempore coitus: et earum testiculi, quae sunt maioris coitus, magis crescunt: tunc enim inveniuntur maiores habere testiculos, sicut cubech et gallinae. Quando autem non coeunt, habent testiculos  parvos.

It is natural for all the birds that their testicles are increasing during mating's time: and the testicles of those mating more grow more: in fact in that period it is found that they have bigger testicles, as partridges and hens - cocks. But when they don't mate  they have small testicles.

Iste igitur est modus pullificationis avium.

This is therefore the way in which the birds give birth to the young.


Incipit octavus liber animalium qui est de moribus animalium, cuius tractatus primus est de moribus animalium secundum quos pugnant ad invicem.

The eighth book of the animals begins concerning the behavior of the animals, and its first part is concerning the behavior of the animals under which they fight each other.

VIII - 60

VIII - 60

Hoc autem genus pulli quod cubech vocatur, non minus ovat quam decem ova, et aliquando ovat sedecim et, sicut in praecedentibus diximus, ista avis in multis est mali moris et astuta valde, et licet in hyeme gregatim volet, tamen in tempore veris una segregatur ab alia, et combinantur mas et femina: et tunc pugnant pro nidis et coitu mares inter se, donec quilibet mas acceperit feminam suam, et ipsam sequitur coeundo saepius cum ipsa, haec enim avis diligit coitum, et ideo etiam quando mas invenit feminam super ova, coit cum ea et frangit ova, ne femina sit sollicita circa ova cubanda, et ideo femina abscondit ova a masculo: et si homo aliquis appropinquat ovis, circumvolat quasi non potens volare hominem illum, donec pertrahat eum ab ovis, et tunc redit ad ova: et dicitur quod haec avis habet hoc proprium, quod mas eius pugnat cum mare fortiter et victus oboedit victori, et victor ascendit super victum et coit cum eo sicut cum femina: et si contingat, quod victor aliquando in secunda pugna vincatur ab eo quem prius vicerat, tunc ille qui prius sustinuerat coitum, vice versa asscendit[32] et coit cum ipso: sed hoc non semper fit, sed tanto uno tempore anni, quod est principium veris, quando multo haec avis desiderat coitum. Similiter autem accidit ortigiis sive ortygometris[33]. Galli etiam faciunt hoc, ut dicitur, in locis qui sunt in regione quae vocatur Leyhychynie. In locis enim illis omnes galli iuvenes non vetusti appropinquant sibi et pugnant, et victor nititur coire cum victo, quando sunt sine gallinis.

This species of chicken called cubech - partridge* - doesn't lay less than 10 eggs and sometimes lays 16 of them and, as we previously told, this bird has a bad behavior in quite a lot of things and is very astute, and although in winter it flies in group, however in spring one parts from the other and the male and the female are mating: and then the males fight each other for nests and mating, until whatever male conquered its female and follows her, mating more often with her, since this bird loves the coition, and therefore also when the male finds the female above the eggs he mates with her and breaks the eggs in order that the female doesn't worry about to brood the eggs, and therefore the female hides the eggs from the male: and if some human being comes near the eggs, she flutters around this human being as if she were not able to fly, until she moved him away from the eggs, and then she goes back to the eggs: and it is said that this bird has the following characteristic, that her male courageously fights with a male and that the defeated obeys to the winner, and that the winner mounts on the defeated and mates with him as does with a female: and if it happens that sometimes the winner is won in a second battle by he whom previously he had defeated, then that one who previously had to suffer the coition, in his turn mounts on him and mates with him: but this doesn't happen always, but only in a period of the year corresponding to spring's beginning, when this bird is very longing for mating. Something similar happens for quails*. As far as it is said, also the cocks do this in places located in a region said Leyhychynie*. In fact in those places all young and not elderly roosters approach each other and fight, and the winner tries to mate with the defeated, when they are without hens.

The cocks act as a mother hen

VIII - 214

VIII - 214

Animalia enim valde operationes diversas habent, et ita variant quaedam accidentia locorum et temporum, et praecipue accidentia animae, quod etiam aliquid de figura corporum ipsorum variatur: et in hoc deprehendi potest quam valida sint animae accidentia. Gallinae enim impugnant aliquando gallos iuvenes, et cum vicerint eos, erigunt caudam et pectus ad modum gallorum, et aliquando ascendunt super eos et luxuriant super eos: et accidens animae huiusmodi facit in eis, quod aliquando cristae maiores efficiuntur eis in capitibus, et quod crescunt eis cornua in cruribus sicut gallis: et in aliis incipiunt habere accidentia gallorum, ita quod aliquando difficile est distinguere inter gallinam talem et gallum. Iam enim visum est, quod mares galli interfecerunt feminas habentes pullos, vel quod alia occasione mortuae sunt: et tunc galli duxerunt pullos et foverunt eos sub alis suis, et infirmati sunt in voce sicut gallina habens pullos solet infirmari, nec coibant cum eis, sed casti erant usque ad incrementum pullorum. Hoc autem saepe facit gallinacius, sicut visus experimento probavimus: postquam enim gallinacius per unam noctem steterit cum pullis, statim postea regit eos sicut gallina.

In fact the animals have many different behaviors, and so they change some things happening in places and times, and above all what happens in instinctual behavior, since also something of the aspect of their bodies is changing: and  on this point can be observed how very strong the modifications of the behavior are. In fact sometimes the hens attack the young roosters and after having defeated them they rise tail and breast as the roosters do, and sometimes they climb on them and make sex over them: and this type of behavior causes in them that sometimes the combs become bigger on their head, and that on their legs some horns grow as in roosters: and in others some features of rooster start to occur, so that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish such a hen from a rooster. In fact it has already been seen that male roosters killed the females having chicks, or that they died for another reason: and then the roosters drove the chicks and heated them under their wings, and they weakened in voice as usually weakens a hen having chicks, nor they were mating with hens, but they were chaste until the chicks were grown. Often a rooster does what follows, as we visually verified: in fact after having remained for a night with the chicks, a rooster soon after manages them as a hen.

Windy eggs

Incipit liber XVII qui est de causa ovantium et ovorum.

The XVII book begins, which concerns the reason both of laying eggs and of the eggs.

XVII - 3

XVII - 3

Contingit autem quod quaedam aves per se sine coitu ova concipiunt: et haec ova vocantur ova venti: quod dicit Aristoteles non convenire avibus boni et multi volatus, nec avibus rapacibus curvorum unguium, sed potius avibus multorum ovorum quae non multum volant, nec habent multas et magnas et fortes pennas. Superfluitas enim humida spermatica in talibus avibus transit in alas et pennas et consumitur etiam labore multi volatus in venando: et ideo non concipiuntur in eis ova nisi per sperma maris attrahens materiam. Ego tamen vidi avem rapacem domesticam quam dicunt sperverium sive nisum, facere plura ova venti: sed fuit domesticus, et tunc non venabatur, sed stetit in sporta ubi se remutabat in pennis: et ideo habundabat in huiusmodi superfluitate. Diximus enim iam in antehabitis quod menstruum et sperma sunt de superfluitatibus quartae digestionis: et natura in quibusdam non potest maturare et facere habundare haec duo propter causas quas diximus iam: et propter hoc aves rapaces nec multorum sunt ovorum nec multi coitus: sed potius corpora earum sunt sicca et parva et acuta.

It happens that some birds conceive the eggs alone without coition: and these eggs are said eggs of wind: Aristotle* says that this is unsuited to birds flying well and quite a lot, neither to rapacious birds with hooked toenails, on the contrary it is suited to birds laying a lot of eggs and not flying so much and not having many and big and strong feathers. In fact in such birds the exceeding spermatic damp element passes in wings and feathers and is also consumed by the work of flying quite a lot to hunt: and therefore in them the eggs are not conceived but through the sperm of the male attracting the matter. However I have seen a rapacious domestic bird they call sparrow hawk* or nisus - Accipiter nisus - laying quite a lot of windy eggs: but it was domestic and therefore it didn't go to hunt, but it remained in the basket where it was moulting the feathers: and therefore it had an excess of such overabundance. In fact previously we already said that the menstruations and the sperm belong to the overabundances of the fourth digestion: and in some subjects the nature cannot mature and make abundant these two things for the reasons we already said: and for this reason the rapacious birds don't have the characteristic of laying a lot of eggs neither of mating quite a lot: on the contrary their bodies are preferably dry, small and tapered.

Aves autem ponderosae non boni volatus existentes, multae sunt generationis sicut columbae et sibi similia. Mali autem volatus simul et paucarum pennarum sunt praecipue gallinae et cubeg et alia hiis similia et habent multam ovalem superfluitatem. Propter quod etiam mares horum generum multum coeunt et feminae multam ovalem habent materiam.

The heavy birds, that are not good flyers, procreate quite a lot, as doves and birds resembling them. Above all hens and partridges* and other suchlike birds fly badly and have few feathers and have quite a lot of overabundance of eggs. That's why also the males of such species are mating quite a lot and the females have a lot of matter to produce eggs.

Adriatic hens

XVII - 5

XVII - 5

Amplius aves parvi corporis nisi aliquid aliud impediat, sunt multi coitus et multorum ovorum: propter quod etiam quoddam genus gallinarum quae vocantur gallinae deiamos regionis ut dicit Aristoteles, sunt multorum ovorum valde: eo quod cibus earum transit in materiam ovorum: et quanto magis sunt gallinae huius speciei, tanto sunt plurium ovorum: eo quod cibus transit in ovorum materiam: sicut etiam in arboribus et aliis animalibus contingit quod cibum augmenti mutant in materiam seminalem. Et istud genus gallinarum multae est humiditatis et parvi corporis. Corpora aliorum modorum avium quae sunt sicca et calida, faciunt magis aves animosas et iracundas. Ira enim fortis ut plurimum est in corporibus multae siccitatis.

Besides the birds of small body, unless something other is preventing, are mating quite a lot and lay a lot of eggs: that's why also a breed of hens said Adriatic hens*, as Aristotle* says, lay a lot of eggs: since their food passes in the matter of the eggs: and the more the hens of this breed are small, the greater number of eggs they lay: since the food passes in the matter of the eggs: as also in trees and in other animals it happens that they turn the growth's food into seminal matter. And this breed of hens is very damp in constitution and of small body. The bodies of the birds of other size that are dry and warm produce more impetuous and irascible birds. In fact mostly the anger is strong in very dry bodies.

Amplius gracilitas crurium et debilitas, facit ad maiorem coitum et ad maiorem ovorum materiam sicut etiam in hominibus signum est siccitatis et caliditatis gracilitas crurium: et quando non provenit ex inedia vel infirmitate, tunc calorem significat complexionis ad coitum moventem: quia cibus qui in aliis transit in coxas et crura magna, transit in spermentalem materiam. Aves autem curvorum unguium rapaces, habent crura fortia et pedes fortiter fixos ad tenendum fortiter quod capiunt, eo quod regimen suae vitae est in venatione: et ideo paucum habent sperma et parum coeunt et paucam habent materiam ovorum praeter unum solum genus rapacium avium quod Graeci fieriz[34] vocant. Illa enim sola species rapacium avium est multorum ovorum propter multam humiditatem ipsius.

Moreover the frailness of the legs and the weakness push to a larger quantity of intercourse and of material for eggs, as also in human beings the frailness of the legs is sign of dryness and heat: and when it doesn't come from the lack of food or from an illness, then it means heat of an embrace pushing to coition: because the food, that in others passes in thighs and big legs, passes in spermatic material. Actually the rapacious birds with hooked claws have strong legs and very firm feet to be able to seize with strength what they grab, since the regime of their life consists in hunting: and therefore they have little sperm and are mating few and have little material for the eggs except only one species of birds of prey the Greeks call fieriz - the kestrel*. In fact this is the only species of rapacious birds laying a lot of eggs because of its high dampness.

Eggs conceived without coition

XVII - 10

XVII - 10

Amplius postquam aves coierunt semel, semper postea in eis sunt ova et sunt a principio valde parva. Et hoc induxit quosdam homines ad hoc quod dixerunt quod ova venti nascuntur ex residuo spermatis quod superest ovis completis. Hoc autem experta probant esse falsum, eo quod saepe vidimus gallinas et anseres parvos ante omnem coitum ova venti habere in corpore: praecipue tamen apparet hoc in feminis cubeg, quae sive coeant sive non, implentur ovis, quando vident vel audiunt, et praecipue si olfaciunt marem sui generis: et in tali odoratu quaedam etiam subito iuxta mares ovant: sicut accidit hominibus aliquando semine pollui ad visum vel tactum vel auditum pulcrae mulieris et accidit etiam aliis animalibus moveri concupiscentia ad visum vel auditum vel olfactum suarum feminarum. Licet enim sicut diximus per coitum ordinatius ova concipiantur, tamen etiam sine coitu concipiuntur ab avibus de quibus diximus. Isti enim modi avium multi spermatis sunt naturaliter: et ideo etiam parvo motu concupiscentiae movetur in eis superfluitas ad conceptum et descensum concepti.

Besides, after the birds mated only once, subsequently eggs are always present in them and at first are very small. And this induced some men to affirm that the windy eggs are born from a residue of sperm remaining when eggs have been completed. The experiences show that this is false, since often we have seen hens and small geese having in body windy eggs before whatever mating: however this is observable above all in females of partridge* that, mating or not, are filled with eggs when they see or hear and above all if sniff a male of their species: and when are sniffing it, some of them also immediately lay eggs near the male: as sometimes it happens to men to get dirty of sperm at sight or touch or hearing of a beautiful woman, and it also happens to other animals to be moved by lust at sight or hearing or sense of smell of their females. Although in fact as we said the eggs are conceived in more regular way through the coition, even if they are conceived without coition by the birds of whom we have spoken. In fact these manners of the birds show the natural characteristic to have a lot of sperm: and therefore, also with little lust, the overabundance to conceive and to go on with conceiving is set in motion in them.

The twin monsters

Incipit liber animalium decimus octavus qui est de modo generationis animalium perfectorum.

The XVIII book begins of the animals concerning the way of generating perfect animals.

XVIII - 49

XVIII - 49

Universaliter enim in omnibus monstris melius est opinari quod et naturalius et verisimilius est, quod causa sit in materia et in modis impraegnationis et creationis ipsius quod generatur et concipitur. Cuius signum est quod valde raro sunt monstruosi partus in illis animalibus quae non generant nisi unum conceptum. In animalibus autem quae simul concipiunt et generant multos filios, plus inveniuntur partus monstruosi et maxime in avibus multum ovantibus sicut gallinae et columbae: et propter hoc plures gallinae faciunt ova in quibus duo vitella inveniuntur propter coniunctionem duorum spermatum quae sunt ex duobus coitibus in uno eodemque ovo. Duo enim spermata continuantur coniuncta in uno ovo eo quod unum in propinquo loco matricis cadit iuxta alterum: sicut etiam videmus saepe accidere in fructibus quod infra unum corticem duo vel plures formantur fructus. Duobus autem spermatibus sic in uno ovo coniunctis, nisi distinguantur tela forti, monstrum generabitur: si enim tela bene distinguat, generabuntur duo pulli quorum neuter habundabit superfluitate membrorum. Si autem continuentur spermata non distinguente pariete medio vel non universaliter distinguente, generabitur ex eis pullus monstruosus habens forte unum caput et unum corpus et quatuor pedes.

Generally in fact, about all the monstrous creatures, it is better to think what is more natural and likely, because the cause lays in the matter and in the manner in which is conceived and created what is generated and conceived. This is proved by the fact that very rarely the deliveries in those animals generating only a product of conception are monstrous. Actually in animals contemporarily conceiving and generating many young, the monstrous deliveries are more found, and specially in birds laying a lot of eggs as hens and doves: and because of this many hens lay some eggs in which two yolks are found because of the union in one same egg of two sperms coming from two coitus. In fact two sperms continue to remain joined in only one egg since one sperm ends up near the other in a point close to uterus: as we often see to happen also in the fruits since under only one peel two or more fruits are formed. So when two sperms are united in only one egg, if they are not separated by a strong membrane, a monster will be generated: in fact if the membrane separates them well, two chicks will be produced, no one of them having overabundance of limbs. But if the sperms remain joined without a barrier separating them in the central part or completely, from them a monstrous chick will be produced, having eventually only one head and only one body and four legs.

The color of the animals

Incipit liber decimus nonus qui est totus in uno tractatu et est de hiis quae accidunt ex natura sensibus et partibus animalium.

The XIX book begins laying all in only one section and concerning the things that happen to senses and parts of the animals for natural causes.

XIX - 39

XIX - 39

Amplius quaedam animalia secundum totam speciem unum habent colorem, sicut leones: omnes enim leones unius et eiusdem sunt coloris et similiter accidit in multis generibus avium et piscium et animalium aliorum. Quaedam autem diversorum sunt colorum, ita quod unum est unius et aliud eiusdem speciei coloris est alterius. Et horum quaedam in toto corpore sunt unicoloria: quaedam autem discoloria sicut in vaccis et canibus et columbis. Ea autem quae sunt diversi coloris, dupliciter sunt: quoniam quaedam secundum totum genus multicoloria sunt: sicut pica, fehit, pavo, licet albi pavi in inferiori Germania inveniantur, et in piscibus kakata[35] apud Graecos et in nostro mari macharellus et panthera inter gressibilia et pardus et alia multa. Quaedam autem non sunt secundum totam speciem multicoloria sicut vacca et capra et ovis et gallina et anser et huiusmodi. Quaedam enim istorum sunt varia et quaedam unicoloria.

Besides some animal have only one color that is the same in the whole species, as lions: in fact all lions show only one and identical color and something similar happens in quite a lot of genus of birds and fishes as well as of other animals. But some animals have different colors so that one shows a color and another of the same species shows another color. And some of these show only one color in the whole body: others show different colors, as it happen in cows, dogs and doves. Those showing different colors are divided into two categories: in fact some show quite a lot of colors accordingly to all the species as magpie, leopard, peacock, although in the province of Germania Inferior* white peacocks are found, and among Greeks in fishes of sea and in our sea the mackerel* and among those able to walk the panther and the leopard and many others. But some are not multicolored in the whole species as cow, goat, sheep, hen, goose and similar. In fact some of these are multicolored and some are of only one color.

Amplius animalia multicoloria facilius mutantur secundum colores quam animalia unicoloria: multicoloria enim aliquando mutantur ex albedine in nigredinem et e contrario: eo quod talia animalia mixtas habent causas multorum colorum et in natura multos habent colores recipere, et in talibus natura est velocis mutationis in transferendo unum colorem in alium. Natura autem animalium unum colorem habentium contrariae est dispositionis: non enim mutat colorem nisi propter infirmitatem et hoc valde raro. Iam enim vidimus lupum album. Ursi autem super Oceanum aquilonarem in Dacia et Norwegya sunt fere omnes albi. Passeres etiam multi albi sunt visi. Et iam vidimus corvum totum album albedine nivis. Sed hoc raro accidit hiis animalibus ex tempore generationis: quod enim rarum est, ex vitio accidit et infirmitate in qualibet specie animalium.

Besides the multicolored animals change color more easily than unicolor animals: in fact those multicolored sometimes from white become black and vice versa: since such animals have a mixture of causes of several colors and in nature they can assume quite a lot of colors, and in such animals the nature acts quickly in changing a color into another. The nature of the animals having only one color shows an opposite regulation: in fact it doesn't change color but because of an illness and this very rarely happens. In fact we already have seen a white wolf. The bears living northward of the northern ocean in Denmark and Norway are almost all white. Many white sparrows have also been seen. And we have already seen a crow all white candid as snow. But in these animals this rarely happens in the moment when they are generated: in fact what is rare, in any species of animals happens because of an imperfection and illness.

The basilisk and the capon


Book XXIII - without title

XXIII – 115-118

XXIII – 115-118

[115] [...] Gallus avis nota est, cristatus faucibus et capite, ungulas in cruribus longas habens, ad modum semicirculi curvatis pennis caudam figurans sed et ceteras in collo et dorso pennas habet semicirculariter curvas, et teneras carnes habet duriores quam gallina.

[115] The cock is a known bird, provided with bulges on the head and under the mouth, provided with long hooks at legs, with the tail shaped as semicircle thanks to curved feathers, but at neck and back it has other feathers curved as semicircle, and has tender fleshes, harder than those of the hen.

Haec avis pugnax valde est pro gallinis: et ideo cum plures conveniunt, pugnant: et qui superat, coit cum gallinis et erigit caput et caudam gloriando de victoria et alter tabescit de servitute. Aliquando pugnant tam valide quod mors pugnam finit.

This bird is very fighting in favor of the hens: and therefore they fight when quite a lot assemble: and the winner mates the hens and rises the head and the tail boasting of victory, and the rival languishes because of the subjugation. They sometimes fight with so much strength that the death ends the fighting.

Haec avis multi est coitus et ideo multas implet gallinas, et ad unum ovum fecundandum multotiens cum eadem coit gallina: et si multi sunt galli, occidunt gallinas nimio coitu.

This bird mates quite a lot and therefore fills a lot of hens, and mates many times with the same hen with the aim of fertilizing only one egg: and if the roosters are numerous, they kill the hens by mating too much.

Haec avis facile sentit aurae mutationes ex motibus solis contingentes: et ideo cantu horas distinguit et nocte canens se erigit et alis percutit et se excutit ut vigilantius cantet. Gallinis aliquando mortuis tabescit. Cum dormit, in alto se ponit: et quae petulantior est gallinarum, iuxta gallum proximius sedet de nocte.

This bird easily perceives the atmospheric changes due to the movements of the sun: and therefore he divides the hours with the song and at night when singing he rises and flaps the wings and shakes to be able to sing with greater care. Sometimes when hens have died he languishes. When he sleeps he is placing himself aloft: and at night the most lascivious of the hens perches more close to the rooster.

[116] Decrepiti galli carnes teneriores sunt: et si quid eis inest viscositatis, decoctio consumit: et ideo iura gallorum decrepitorum prosunt asmaticis et defectum cordis patientibus. Album gallum leo timere dicitur forte propter speciei contrarietatem vel quia basilisco similis esse dicitur.

[116] The meats of a decrepit rooster are more tender: and if viscosity is present in them, the cooking makes it disappear: and therefore the broths of decrepit roosters are good for asthmatics and those people suffering from heart failure. They say that the lion fears the white rooster perhaps because of the aversion among the species or because it is said that it is similar to the basilisk*.

Quod autem dicunt decrepitum gallum ovum ex se generare et hoc in fimo ponere, et hoc testa quidem carere, sed adeo durae pellis esse quod ictibus fortissimis resistat: et quod hoc ovum fimi calore fecundetur in basiliscum qui est serpens in omnibus sicut gallus, sed caudam longam serpentis habens, ego non puto esse verum: tamen Hermetis dictum est et a multis susceptum propter dicentis auctoritatem.

About what they say, that a decrepit rooster produces an egg starting from himself and that he places it in the manure and that it doesn't have a shell, but that it has a so hard membrane to withstand very strong traumas: and that this  egg is fertilized by manure's heat so to produce a basilisk, that is a snake quite identical to the rooster but endowed with a long tail as of snake, I don't think that it is true: however it is an affirmation of Hermes Trismegistus* and by many people has been accepted because of the authority of he who affirms this.

Gallina avis nota est tardi volatus, temperatae carnis et levis, ultra modum diligens fetum suae speciei ita quod etiam acuta voce infirmatur dilectione pullorum: sed non curat cuius sint ova quae fovet ita quod etiam circa partum alienae speciei sollicitantur. Ovat autem multum et clamore accedit ad nidum et clamore recedit ab eodem: et si agitetur et persecutionem patitur, tamen postquam securitatem acceperit, perficit cantum.

The hen is a bird known for the slow flight, for the savory and delicate meat, that loves in an unusual way the offspring of her species, so that she is also exhausted by the acute voice as sign of love for the chicks: but it is not her interest of whom are the eggs she heats, so that they also takes care of offspring of different species. She lays a lot of eggs and enters the nest making noise and making noise when she goes away: even if tormented and persecuted, nevertheless she ends to sing after having acquired security.

[117] Dicitur autem quod illa die cum ovum fecerit, a serpente percuti non potest, et caro eius percussis est medicina. Ovum autem completur in ipsa die undecima nec fecundatur per unicam spermatis mixturam, sed per coitum continuum. Ovant autem aliquando ova venti: ex rotundis galli ex oblongis gallinae generantur, licet huic contrariari videatur Aristoteles. Ova decem dierum bene foventur et paucorum usque ad ova quadriduana. Recentiora vel antiquiora minus valere probantur. In aestate decimo nono die in calidis locis exeunt, et in hyeme vicesimo nono die. Ova bona ad fovendum quarto die sanguineas habent venas: et quae tunc ad radium solis clara sunt in acutiori parte, non valent. Plena et fecunda ova merguntur in aqua, et alia supernatant. Multum nocet si commoventur manu quia venae et humores per inversionem corrumpuntur: et huius signum est quod quando gallina in occulto ovat nido, omnia ova fecundantur: et quando manibus hominibus tractata sunt, plura eorum corrumpuntur. Caput pulli ad acumen ovi convertitur et totum corpus ad residuum: et pullus nascitur supra pedes sicut et ceteri pulli avium.

[117] They say that in that day when she laid the egg she cannot be hit by a snake and that her meat is a medicine for those people who have been wounded by it. The egg is completed in her at the eleventh day and is not fertilized by only a mingling with the sperm, on the contrary through a continuous mating. They sometimes lay windy eggs: from the round ones the roosters are born, from those oblong the hens, even if it seems that Aristotle* apropos of this is of opposite ideas. The eggs of ten days old, or of few days until to have four days, are brooded well. Those more recent or older are judged of lesser quality. In summer in warm places they hatch at 19th day and in winter at 29th day. At fourth day, the eggs good for hatching show some sanguineous veins: and those that at that time in correspondence of the acute pole appear clear at sun's rays, they are no good. The full and fertile eggs placed in water go down while the others float. It is very harmful if they are shaken with the hand since the veins and the liquids go bad if turned: and this is proved by the fact that when the hen lays the eggs in a hidden nest all the eggs are fertile: and when they are handled by men a lot of them spoils. The head of the chick goes towards the acute pole of the egg and the whole body towards the remaining part: and the chick is hatched being on feet as also the other chicks of the birds.

Pullis exeuntibus gallina eos sub alas congregat et pro eis milvum invadit et alia quaeque insurgentia. Gallina est avis unguibus cracando victum quaerens, et ad inventum pullos vocans. Faciunt autem quaedam gallinae ova in quibus sunt gemelli: sed alter geminorum comprimit alium, et aliquando ruptis telis pullus bicorporus generatur. Alia etiam multa de ovis et gallinis in praehabitis libris dicta sunt.

Little by little the chicks are hatched, the hen gathers them under the wings and to defend them attacks the kite* and any other enemy. The hen is a bird looking for food by scratching with toenails and calling the chicks when she has found it. Some hens lay eggs in which twins are present: but one of the twins compresses the other and sometimes when the membranes are broken a chick is born with two bodies. Quite a lot of other things about eggs and hens have been said in previous books.

[118] Sed hoc adiciendum est quod Plinius dicit[36], quod si inter membra gallinae aurum divisum minutatim ponatur, membra gallinae consumunt aurum ita quod membra gallinae venenum auri esse videantur.

[118] But we have to add what Pliny* says, that if in the middle of pieces of a chicken hen is placed gold cut up very fine, the pieces of hen absorb the gold, so it seems that the pieces of hen are a poison of the gold.

Hoc etiam notandum est quod vitellum ovi quod in plenilunio ovatum est, sordes lavat a pannis: et si alio tempore ovatum est, non tergit sordes macularum. Et huius causam dicunt quidam esse quia media saginata gutta in vitello prima quidem generatione existens calorem penetrantem et dividentem maculas ex multo lumine lunae humidum movente tunc concipit quod in alio tempore facere nequit.

We have to point out also what follows, that the yolk of an egg laid during full moon washes away the dirt from cloths: and if it has been laid in another period, it doesn't cleanse the dirt of the spots. And some people say that the cause of this consists in the fact that since the beginning of conception a corpulent central drop is present in the yolk and since the abundant light of the moon that shifts the dampness causing a penetrating heat, which is able to divide the spots, then it realizes what in other moments is not able to do.

Gallus gallinacius gallus est castratus et effeminatus: et ideo nec generat nec cantat: et cum quaedam urticarum genera aspera mortifera sint pullis gallinarum quae etiam gallina rostro nititur evellere radicitus tantum aliquando trahendo laborans quod rumpitur interius: tamen gallinacius depilatus pectore et ventre et urticis perustus postea fovet pulliculos, tactu suavi ad prurientem carnem delectatus: et cum ita delectatus allectus fuerit, semper postea pullos diligit et fovet et pascit et ducit: et hoc iam expertum vidi et miratus sum.

The gallinaceous cock is a castrated rooster* and effeminate: and therefore it neither procreates nor sings: and since some pricking kinds of nettles are deadly for hens' chicks and that the hen tries to pull out them only with the beak from the root, sometimes troubling herself in extracting only what more internally breaks: nevertheless the capon with plucked breast and abdomen, and after having been burnt with the nettles, heats the little chicks, feeling delight from the sweet contact with the itching flesh: and after having been lured, having been seduced in this way, afterwards it always loves the chicks and heats and nourishes and leads them: and I have already seen this as experiment and I have been marveled.

De gallinacio dicitur quod post sex annos aliquando in epate lapidem electorium nomine gignit et ex tunc non bibit: et ideo etiam homo lapidem hunc super se gestans dicitur non sitire.

About the capon it is said that after six years it sometimes generates in the liver a stone called alectoria* and that from then it doesn't drink: and therefore they say that also the human being bringing above himself this stone is not thirsty.

Gallinacius carnes habet bonas et solidiores quam gallinae. Gallinacium antiqui paponem, moderni autem caponem vocaverunt.

The capon has a good meat that is thicker than that of hen. The ancients called the capon papo, the moderns capo.

[1] Dovrebbe corrispondere al σέλαχος di Aristotele, il pesce cartilagineo di Historia animalium 511a, facente parte dei Plagiostomi (= dalla bocca obliqua, dal greco plágion, obliquo + stóma, bocca), sottoclasse di pesci alla quale appartiene per esempio lo squalo pinnanera (Carcharhinus brevipinna) della classe Condritti o Condroitti (Chondrichthyes - pesci cartilaginei, da chóndros = granello, cartilagine) sottoclasse Selaci (da sélachos = pesce cartilagineo).

[2] Si veda Il tacchino di Teofrasto in Summa Gallicana I - sezione VIII.15.08. - per la disquisizione linguistica relativa a orix che potrebbe corrispondere alla Numida meleagris, la quale tuttavia sarebbe sfornita di sperone. Per cui nella traduzione conviene conservare orix. § A pagina 468 di Historia animalium III (1555) Conrad Gessner riporta quanto segue a proposito di orix di Alberto: Orix Alberto genus est gallinae sylvestris, perdice maius, fere colore perdicis. § Secondo Hermann Stadler sarebbe il Francolino di monte*, Tetrastes bonasia.

[3] Potrebbe essere la Folaga*, Fulica atra. Vedere Summa Gallicana Volume1 - VIII.02.4.e.

[4] Papa o pappa deriva da pappare che significa mangiare. In portoghese il gozzo degli uccelli è detto papo, che deriva dal verbo papar (mangiare, in italiano), derivato anch'esso dal latino pappare. In italiano con pappa, derivata dal latino pappare, si intende un alimento semiliquido a base di farinacei, spesso con l'aggiunta di carne appena frullata o di formaggi, adatto specialmente per bambini appena slattati. § Interessante quanto riferisce Isidoro in Etymologiae XI,1,75: Papillae capita mammarum sunt, quas sugentes conprehenderunt. Et dictae papillae, quod eas infantes quasi pappant, dum lac sugunt. Proinde mamilla est omnis eminentia uberis, papilla vero breve illud unde lac trahitur.

[5] In latino struma - forse derivato da struo = disporre a strati, ammucchiare - significa ghiandola purulenta, oppure scrofola, cioè un processo infiammatorio di natura tubercolare a carico delle ghiandole linfatiche, più spesso a livello cervicale, ascellare e inguinale. Oggi con l'italiano struma si intende una displasia tiroidea che consiste nell'aumento di volume della tiroide, cioè in un gozzo (dall'etimologia assai discussa), da mettere in rapporto a ipertrofie, iperplasie e neoplasie del tessuto ghiandolare tiroideo.

[6] Forse si tratta di Filomela, in latino Philomela, figlia del re di Atene Pandione e di Zeusippe, tramutata dagli dei in usignolo.

[7] In greco il merlo suona κόσσυφος oppure κόττυφος kóssyphos oppure kóttyphos.

[8] In Divi Alberti Magni de animalibus (Venetiis, 1495, Joannes & Gregorius de Gregoriis) troviamo un accettabile citrinitatem.

[9] Questa virgola è assente in Divi Alberti Magni de animalibus (Venetiis, 1495, Joannes & Gregorius de Gregoriis). Si adotta l'assenza di questa virgola in quanto la frase diventa più scorrevole e comprensibile.

[10] Si tratta di un termine arabo.

[11] Il verbo ἕψω significa far cuocere o far bollire. Il verbo ὀπτάω significa arrostire. - Aristotele Historia animalium VI,2 560a-b: Il giallo e il bianco dell’uovo hanno natura opposta non solo per il colore ma anche per le loro proprietà. Il giallo infatti viene coagulato dal freddo, mentre il bianco non si coagula, anzi tende piuttosto a liquefarsi; sotto l’azione del fuoco il bianco coagula, il giallo no, anzi rimane molle a meno che non venga interamente bruciato, e viene condensato e disseccato più dalla bollitura [ἑψόμενον] che dal fuoco vivo. Il bianco e il giallo sono tenuti separati l’uno dall’altro da una membrana. Le calaze che si trovano alle estremità del giallo non contribuiscono per nulla alla generazione, come alcuni suppongono; sono due, una in basso e una in alto. A proposito del giallo e del bianco, avviene anche [560b] questo: toltine un certo numero dai gusci e versatili in un recipiente, se li si fa cuocere [ἕψῃ] lentamente, a fiamma bassa, tutto il giallo si concentra in mezzo, e il bianco lo avvolge tutto intorno. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - Premesso che Alberto si serviva del testo di Aristotele tradotto dall'arabo in latino da Michele Scoto* (ca. 1215), visto che nel testo greco di Aristotele non compaiono forme come ἑψήσῃ e ὀπτήσῃ, ma compare solo ἕψῃ (congiuntivo presente), secondo Roberto Ricciardi si può ipotizzare quanto segue:

1) che esistesse nel codice di Aristotele utilizzato dal traduttore arabo la variante ἑψήσῃ (congiuntivo aoristo)

2) che questa forma fosse glossata nell'interlinea o sul margine con ὀπτήσῃ ('cuoccia' glossato con 'arrostisca')

3) che il traduttore arabo abbia inserito anche la glossa nel testo, ma non abbia tradotto i due termini e li abbia semplicemente traslitterati

4) che Michele Scoto abbia sì tradotto il testo arabo in latino, ma, come in altri casi, non comprendendo il senso delle traslitterazioni arabe, abbia traslitterato a sua volta il testo arabo in caratteri latini - omettendo la h di epsesi, diversamente da Gessner - senza però comprendere il significato delle due parole come di origine greca.

[12] Dovrebbe trattarsi di Physicorum, che riguarda le scienze della fisica. Titolo equivalente: Divi Alberti Magni Physicorum sive de physico auditu libri octo.

[13] Concetto incomprensibile. Aldrovandi a pagina 222 ha il seguente testo: Quarto propter vetustatem, exhalante spiritu, in quo est virtus formativa: unde vitellus pondere suo penetrat albumen, et ad testam fertur in eam partem, cui incumbit ovum. Che tradotto suonerebbe così: In quarto luogo, a causa dell’invecchiamento, in quanto fuoriesce l’aria in cui risiede la proprietà formativa: per cui il tuorlo a causa del suo stesso peso entra nell’albume e si porta verso il guscio, in quella parte in cui l’uovo si incurva. § È assai verosimile che il testo di Aldrovandi derivi da quello di pagina 420 di Gessner: Quarto, per vetustatem, exhalante spiritu in quo est virtus formativa: unde vitellus pondere suo penetrat albumen, et ad testam fertur in eam partem cui incumbit ovum. - Fourth, because of getting old, since the air in which lies the formative property comes out: hence the yolk by its own weight penetrates the albumen and moves to the shell, in that part where the egg is bending.

[14] Potrebbe essere il Gabbiano reale (Larus cachinnans Pallas, 1811). Sulle Isole Tremiti, di fronte Campomarino, è presente l'unica colonia nidificante dell'Adriatico. L'arcipelago delle Tremiti dista dalla  costa  garganica  12 miglia e  comprende tre piccole  isole, denominate: San Domino (208 ettari), San Nicola (42 ettari), Caprara (45 ettari), più un isolotto chiamato Cretaccio (3,5 ettari) e quello di Pianosa (13 ettari, lunga 700 metri). Molti scogli: i più importanti sono quelli dell' Elefante, del Diavolo e della Vecchia. Fin dall'antichità esse sono conosciute con il nome di Isole Diomedee. Questo nome deriverebbe dal mito della morte di Diomede, ritornato da Troia e sepolto sull'Isola di San Nicola e dalla trasformazione dei suoi compagni di viaggio in uccelli, le Diomedee. La leggenda (ritrovata negli scritti di Omero, Virgilio, Plinio il Vecchio) vuole che i fedeli compagni, mutati in uccelli, continuino a sorvegliare l'eterno sonno dell'eroe e a piangere la sua scomparsa con i loro versi notturni, simili a un lamento. (

[15] In greco suona chënaløpëx = oca volpe. Potrebbe trattarsi della Volpoca, Tadorna tadorna, oppure dell'Oca egiziana o Oca del Nilo, Alopochen aegyptiacus.

[16] Zephýria = di Zefiro, del vento di ovest, occidentale.

[17] Impossibile tradurre questo vocabolo. Il greco álix significa farina di spelta o di riso, salsa di pesce, mentre hâlix significa della stessa età, coetaneo, compagno, simile, uguale. Forse deriva dal greco hélix, genitivo hélikos, che in Aristotele può anche significare movimento circolare (del cielo) o anche voluta.

[18] Questo è un grave errore di Alberto. La testa del pulcino è diretta verso la parte ottusa dell'uovo, dove c'è la camera d'aria. Vedi il lessico alla voce Embrione di pollo*.

[19] Secundae (membranae), (membrane) che escono per seconde, cioè dopo il feto. La placenta e gli altri annessi fetali.

[20] Corion deriva dal greco chórion che significa membrana dell'uovo, ma anche placenta, membrana che avvolge il feto.

[21] In greco il colombo selvatico o palombo che dir si voglia suona phátta.

[22] Esatto è gýps.

[23] Erodoro di Eraclea sul Ponto fu uno scrittore greco che fiorì intorno al 400 aC. Ci restano frammenti di una sua Storia di Eracle (in 17 libri), primo esempio di romanzo pragmatico in cui sono riferite notizie geografiche, scientifiche, astronomiche e mitologiche. Fu autore anche di varie altre opere mitografiche. – Aristotele Historia animalium VI,5: L’avvoltoio nidifica su rocce inaccessibili, perciò è raro vedere il nido e i piccoli di questo uccello. E per questo Erodoro, il padre del sofista Brisone, sostiene che gli avvoltoi vengono da un’altra terra, a noi ignota, e ne indica come segno il fatto che nessuno ha mai visto un nido di avvoltoio, e che questi uccelli compaiono d’improvviso in gran numero al seguito degli eserciti. In realtà, benché sia difficile vederne, tuttavia ne sono stati osservati. Gli avvoltoi depongono due uova. A quanto si è potuto constatare, gli altri uccelli carnivori non depongono uova più di una volta l’anno; sola fra essi la rondine nidifica due volte. – Brisone, filosofo e matematico greco del sec. V aC, di ambiente megarico (Mègara, sull'istmo di Corinto), figlio di Erodoro, fu forse tra i maestri dello scettico Pirrone. Con Euclide di Megara fondò la dialettica eristica (dal greco eristikós = litigioso, amante della contesa: arte di vincere nelle controversie riuscendo a sostenere qualsiasi tesi a prescindere da ogni criterio di verità). In matematica avrebbe definito l'area del cerchio come la media aritmetica fra l'area di un poligono iscritto e quella di un poligono circoscritto.

[24] Alberto ha Melissus, Aristotele ha Mousaîos (Museo in italiano) e Michele Scoto ha Moysis. § Aristotele Historia animalium VI, 6: L’aquila depone tre uova, ma ne fa schiudere due, com’è detto anche nei versi attribuiti a Museo: «essa depone tre uova, due ne fa schiudere, uno solo ne cura». § Aristotle (Polit. viii. 5, Hist. Anima. vi. 6) quotes some verses of Musaeus, but without specifying from what work or collection. Some have supposed the Musaeus who is spoken of as the author of the Theogonia and Sphaira to be a different person front the old bard of that name. But there does not appear to be any evidence to support that view. The poem on the loves of Hero and Leander is by a very much later author. Nothing remains of the poems attributed to Musaeus but the few quotations in Pausanias, Plato, Clemens Alexandrinus, Philostratus, and Aristotle. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. i. p. 119.) (

[25] Ossifraga: dal latino ossifraga, da os ossis, osso + tema di frangere, spezzare. Macromectes giganteus: uccello della famiglia Procellaridi con tronco poderoso e apertura alare di 2,5 m. L'ossifraga ha manto brunastro con penne orlate di bianco, becco grosso e uncinato di colore giallo, zampe brevi e palmate. Abile volatrice, vive nelle regioni antartiche e subantartiche ed è considerata un uccello predatore. È anche denominata procellaria gigante. --- Gipeto: Gypaëtus barbatus avvoltoio aquila (gýps+aetós in greco), avvoltoio d'oro, falco barbuto, avvoltoio di montagna. – Vedere la voce avvoltoio* del lessico.

[26] Korønë – corvo, cornacchia.

[27] Introvabile anche come equivalente greco – corrisponde al Corvus frugilegus – corvo comune. Frugilegus è composto dal sostantivo latino frux, frugis = frutto, raccolto, e dal verbo legere = raccogliere, accumulare. Il nome scientifico potrebbe essere tradotto come Corvo raccoglitore di frutta.

[28] Corvus frugilegus – corvo comune.

[29] Grasmücke: appartenente al genere Sylvia, come per esempio la Sylvia melanocephala, Gmelin 1789, Occhiocotto in italiano, Sardinian Warbler in inglese, un uccello canoro dell'ordine dei Passeriformi. - Der Name Grasmücke kommt aus dem Althochdeutschen von Gra-smucka = Grauschlüpfer. Die Grasmücken sind mehr oder weniger graubraun und schlüpfen geschickt durch niedrige Dickichte.

[30] Irreperibile.

[31] Kanebralium dovrebbe corrispondere al greco tôn chënôn ai thëleiai = le femmine delle oche.

[32] Non viene emendato con ascendit nonostante poco prima esista un corretto: victor ascendit super victum. Difficile la localizzazione di questo brano in Divi Alberti Magni de animalibus (Venetiis, 1495, Joannes & Gregorius de Gregoriis) che ci permetterebbe di risolvere il busillis.

[33] In greco ortýgion = piccola quaglia e ortygomëtra = quaglia, madre della quaglia.

[34] Kegchrís, cencride, forse il gheppio, Falco tinnunculus.

[35] Kakata dovrebbe corrispondere al greco thrâtta, un piccolo pesce di mare traducibile con tratta (per lo più irreperibile nei lessici), citato per esempio da Aristotele in De generatione animalium 785b 23: Alcuni animali sono di un solo colore (intendo di un solo colore tutto quanto il genere, come per esempio i leoni tutti rossi, e questo vale ugualmente per gli uccelli, per i pesci e per gli altri animali), altri sono di più colori, ma tutti di un colore (intendo che tutto il loro corpo ha lo stesso colore, come per esempio il bue è o tutto bianco o tutto scuro), altri infine variegati. Questo può essere in due modi: alcuni in quanto genere, come il leopardo, il pavone, alcuni pesci come per esempio le cosiddette thrâttai, altri invece il cui genere non è tutto variegato, ma di cui alcuni individui nascono variegati, come per esempio buoi e capre, e tra gli uccelli i colombi, ma anche altri generi di uccelli si trovano nelle stesse condizioni. --- Non si sa se thrattai corrispondano a thrìtta ricordate in Historia animalium IX (621b 16).

[36] Naturalis historia XXIX,80: Non praeteribo miraculum, quamquam ad medicinam non pertinens: si auro liquescenti gallinarum membra misceantur, consumunt id in se; ita hoc venenum auri est.