The Medieval Review 94.04.10

Ziolkowski, Jan M. Talking Animals: Medieval Latin Beast Poetry, 750-1150. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993. Pp. viii + 354. $39.95. ISBN: 0-8122-3161-9.

Reviewed by:

Paul F. Schaffner
University of Michigan

Note: titles preceded in this review by "+" are those of poems for which Jan Ziolkowski provides a full translation in Talking Animals; I have supplied a complete list below, and used his titles throughout.

It must be admitted at the outset that I am not a specialist in any of the three dozen or so poems dealt with by this book. But it must also be admitted that such specialists do not seem to be the book's intended audience, and are, indeed, unlikely to find the book entirely satisfactory. From a marketing standpoint, given the paucity of such specialists, this is probably a good thing. Medieval Latinists, however, should note that Z.'s shorter discussions, usually accorded the shorter poems, are for the most part too brief, general, non-technical, and perhaps unoriginal to please someone looking for (say) a metrical analysis of Alcuin's +"The Cock and the Wolf" or an innovative literary reading of the beast poems of Theodulf of Orleans. Z.'s longer discussions, on the other hand, such as he gives the more substantial poems like the Echbasis Captivi or Ysengrimus, valuable and marked as they are by Z.'s familiar exactness and philological thoroughness, compete against a correspondingly larger and more substantial monograph- and article-literature—among the latter of which, moreover, some of his discussions have already appeared. Finally, one's expectation that in a comprehensive work like this, devoted to an entire corpus of poems taken together, one might find new insight into the literary relations within the corpus, an appreciation for the connectedness of the poems that it comprises, and a sense of the group as a coherent whole, though not entirely dashed, does rather run aground on the hard fact that such relations, connectedness, and cohesion do not exist to any significant degree. This, at least, is the conclusion to which Z. repeatedly, and perhaps ruefully, comes.

To be more exact, Z. finds that particular pairs and groups of poems exhibit some odd and suggestive similarities. Several poems make use of the same underlying fable, for example that of the "sick lion and flayed bear (wolf)." Several make use of the same (stock?) figures of the cowled wolf and the cunning fox. Several are centos or pastiches of classical and antique Christian poetry. Several use such quotation to produce the effect of a burlesque or mock-epic, others, (as Z. would have it) to supply meaning and context for their own verse, so that a true understanding of it requires immediate recognition of the original contexts from which the individual lines are quoted. Several adopt the guise of a poem about animals to protect what amounts to personal abuse or political complaint. Several draw heavily on the same authors, especially Horace, or on the same genres or techniques. Several do none of these things and are wholly sui generis. None can be shown to depend on any of the others.

Aside from the rather arbitrary criteria which justified their inclusion in Z.'s corpus to begin with, what all of these poems can be said to share is a common dependence on more traditional texts in more traditional genres, many or all of these laboring under the disadvantage of being familiar school texts or the subjects of school exercises (fable, physiologus and bestiary, riddles, animal testaments, epitaphs, and flytings), —and a common mindset: a willingness to experiment, to recast and combine traditional texts and genres, as well perhaps as traditional oral tales and genres (though Z.'s references to these are less than persuasive, not least in their assumption that folk tales are told only by "peasants" (236, elsewhere)) to suit present needs or amusement. Z. explicitly rejects attempts to see these poems merely as immature forerunners of the later medieval Renard literature, or as late and degenerate descendants of Aesopic fable. They are too individual and too interesting to be worthily treated as either. Z. suggests that we look at them as we do at the airplanes of the first decade of the age of flight (6): all strangely different, all experimental, and all designed to accomplish the same end. Aside from that,

The medieval Latin poems have few immediately discernible traits in common with one another. They were not the products of the same time or region. They range greatly in length.... In structure, a beast poem can be as humble as one speech by a bird struggling to fly home safely..., but then again it can intertwine a dozen main stories and another dozen visions, reminiscences, and divagations.... The beast poems were created for many occasions and audiences..., to be pored over in the library..., read aloud, sung, and staged.... Some were perhaps scripts for schoolroom performances..., others for recitation in the refectory. (5)
Such an elusive commonality amongst such a diverse variety is really as much as can be expected from a group of poems chosen on negative criteria: poems, that is, that predate the high-medieval explosion of beast poetry, but that are not native to the ongoing traditions of fable or physiologus. Z.'s conclusions may thus be said to spring from the conception of his project, which means in this case that they arise from the inception of the project as a proposed Cambridge doctoral dissertation, supervised by Peter Dronke. For Talking Animalsrepresents the arrival in print of a ten-year-old graduate dissertation (even as Z.'s Alan of Lille's Grammar of Sex(1985) represented a revision of his undergraduate thesis). The origin of the book as a dissertation, and that dissertation's initial decision on a corpus of poems (with the consequent need to create a coherent discourse about an inherently incoherent subject) have both had some evident consequences for the book's argument and style. The transitions and connections often seem forced—and therefore to lack force—and probably for that reason tend to be a chief source of the book's occasional prolixity and repetitiveness, as if stating and restating the connections (or lack of connections!) would produce connection, and as if emphasizing the structure of the book and the cohesiveness of the material would make either argument cogent. One is tempted to attribute the book's occasional descent into pedantic philological plodding (e.g. the irrelevant list of Indoeuropean cognates for "fable" in Chapter One (p.16)) likewise to its origins as a dissertation.

The book's sense of straining for coherence and its occasional pedanticism are, however, two of the very few flaws in its presentation. Z.'s prose style will already be familiar to many BMMR recipients. It might best be described as amiable: professional in tone, yet enlivened by personal warmth and resolutely devoid of jargon; patiently explanatory or gently persuasive in manner, as need be; and calm and even in movement, with few surprises of either the welcome or the unwelcome kind. Z.'s prose at its best strives to be simple and to make things seems simple; it appears at its worst when this intention is transparent, i.e. when it overexplains or seems to condescend. In this category might fall a minor feature that I found distracting (though others would not): Z.'s habit of employing attributive nouns as variants for adjectives or phrases, e.g., referring repeatedly to the two elements of a fable as "the moral" and "the story part"; or referring to allusive use of Biblical characters as "Bible wit." Z. ventures an occasional witticism, a frequent extended metaphor or analogy, and not infrequently an implicit or explicit appeal to common experience with his authors or with his readers. Among the latter, I would include the many references to modern adult and juvenile fiction dealing with animals (Orwell's Animal Farm; Lofting's Dr. Dolittle), which never seem out of place and are often illuminating; among the former, Z.'s characteristic critical approach, to put himself in the place of the medieval author, recreating (or imagining) the historical circumstances, intellectual environment, and literary resources available to him as best he can. At its worst, his method entails a speculative and potentially crude assessment of the authorial state of mind, as when he writes of the mixture of pride and defensiveness with which the poets must have attempted to draw on "the strengths and popularity of fable while avoiding its childish associations" (237) or of the putative attitude which governed their literary choices. At its best, it exhibits the strength and depth of the reconstructive project that is philology, with all its attention to sources and analogues, historical allusion and context, and intellectual and literary history. Talking Animals certainly will not strike many as methodologically innovative, nor was it intended to.

If the book, then, (to make the worst case) has flaws as a cohesive argument, and is of only minimal to middling use to medieval latinists and literary theorists, for whom and for what purpose was it intended? Surprisingly, given the recondite nature of the texts, it would serve admirably as a introductory text for any number of different kinds of readers with any number of different pursuits. First, as the title suggests, Talking Animals should prove an indispensable introduction to otherwise inaccessible texts for those to whom literature concerning talking animals (rather than literature in medieval Latin) is the chief interest: these would include medievalists, of course, whatever their field. But there is no reason that the book's potential audience should not be extended to include students of modern fairy tales, fables, and children's fiction; to those whose first love is The Wind in the Willows, Narnia, or Watership Down, not just the Roman de Renard, Lydgate, or Henryson; or to those who begin with Margaret Blount's Animal Land or Elliott Gose's Mere Creatures and wish to extend their chronological reach. As K.'s mention of his own young daughters' stories in the Acknowledgments suggests, these need not be mutually exclusive groups. Even for the beast fable proper there is very little current introduction in English; and if most of the literature on the more obscure poems that Z. treats remains in German, from Ernst Voigt's Kleinere lateinische Denkmäler der Thiersage (1878) to Hans Robert Jauss's Untersuchungen zur mittelalterlichen Tierdichtung (1959), at least Z. provides a key and an English-labelled map.

The format of the Talking Animals is quite distinctive, and quite clearly designed to provide just such a means of entry, not, probably, for those to whom German and Latin are wholly foreign, but rather for those who would as soon not put too closely to the test their linguistic expertise. Without noticeable exception, every piece of Latin in the book, no matter how small, is accompanied by an English translation. Sixty-three pages of appendices contain translations of all but the shortest works discussed (some of which are translated in the body of the book) and the longest (the aforementioned Echbasis Captivi and Ysengrimus, for both of which good translations are readily available). The translations themselves are quite pleasant, neither too literal to be read alone nor too removed from the verbatim to be useful as cribs or companions to K.'s close readings. Moreover, they represent admirably (in my inexpert view) but without exaggeration or undue license the verve and sportiveness of the originals. Either Z. or the University of Pennsylvania Press has adopted for this volume in "The Middle Ages Series" a parenthetical citation format that has not appeared in such earlier volumes of the series as I have seen. Often Z.'s paragraphs fairly bristle with parenthetical references to modern scholarship (both in support and, cum pace, in contradiction), medieval analogues, and classical sources. About the Echbasis, for example, Z. says (158):

The readings of the poem as historical allegory...see the hedgehog as caricaturing a real person whose name happens to be unknown to us (Peiper 90; Seiler 1878, 298; Ross 271; Fechter 29), identify the fox with a real historical personage such as Poppo of Trier (Hoffman), and propose that the wolf was a Lotharingian nobleman who held the poet hostage (Zarncke 123-5, Hoffman). Readings based on such assumptions have been received quite unenthusiastically (Scalia). The interpretations of the poem as religious from the premise that the wolf...represents the devil (Rathay 677; Seiler 1877, 366; Ebert 3:283; Manitius 1:617; Ehrismann 1:371; Michel 36; Brinkmann 119). With this key, they open the door, though every such reading leads through a different portal.
Initially obtrusive, this format becomes less so as the eye becomes accustomed to it. More importantly, used or perhaps abused so, the parenthetical format proclaims the usefulness of the book as itself a sort of indexed and annotated bibliography and key to scholarship's door. It gains utility from the frequency with which it allows Z. to get away with referring to an entire book or article that represents a particular viewpoint; admittedly, it allows him to get away with this also in cases where a more specific reference would be more useful and more responsible. In such cases, it seems almost to serve in lieu of the kind of advice we are all accustomed to receiving in conversation: a parenthetical reference to "(Warnke)" seems to mean, "Warnke talks about this somewhere; why don't you check his introduction?"

A second purpose, and a second readership, for Talking Animals might be as a companion to readings of his original texts, perhaps as part of an introduction to medieval Latin. The book would in that case have to be used, as it were, back to front. Start with the bibliography to gather the primary texts scattered among the volumes of the MGH, Studi Medievali, and so on; work through them with the aid of the provided translations; and move finally to Z's text to see what he (and others) have to say about them. The very heterogeneity of the poems would here prove useful, providing the kind of formal variety, as well as the kind of intrinsic interest, commonly to be looked for in an anthology.

As might be expected in a work dealing with such varied material, the arrangement of the book is roughly chronological, rather than generic or thematic. Though Z. attempts to impose at least a superficial thematic coherence on most of the chapters, the attempt, as I have suggested, is often rather strained. In the Introduction, Z. defines his corpus and subject (the equivalent, he says, of tierdichtung); declares its independence of generic categories; discusses its long-vexed nature as alternatively "folk" or bookish; defends it as a worthy subject of study; and roams far afield in search of some universals of beast poetry. He observes the agglutinative tendency of beast poetry and lore to combine into larger and larger works ( The Golden Ass), notes the widespread connection of beast poetry with the oppressed (Aesop, Phaedrus, and Uncle Remus were all freedmen, and do not forget Orwell), its capacity for expressing great matters in miniature; conversely also its comic aptitude for mockingly rendering small things in epic terms. And lastly, its intrinsic vitality and cultural centrality.

Chapter One, "Inspirations and Analogues," introduces the materials and traditions on which the beast poets drew, chiefly the various strains of beast fable (Aesopic, oriental, and native vernacular folktale) with all their permutations through centuries of adaptation, re-moralization, classroom imitation, and independent folk transmission. The discussion and references here are necessarily limited, as even more so are those regarding Christian relations with animals (St. Francis, historical beast trials, animal imagery, symbolism, and lore of the bestiary type). Probably least well known to general medievalists are the texts of Z.'s third category: classical animal catalogues (especially of voces animantium "animal noises"); animal epitaphs and wills (from sincere threnodes to mocking laments and schoolboy buffoonery: from Catullus, Ausonius, and Ovid to the pseudo-Virgilian Culex, Thierry of St. Trond's +"Weep, Dogs," and +"The Testament of the Piglet"); and animal riddles (Symphosius, often collected with Avian's Fables in school texts; Aldhelm; Eusebius).

Chapters Two and Three divide between them the poems of the ninth and early tenth centuries, Chapter Two being devoted to poems that retain the most overt resemblance to Aesopic beast fable (and other poems that Z. finds it convenient to discuss in connection with them); Chapter Three, as the chapter heading suggests, being devoted to three beast- poems that share no feature save that they are less fable-like than the poems of Chapter Two, as well as (again) certain other poems with which one or another of these three can be said to share some broad theme or to enjoy a vague resemblance. Chapter Two, "Beast Narrative and the Court of Charlemagne," discusses Alcuin's +"The Cock and the Wolf" with regard to its departures from classical fable, especially its addition of a second, Christian moral. Theodulf's +"The Fox and Hen" makes a brief appearance, described as a riposte to Alcuin's poem, as do Alcuin's +Letter 181 and +Eclogue on Dodo, cited as evidence for the use of animal nicknames in Carolingian court circles, in the latter piece extending to the poetic attribution of avian qualities to the person. Theodulf's +"What do the Swans Do?" appears unattractively as an abusive jeu d'esprit displaying only superficial similarities to John the Deacon's verse version of "Cyprian's Supper." Theodulf's +"The Battle of the Birds" appears as an early example of complaint about real people cloaked in animal disguise, to which Alcuin's letter 181 might be compared. After a brief dismissal of the attribution of +"The Sad Calf" and +"The Sick Lion" to Notker Balbus and Paulus Diaconus, the first is briefly paraphrased, along with its MS neighbor, +"Gout and the Flea" (an etiological tale relating that gout and fleas once afflicted the poor and the rich respectively, then exchanged places); +"The Sick Lion" is briefly discussed in terms first of its sources and analogues, then of its somewhat riddling conclusion. Several speculative topical explanations are summarized, but left inconclusively with the comment that "the poet judged the moral [either] too obvious or too dangerous to bear direct statement" (66).

The third chapter, "Further Beyond Fable," is devoted to three poems: a short ninth-century poem of but five elegiac couplets, entitled "The Nanny Goat" ( de capra); Sedulius Scottus's much longer and better known poem about "The Ram"; and the mystical "Swan Sequence"— three poems "as unlike in structure and function as three poems can be" (67). The "Nanny Goat" is translated, then used to make two quick points: that a very remote analogue (of no discernible resemblance) can be found in the ancient aramaic Ahikar (thus, one supposes, establishing for the poem a weak link with beast fable); and that, unlike the Carolingian poems discussed in chapter one, in which only animals appear, this poem's few lines comprise a sharp exchange between herdsman and goat, thus introducing human-animal interaction. Another very different poem from the same MS (+"The Ass Brought Before the Bishop," in which a bishop agrees to ordain an ass once he has noticed the bribe tied beneath its tail) also contains both animals and people, and so makes an appearance here, on the grounds that it serves as a fitting contrast to "The Nanny Goat": though both contain human-animal interaction, the dumbness of the "The Ass," which remains mute, "fortuitously counterbalances" the "sharp tongue and...quick wit" of "The Nanny Goat." The goat's "combativeness and repartee" appear also in other beast poetry, such as the ninth-century beast flytings discussed in Chapter Five.

I have mentioned in some detail the treatment that Z. accords these minor pieces because it illustrates some of the more dubious characteristics of the book's argument and design. Firstly and more fundamentally, Z. not infrequently seems to engage in philological exercise—especially the seeking and citation of analogues of marginal relevance—for the sheer pleaure of it, with little apparent concern for the its effect on the strength of his literary or literary- historical argument. In some cases, no doubt, this reflects a dissertation-writer's habit of refusing to excise any piece of information that he has worked to obtain; but the same habit persists in some of the more extended arguments which have seen separate publication and a presumably more rigorous editorial hand. It seems best to take these exercises in the spirit of cheerful curiosity with which they are evidently performed.

Secondly, the critical comments to which Z. subjects these two poems are typical of at least some of Z.'s remarks on those poems which he treats most summarily—typical in (to be honest) their banality and superficiality. Superficiality of criticism seems to mark a point at which the structure of the book proves too weak for the weight it must bear. Being obliged by his design to incorporate every poem in his chosen corpus, he is likewise obliged to treat each poem in such a way as to establish some connection with another poem, however tenuous, and to say something about it to that end, however confined to the surface or the obvious the remark may prove. When a poem resists easy assimilation, Z. is compelled to resort, as here, to brute force and drag it in willy nilly.

The third chapter continues with a satisfying discussion of Sedulius Scottus' poem +"The Ram," along with Sedulius's shorter and more playful celebration of sheep, sheepskin, and mutton, +"Our Glory Returns." Z. gives the manifoldly allusive language of +"The Ram" the close reading it deserves, demonstrating how the mutual interference of classical and Christian allusion, Vergilian and Biblical lexical connotation, and slyly inserted personal references create a complex, balanced, and ultimately unclassifiable unity. Equally defiant of classification are the bird poems with which the chapter concludes: the +"Swan Sequence," an enigmatically symbolic quasi-liturgical piece; +"The Hawk and Peacock," which makes of the Peacock a Christian symbol not unlike the Phoenix; and Cuono of St. Nabor's +"The Peacock and the Owl," a much later (ca. 1000) poem that regards the peacock similarly and concludes with a doxology. Inserted before this group of bird poems is a very extended digression (published also in Poetica 34: 1-38) on Walahfrid Strabo's bizarre little dream vision +"To Erluin, About a Certain Dream" (admittedly not properly a beast poem at all), in which a certain Pollachar dreams of being carried to the outskirts of heaven by an eagle, of purging his bowels in mid-flight so as not to bring human filth within heaven's gates, and of being castigated for this by the eagle, only to awaken in his bed and find that one element of his dream, at least, was all too real. Z. invokes Freud (clumsily), medieval dream theory, penitential doctrine regarding nocturnal emission, and the Babylonian myth of Etana's flight to heaven, among other things, in a fascinating if slightly overambitious discussion too long to summarize here.

Chapter Four, "Toward Narrative Complexity," conceals, appropriately enough, under that heading two deliberately obscure poems of the early tenth and early eleventh century respectively. Eugenius Vulgarius' +"Comic Visions," a diptych involving a song contest among birds, is so animated by obscurantism, and so filled with untraceable topical allusions, as to remain incomprehensible. Leo of Vercelli's much longer and more novel, though fragmentary, +"Meter," is a similarly "nutty" poem which Z. attempts to crack. The kernel he finds is that of a poem inventive chiefly in two respects: its method of creating a longer story by combining the narrative portions of several fables on a single theme (treachery), along with motifs from hagiography, animal testaments, and elsewhere; and its selective use of commentary-by-allusion. The last must remain, to my mind, unproven. It is certainly true, as Z. demonstrates, that one reads Leo's poem differently when one not only recognizes his Horatian and Vergilian allusions but brings some features of the lines' original context to bear on the poem, but the procedure is more than a little arbitrary, and the resultant readings, though surely legitimate, can hardly be called compelling. Z. will return to this theme in Chapter Six.

Chapter Five, "Dramatic and Dialogic Beast Poems," is less concerned with explicating the several small pieces adduced than with proposing the existence of a large body of lost beast flytings (which Z. distinguishes from scholastic beast debates), probably emerging immediately from the classroom exercises and even performances, but with an ultimate source in folk plays consisting of ritual abuse and invective uttered from behind animal masks and disguises. Vernacular poems long regarded as essentially learned debates, especially The Owl and the Nightingale have closer ties to this flyting tradition than is usually realized, as do some Latin poems like the eleventh- century "Debate of the Sheep and Flax Plant" ( Conflictus ovis et lini) by Winrich of Trier, a ninth-century exchange between bear and hound beginning +"Cur me torquetis," and two ninth-century poems, the exchange +"Quid mihi caprige[r]o" and the monologue +"Learn, Lion" ("Disce, leo supplex...").

In Chapters Six and Seven, which contain the two longest sustained interpretative essays in Talking Animals, Z. addresses two long satiric fable-derived poems about wolf-monks, the Echbasis captiviand Ysengrimus. In considering the two most conspicuous features of the Echbasis—its nature as a cento and its tripartite structure as fable, fable-within-fable, and frame—, Z. attempts to use the details of the former to interpret the purpose of the latter. Arming himself with the equipment of close reading, but especially with the "nutcracker" that he used on Leo of Vercelli's +"Meter," namely the use of recognizable quotation as internal commentary, Z. tries to crack the obscure relationship between the three parts of the structure, especially between the inner and outer fables. The kernel that he finds is a central concern, aptly symbolized by the setting of both fables at Eastertide, with the passing of the Old Law into the New and more generally with the superiority of mercy to strict justice. In his view, the inner fable provides an answer to the outer fable's dilemma and a key to its meaning. Other readers will be able to judge better than I how successfully Z. makes his case.

Z. prefaces his discussion of Ysengrim by adducing the two extant short beast poems from the eleventh century, +"The Cock and the Fox" and +"The Wolf," finding illustrated in them two directions in which the adaptation of fable could be taken. In +"The Cock and the Fox," the traditional fabular moral of the fraus fraudata is abandoned in favor of a long and thoroughly counterintuitive moralization in accordance with the traditional exegetical (Gregorian) interpretation of the Biblical gallus as symbolic of the preacher. +"The Wolf," on the other hand, presages the full-blown anti-monastic satire of Ysengrimus, for it tells of a sheep-eating wolf who escapes punishment by feigning conversion and taking the habit and tonsure, solely that he may continue his old ways unhindered. To the shepherd shocked at such behavior, the wolf explains "Sometimes I am a monk, sometimes a canon": that this is an old joke about monastic fare is clear from an analogue in the Fecunda ratis. It is similarly primarily the satire in Ysengrim that interests Z., as it is manifested through the characters of the wolf-monk and his enemies. Much of the discussion, too lengthy to be readily summarized, turns on the wolf's cynical perversion of liturgical formulations, and the consequent "revenge" that the liturgy may be said to take on him.

Z.'s Conclusion, largely a repetition of points made through the book, serves less to urge a synthesis than to remind us of the variety both of the material and of Z.'s readings. It is on the strength of those individual readings, primarily, that the value of Talking Animals rests, as well as on the compendious scholarship, charted with a sure hand, that Z. amasses to inform and defend them, and the impressive set of translations that he produces to make them accessible. In all of these respects its value is considerable.

Texts and significant excerpts translated in the body of the book:

Ademar of Chabannes, Fable of Partridge and Fox—pp.50-1
Aldhelm, Riddle 35 ("Duplicat ars geminis...")—p.45, from Lapidge
Eugenius of Toledo, Poem 42, 1-7 ("Haec sunt ambigena...")—p.36
Odo of Cheriton, Fable of Falcon and Kite—pp.51-2
Sedulius Scottus, "Our Glory Returns" ("Gloria nostra redit...")—pp.71-2
Symphosius, Riddles of Ant, Fly, and Ham—pp.41, 44
"Cur me torquetis..."—p.135
"Learn, Lion" ("Disce, leo supplex, apices sine murmure...")—pp.137-8
"The Nanny Goat" ("Ecussum cornu gemeret...")—p.68
"Quid mihi caprige[r]o..."—pp.136-7

Texts and excerpts translated in the Appendices:

Alcuin, "The Cock and the Wolf"
("Dicta vocatur avis proprio cognomine gallus...")

Alcuin, Letter 181

Cuono of St. Nabor, "The Peacock and the Owl"
("Nocti preterite dedimus cum menbra quiete...")

Egbert of Liege, "The Bear, Wolf, and Fox" / De tribus ministris...
("Olim defuncto cuiusdam presule sedis...")

Eugenius Vulgarius, "Comic Visions" / Species comice
("Anacreunti carmine..." and "Accidit, ut, dum...")

Froumund of Tegernsee, Poem 19

Leo of Vercelli, "Meter" / Metrum leonis
("Effuga regno...")

Physiologus Latinus, versio B (three selections)

Sedulius Scottus, "The Ram" / De quodam verbece a cane discerpto
("Cum deus altipotens animalia condidit orbis...")

Theodulf, "The Battle of the Birds" / De pugna avium
("Hoc, Modoine, tibi Teudulfus dirigit exul...")

Theodulf, "The Fox and Hen" / De vulpecula involante gallinam
("Est locus, hunc vocitant Carroph cognomine Galli...")

Theodulf, "What Do the Swans Do"
("Quod cycni faciunt, resonant dum talia corvi...")

Thierry of St. Trond, "Weep, Dogs"
("Flete, canes, si flere uacat, si flere ualetis...")

Walahfrid Strabo, "To Erluin" / De quodam somnio ad Erluinum
("Nox erat et magni alternis per climata caeli")

William of Blois, "The Quarrel of the Flea and the Fly" / Pulicis et musce iurgia
("Si quem ficta iuvant et verba moventia risum...")

"The Altercation of the Spider and the Fly" / Altercacio aranee et musce
("...reor esse bonis, quod carpere dotes...")

"The Ass Brought before the Bishop" / De asino ad episcopum ducto
("Ordine presbiteri dum promoturus asellum...")

"The Cock and the Fox" / Gallus et vulpes
("Stans apto consistorio...")

"The Flea" / De pulice
("Parue pulex, sed amara lues inimica puellis...")

"Gout and the Flea"
("Temporibus priscis pulix lacerasse potentes...")

"The Hawk and Peacock" / Versus de accipitre et pavone
("Avis hec magna...")

"The Lombard and Snail" / De Lombardo et lumaca
("Venerat ad segetes Lombardus, circuit illas...")

"The Louse" / De pediculo
("In cute sudanti sub veste pediculus hesit...")

"The Prose of the Ass"
("Orientis partibus...")

"The Sad Calf"
("Quaerebat maerens matrem per prata vitellus...")

"The Sick Lion"
("Aegrum fama fuit quondam iacuisse leonem...")

"The Swan Lament" from the Carmina Burana
("Olim lacus colueram...")

"The Swan Sequence"
("Clangam, filii...")

"The Testament of the Ass" / Testamentum asini

"The Testament of the Piglet" / *Testamentum porcelli*

"The Wolf" / De lupo
("Sepe lupus quidam per pascua lata vagantes...")

"The Wrangle of the Dwarf and Hare" / Altercatio nani et leporis
("Musa, mihi ante alias predulcis amica sorores...")

Copyright (c) 1994 Paul F. Schaffner

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