De calopo

Calopus, ut Physiologus dicit, animal acerrimum est, ita ut nec a venatoribus possit appropinquari. Cornua longa habet serre figuram habentia, ita ut possit altas arbores secando deicere. Cum sitit, ad flumen Eufratem bibit. Est autem ibi frutex herichina virgultis subtilibus et prolixis. Cui dum adveniens cornibus alludit, ipsa cornua obligat in virgultis pugnansque diu nec liberare se valens exclamat horrifice. Cuius voce venator audita accurens herentem occidit.

Concerning the calopus. The calopus, as Physiologus says, is the fiercest animal, so that no hunter is able to get close to it. The Calopus has long serrated horns and it is able to bring down tall trees by cutting. When thirsty, it drinks at the Euphrates river. However, there is there a bush that is bristly with delicate and abundant branches. When the Calopus approaches it, while playing with its horns, the Calopus binds its own horns in the branches and both fighting for a long time and not being able to free itself, it cries out horribly. With the Calopus’s voice having been heard, a hunter runs towards it and kills the stuck creature.  

acer, is, e adj. sharp; fierce

acurro, accurare, accuravi, accuratus 1 take care of; attend to

appropinquo, approprinqaure, appropinquavi, appropinquatus to be close; to approach

autem adv. on the other hand; contrarily

deicio, deicere, dejeci, dejectuscause to fall

frutex, is n. bush; growth

hereo, herere, hesi, hesus 2 to be stuck; in a sticky situation

herichina implies “bristly”; also look at ericius, i n./m. hedgehog

obligo, obligare, obligavi, obligatus 1 bind

seco, secare, secavi, secatus 1 sever; divide in two; split

serra adj. shaped like a saw; serrated

subtilis, subtile adj. delicate; slender

sirgultum, virgulti n. brushwood

venator, venatoris n./m. hunter


Calopus does not actually exist. It is a mythical creature said to be found in the Middle East.

Euphrates River: longest river in Western Asia.

N.B.: many sentences were passive in Latin but translated as active in English to help with clarification; particularly sentences 1-4.

Serre = serrae; implied to mean “shaped like a saw” which can be translated as “serrated”.

Herichina: Implied to mean “Bristly” from a Greek word of the same definition.; related to ericius, erici(i) (n./m.): “hedgehog”; “beam thickly studded with iron spikes as a military barrier”.

Colopus should be inserted at the end of sentence 1 and beginning of sentence 2; ita is in reference to the Calopus.

Acerrimum: superlative of acer; used as an adjective to mean “fiercest”.

secando: gerundive; “By cutting”