De monocerote

Monocerotes, ut dicunt Solinus et Plinius, monstrum est mugitu horrido, equino corpore, elephantis pedibus, cauda suilla, capite cervino. Cornu ex media fronte producitur splendore mirificum, longitudine pedum quatuor, ita acutum, ut quicquid impetat, facile ictu eius perforetur. Captum potest perimi, sed nunquam domari. Dicit tamen Iacobus, quod nunquam vivum venit in hominis potestatem, et interimi quidem possit, sed non capi, quia vinci se cernens vitam furore exuit.


Concerning the single-horns. The single-horns, as Solinus and Pliny said, are monsters with horrid bellowing, the body of a horse, the feet of an elephant, the tail of a pig, and the head of a deer. A horn marvelous in its splendor with a length of four feet, stretches out from the middle of its forehead, so sharp, that whatever it might attack would be pierced easily by its blow. Having been captured it is able to be killed, but never tamed. Yet Jacob says, that it never comes alive into the power of man, and indeed it is able to be killed, but not seized, because discerning that he has been captured, he casts off his own life with rage.

acutus, a, um adj. sharp

cauda, ae f. tail; penis

cerno, cernere, crevi, cretus 3 sift; separate; distinguish; discern

exuo, exuere, exui, exutus 3 pull off; cast off strip

interimo, interimere, interimi, interemtus 3 to do away with; kill

mirificus, a, um adj. wonderful; amazing

monocerotos, i m. single-horn 

mugitus, us m. bellowing; roaring

perforo, perforare, perforavi, perforatus 1 pierce through; make a hole; stab

perimo, perimere, peremi, peremtus 3 kill; destroy

mugitu horrido… capite cervino  : asyndeton, the intentional elimination of conjunctions in a sentence.

longitudine pedum quatuor : abl of description, “With a length of four feet”

Iacobus : Jacques de Vitry, c. 1160-1240, French theologian. Elected Bishop in 1214 and cardinal in 1229.

venit : can be present or perfect. Does not change actual meaning of sentence, but is unclear.

vinci se cernens : indirect statement and ablative absolute, “discerning that he has been captured”