De pegaso

… semivolucre. Pegasus, ut dicit Plinius, animal magnum, et horrendum est in Ethiopia. Equi formam habet, alas ut aquila sed multo maiores, caput armatum cornibus et adeo monstruosum, ut ipso cuncta fere animantia terreat. Cum ipso gravi corpore fuga mirabili alarum remigio adiuti potius currunt quam pervolant et colliso aere virtute pennarum ad instar turbinis impellunt ventos. Multas escas devorant, inquiete moventur, infesti sunt animalibus, et hoc maxime homini.

Concerning the sometimes-flying pegasus. The pegasus, as Pliny says, is a large and fearsome animal in Ethiopia. It has the form of a horse, wings like an eagle, but much larger, the head equipped with horns and it is truly monstrous, such that almost all living things are scared of it. They, aided in their flight by a wondrous rowing of wings, they run rather than fly and having struck the air with the power of the wings, drive the wind to the image of a tornado. They devour many foods, they are moved by restlessness, they are unsafe for animals, and the most unsafe for humankind.

adiuto, adiutare, aduitavi, adiutatatus 1 help; aid

aer, is air

ala, ae f. wing

animans, animantis adj. living

aquila, ae f. eagle

armatus, a, um adj. armed; equipped

collido, collidere, -collisi, collisus 3 strike; smash; crash

cornu, us n. horn

devoro, devorare, devoravi, devoratus devour; gulp down; consume

esca, ae f. food; dish

horrendus, a, um adj. horrendus; horrible; fearsome

impello, impellere, impuli, impulsus 3 drive; push

infestus, a, um adj. unsafe; dangerous

inquies, inquietis adj. restless

instar n. (undecl.) image; likeness; appearance

mirabilis, is, e adj. miraculous; wonderful

monstruosus, a, um adj. monstrous

pegasus, -i (m): winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa (move to notes)

penna, ae f. wing; feather

pervolo, pervolare, pervolavi, pervolatus fly

potius adv. rather

remigio, remigare, remigavi, remigatus 1 row; beat

terreo, terrere, terrui, territus 2 scare; frighten

turbo, turbinis  m. whirlwind; tornado; storm

volucer, volucris m. bird   


multo maiores: ablative of comparison, “but much larger

ut…terreat: result clause, “such that almost all living things are scared of it”

adiuti: perfect passive participle, “aided by the miraculous beating of wings”

mirabili alarum remigio: ablative of manner, “the miraculous beating of wings”  

potius currunt quam pervolant: “they run rather than fly

colliso: perfect passive participle, “having struck the air”

virtute pennarum: ablative of manner, “with the power of the wings”

ad instar turbinis: ablative of manner, “drive the wind to the image of a tornado

inquiete: ablative of agent, “moved by restlessness

hoc maxime homini: “most unsafe for humankind



Plinius: a reference to the historical Pliny, a Roman author and historian popularly known for his work Naturalis Historia, or The Natural History, that described natural scientific observations ranging from the account of seas and lands to descriptions of wild animals such as the Pegasus.

Ethiopia: considered an exotic place for the Romans. Pliny in his writings of The Natural History describes in chapter 87, In What Places the Sea has Receded: “Indeed…the sea came beyond Memphis, as far as the mountains of Ethiopia…” (Pliny as translated by Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906).



Bostock, John. Pliny the Elder, The Natural History. Perseus Digital Library. Tufts University, March 7th, 2016.