Aldhelm on the Medicinal Uses of Beavers

Riddle 56 I am a dweller on the edge of steep stream banks, and not lazy at all, but warlike with the weapons of my mouth. I sustain my life with hard labour, laying low huge trees with my hooked axes. I dive into water, where the fish swim, and immerse by own head, wetting... Continue Reading →

Trading in butter?

You just never really know when you are going to find something unexpected. I've known for a long time that early medieval Ireland had a heavily cattle based economy, really a dairy based economy. Most of this product would be used for local consumption, ¬†as a primary source of both calories and protein. During my... Continue Reading →

Cassiodorus’ Serpent Devouring Deer

Cassiodorus' Exposition on the Psalms was very well read by the Venerable Bede and his contemporaries. While doing some background reading on Bede's abbreviation of Vulgate psalm 41, I came across Cassiodorus' description of deer and their symbolic importance. The stag entry from The Medieval Bestiary, mentions the odd idea that deer eat snakes, but... Continue Reading →

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