whit_merule: (Default)
 Oh, Teen Wolf. You are all kinds of cute and do interesting things with tropes while pretending to be cliched and have kind of crappy dialogue when Stiles isn't about, but I just need to say this:

That thirteenth-century page from a bestiary you keep showing as describing the kanima?

It's a hyena. The creature is a hyena. The animal in the illustration is manipulated to look more like your kanima[1], but the scene depicted is exactly what hyenas are always depicted doing, and you haven't bothered to change the standard description of it (not even the bit that says 'est animal quod dicetur hiena" directly under the illustration)[2], presumably because that would involve messing around with the handwriting and language, and that's complicated.[3]

The result of this?

The animal described and depicted, which we are told is the kanima, has all the characteristics of the (mediaeval idea of the) hyena - lives near tombs, drags out the bodies of the dead to eat them, etc, etc.

And also, as you can see in some of the pictures above, male and female genitalia. See that bit at the very top of the right-hand page? "aliquando masculus sit aliquando femina'? Yep.

Sorry, Jackson. That bite really, really did not make you more manly.

Teen Wolf, I adore you. I know you didn't mean this latest bit, but I still love you for it.


[1] In fact, a very little searching turns up the original, which is, for those who care about manuscript shelf marks, British Library, Royal 12 C xix, f 11v.

[2] 'This animal which is called the hyena', obviously. And there Lydia might run into trouble - the only letters there are 'Est animal qd dr hiena', so unless she's done extensive manuscript studies as well as language ones she won't know all the bog-standard pan-European abbreviations used in manuscripts at the time.

[3] Although not that complicated, because it isn't 'archaic latin', whatever that's meant to be, it's very formal thirteenth-century Latin in a very expensive luxury-item thirteenth-century manuscript that someone put a lot of money into (gold leaf, people, used liberally, and a very skilled scribe) and probably kept as a display piece to show off to all the other very important people who wandered through their house, and I'm not sure why we're talking about that like it's older and more obscure than classical latin.


whit_merule: (Default)

December 2015

  1 2345


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 20th, 2017 09:34 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios