Mouse
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Source: Museum Meermanno - MMW, 10 B 25 facsimile Copyright 2004 Museum Meermanno Manuscript description Museum Meermanno, MMW, 10 B 25, Folio 24v


 

Mouse

Latin name: Mus

Other names: Souris

A small animal that is born from the soil

 

 
General Attributes

The mouse is born from the soil (humus), hence its name (mus). It is a small animal. A mouse's liver gets larger at the time of the full moon.


Sources (chronological order)

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 82): Some kinds of mice gnaw at iron by instinct; in the country of the Chalybes they also gnaw at gold in mines, and when their bellies are cut open stolen gold is always found. The appearance of white mice is a good omen. Shrew-mice do not associate with mice from another forest, but fight with them to the death. When their parents are old, they feed them with remarkable affection. Mice hibernate in winter; this is the time when the old ones die. (Book 10, 85): Mice are the most prolific of animals; they conceive by licking rather than by coupling, or by tasting salt. The mice in Egypt walk on two feet, as do the Alpine mice.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 3:1): The mouse (mus) is a small animal; some say it is born from earth (humus). A mouse's liver gets larger at the time of the full moon. (Book 12, 3:6): Dormice (glires) have their name because sleep makes them fat, as gliscere means to grow (crescere). Dormice sleep all winter, remaining motionless as though dead, but revive in the summer.


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