Coot
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Source: Koninklijke Bibliotheek - Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts Copyright 2002 Koninklijke Bibliotheek / Used by permission Manuscript description Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16, Folio 84v


 

Coot

Latin name: Fulica

Other names: Foulque, Ulica

An intelligent bird that stays in one place

 

 
General Attributes

The coot is an intelligent bird; unlike other birds it does not fly about, but stays in one place. It eats fish, but does not eat dead bodies. It builds its nest in the middle of water or on a stone surrounded by water. When it sees a storm coming it returns to its nest or dives under the water.


Allegory/Moral

The coot represents the man who lives according to God's will and remains within the Church, rather than straying down the path of heresy or following worldly pleasures.


Sources (chronological order)

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:53): The coot (fulica) has its name from its pleasant taste, from the Greek word lagos (hare). It lives in stagnant water, and builds its nest on the water or on rocks surrounded by water. When it sees a storm coming it leaves its nest and plays on the sea.


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