Cock
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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 36v


 

Cock

Latin name: Gallus

Other names:

The cock is a bird that can tell time

 

 
General Attributes

The cock (rooster) has the intelligence to tell time and so knows when to crow. Just before it crows, it spreads its wings and strikes itself. Some say that the cock's limbs are destroyed if they are mixed with liquid gold.

Lions are frightened of a white cock.


Sources (chronological order)

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 24-25): The cock was designed by nature to announce the dawn; by singing they awaken men. They are skilled astronomers, sing at the start of every three hour period, go to bed with the sun, and at the fourth hour of the night awaken us with their song. They duel with each other to determine who will rule, with the winner strutting proudly and the loser forced to serve; a conquered cock does not crow. Some cocks are bred only to fight. Cocks carry themselves so proudly that even the noble lion is afraid of them. Omens and auspices can be read in the behavior of cocks.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:50): The cock (gallus) is named from the word the Greeks use for those who are castrated (galli), for alone among birds this one's testicles are removed.


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