Mermaid
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Source: British Library Images Online Copyright Copyright 2004 British Library / Used by permission Manuscript description British Library, Additional MS 42130, Folio 70v


 

Mermaid

Latin name: Serra

Other names:

A creature half human, half fish

 

 
General Attributes

The mermaid has the body of a woman from head to waist, and a fish below. Mermaids are vain, and like to admire their own image. There are also mermen. The mermaid is often confused with the siren, which has many of the same attributes.


Illustration

The mermaid is usually shown holding a mirror and a comb, symbols of pride and luxury. In some illustrations the mermaid holds a fish instead. The mermaid and the siren are often illustrated in similar forms; sometimes the only way to determine which is intended is from the rubrics or the accompanying text.


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