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Anastasija Ropa
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A fascinating post! I have never paid much attention to insects in the manuscripts myself, though they do appear with disturbing realism in texts on death, like the Disputation Betwixt the Body and Worms. I also found the information about gold-carrying ants very interesting. There is a traditional Russian fairy-tale, from the collection of the Ural miners' tales record by Pavel Bazhov in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, that puts in action the behaviour described by Physiologus. The ants carry gold 'shoes' on their feet, going into a sort of cave, and, the closer they get to the cave, the bigger they grow (reaching the size of a dog and then of a horse!). Of course, there is an honest miner who takes just as much gold as he needs and a dishonest one, who is punished for avarice. It's fascinating how such motifs can travel across times and spaces, though.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2014 on Bugs in Books at Medieval manuscripts blog
Best of luck to Sarah and the little one! I enjoy the blog and, in particular, your posts in it. BTW, St Elizabeth, the mother of St John about which you have recently blogged, is credited with helping women in labour. May she help you and your baby!
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2014 on A Temporary Farewell at Medieval manuscripts blog
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Sep 1, 2014