The Lizard

The Lizard Relief. Church in Saint-Denis. XII century Lizard /lacerta/ medallion 5.4 cm in diameter The text, which was borrowed from Isidor /XII. IV.34—35/, enumerates several kinds of lizards. Listed among them are salamandras, tritons and frogs. The early Latin versions of the “Physiologus” included the tale about the sunny lizard /saura/ in the chapter…

Salamandra

Salamandra /salamandra/ height 7.7 cm, width at the bottom 9.1 cm, width at the top 7.6 cm The enigmatic salamandra, which does not burn in fire, is the most poisonous of all creatures. Its poison penetrates into growing fruits and contaminates water. Upon eating a fruit from a tree poisoned by the salamandra a man…

Scitalis

Scitalis /scitalis/ 10.1 X5.2 cm The text of the bestiary and that of Pseudo-Hugh /11.43/ is a borrowing from Isidor /XII.IV.19/ who qouted Lukan /Pharsalia, IX, 717/ and repeated Solinus /27.29/. The scitalis is distinguished for the beauty of its spotty skin. It never follows its prey but waits until the prey, charmed by its…

Amphisbaena

Amphisbaena /amphisbaena, amphivena/ medallion 5.7 cm in diameter The text is taken from Isidor /XII.IV.20/ who quoted Lucan /Pharsalia, IX.719/ and used the description by Pliny /VIII.23.35/. The amphisbaena has two heads: one where it belongs and the other in the tail-end. This enbles it to move in any direction without turning back. Its eyes…

Boa

Boa /boa/ 10.1 X2 cm The text about the boa was taken from Isidor /XII. IV.28/ drawing on the information provided by Pliny /VIII.14.I4/. The same text is adhered to by Pseudo-Hugh /111.45/ and Albert the Great /XXV. 11.14/. The boa habitates in Italy, it follows herds of cattle and feeds on cow milk.

Jaculus

Jaculus /jaculus/ 10X1.8 cm The text about the jaculus, the snake jumping down from a tree on animals passing by, was taken from Isidor /XII.IV.29/ who used the writings by Pliny /VIII.23.35/ and Aelian /VI.18/ and quoted Lucan /Pharsalia, 18.720/. It is repeated by Pseudo-Hugh /111.46/ and Albert the Great /XXV.II.32/.

Snake siren

Snake siren /sirena serpens/ 10×3 cm The text about the syren, the winged Arabian snake moving faster than a horse, was borrowed from Isidore /XII.IV.29/. Its venom is so strong that a man dies before he feels pain. The same story is repeated by Pseudo-Hugh /III.47/ and Albert the Great /XXV.II.51/. The painter of all…

Seps and Dipsa

Seps and Dipsa /seps et dipsa/ 10X3.2 cm The text, which includes quotations from Lucan, repeats the story by Isidor /XII.IV.31 —32/ and Albert the Great /XXV.II.21.52/. The venom of the seps penetrates right into the bones of a man bit by the snake, and the venom of the dipsa works so instantly that the…

Hypnale

Hypnale /hypnalis/ 10.3X3.7 cm The text is taken from Isidor /XII.IV.13—14/. This snake is in the same species with the dipsa. A person bit by the hypnale falls asleep and then dies. This was how Cleopatra died. The hypnal is mentioned by Pseudo-Hugh /11.30/, Albert the Great /XXV.II.33/ and Philippe de Thatin in the section…

Saura — Sunlizard

Saura — Sunlizard Miniature. Manus — cript of the LPL.Lat.Q.v .III, N 1, f. 49 Saura-Sunlizard /saura/ 10×2.5 cm The tale of the sunny lizard originated from the Greek “Physiologus”. As it grows old, the lizard creeps out through a chink in a fence overlooking the east. Upon turning its blind eyes to the rising…

The Volga River

The Volga River is the longest river in Europe, about 2,300 miles (3,700 km). It originates at an elevation of only 740 feet (225 m) in the Valday Hills northwest of Moscow, connects with the Rybinsk Reservoir. The river heads east past Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan. From there it turns south past Samara and…

Russian sauna

Russian sauna, or Banya, has always been important part of Russian culture. Our ancestors believed that the purpose of bath is not so much to purify the body, how to purify the soul.

Mussa Jalill

POETRY OF TRUTH AND PASSION Jalil never kept a diary. “I don’t feel inclined to and I cannot and will not make myself keep one,” he once said. But when he left Kazan for the frontlines early in 1942, he felt an urge to entrust his feelings and thoughts to paper. The result, as he…

Moscow Metro

Moscow Metro is on the busiest subway system in the world and famous for rich finish of many stations with wonderful examples of Soviet and modern time art era.