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…
The Salamandra Miniature. Bestiary of the Bodleian Library. Oxford. N 764, f. 55
The Salamandra Manuscript of the LPL.Lat.Q.V. Ill, N 1, f. 53 v.
The Scitalis Relief. Church portal in Chadenac. XII century
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, 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…
The Amphisbaena Capital. Church Saint-Hilaire, Melle. XII century
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/ 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 /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…
The Jaculus Relief. Column of cloister in Elne. XII century
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 /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…
The Seps Relief. XII century Paris. The Louvre.
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 text about the stellio-triton is taken from Isidore /XII.IV.38/. Its skin is covered with star-like spots. Its appearance alone gets the scorpion stunned. Referring to Pliny and Avicenna, Albert the Great /XXV.II.48/ says that the antidote for the stellio’s poison is the meat of a scorpion.
The text about the three “natures” of the serpent is traced back to Greek “Physiologus”, though it does not include the traditional quotation from the Gospel /Matthew, 10:16/, and in the bestiaries of the 12th century it is placed in the section about snakes in keeping with the zoological classification that was taking shape in…
Gulls on the river Volga.
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…
The largest river in Europe.
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…
The western coast of the Karelian Isthmus — famed for its picturesque landscape and mild climate — has been the Saint Petersburg Zone of Health Resorts since 1946. The pleasure of bathing in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, the splendid beaches, the pine forests with their pure and balmy air, the coastal terraces…
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens The Alvdalen porphyry vase. 1839
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens The Rossi walk
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens The Neva walk
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Main avenue
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Sculptor: P. Baratta. “Peace and Abundance”. 1722
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Small gates of the railings on the Neva side
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens The Swan Canal
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Upper Swan Bridge
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Statues adorning the walks
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Architects: Y. Velten and P. Yegorov The grille on the Neva side. 1784
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Autumn
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens View of the Coffee-house from the Fontanka River
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Architect:C. Rossi. The Coffee-house (the Rossi Pavilion). 1826
Saint Petersburg. The Summer Gardens Statues of the main avenue