聖依西多祿 (Isidore of Seville, 560-636)
The Etymologies (or Origins) – in Latin
The Etymologiesof Isidore of Seville – English translation by
Stephen A. Barney, W.J. Lewis, J.A. Beach, Oliver Berghof
Chapter XII – Animals
23 Lepus, levipes, quia velociter currit.
The hare (lepus), as if the word were levipes (‘swift foot’), because it runs swiftly.
Velox est enim animal et satis timidum.
It is a speedy animal and quite timid.
24 Cuniculi genus agrestium animalium dicti quasi caniculi,
Rabbits (cuniculus), a type of field animal, are so called as if the word were caniculus,
eo quod canum indagine capiantur vel excludantur ab speluncis.
because they are seized or driven out of their holes by hunting packs of dogs (canis).
25 Sus dicta, quod pascua subigat,
The sow (sus) is so called because she roots up (subigere) feeding grounds,
id est terra subacta escas inquirat.
that is, she searches for food by rooting the earth up.
38.Musio appellatus, quod muribus infestus sit.
The mouser (musio) is so called because it is troublesome to mice (mus).
Hunc vulgus cattum a captura vocant.
Common people call it the cat (cattus)from ‘catching’ (captura).
Alii dicunt, quod cattat, id est videt.
Others say it is so named because cattat, that is, ‘it sees’
Nam tanto acute cernit
– for it can see so keenly (acute)
ut fulgore luminis noctis tenebras superet.
that with the gleam of its eyes it overcomes the darkness of night.
25 Canis nomen Latinum Graecam etymologiam habere videtur.
Licet eum quidam a canore latratus appellatum existiment,
eo quod insonat; unde et canere.
Nihil autem sagacius canibus;
plus enim sensus ceteris animalibus habent.
26 Namque soli sua nomina recognoscunt;
dominos suos diligunt;
dominorum tecta defendunt;
pro dominis suis se morti obiciunt;
voluntarie cum domino ad praedam currunt;
corpus domini sui etiam mortuum non relinquunt.
Quorum postremo naturae est extra homines esse non posse.
In canibus duo sunt: aut fortitudo, aut velocitas.
25. The Latin word ‘dog’ (canis) seems to have a Greek etymology.
Still, some people think it is named for the sound (canor) of barking
because it is loud, whence also the word ‘sing’ (canere).
No animal is smarter than the dog,
for they have more sense than the others.
26. They alone recognize their own names;
they love their masters;
they defend their master’s home;
they lay down their life for their master;
they willingly run after game with their master;
they do not leave the body of their master even when he has died.
Finally, it is part of their nature not to be able to live apart from humans.
There are two qualities found in dogs: strength and speed.