Bartholomew the Englishman

On Sirens

Introduction by Juris Lidaka

Bartholomew says: "Sirena sirenae, or siren sirenis, is what the monster is called, which draws sailors to danger by the sweetness of its song; for this reason it is called this, from its drawing, as Huguitio says. However the gloss on Isaiah [Haymonis Halberstatensis Episcopi, Commentaria in Isaiam 2.13] says: Sirens are plumed, winged serpents. Others say, however, that they are fish of the sea, womanly in appearance. Papias, moreover, says: Sirens are great, plumed, flying dragons, as certain people think. Isidore, on the other hand, in book 20, where he deals with omens says this."

Original Latin