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Isidore of Seville


Archbishop of Seville, was the author of the encyclopaedic [Etymologiae], a work prized during the Middle Ages as a compendium of all human knowledge.
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Isidore of Seville
Itaque sine Musica nulla disciplina potest esse perfecta, nihil enim sine illa. Nam et ipse mundus quadam harmonia sonorum fertur esse conpositus, et coelum ipsud sub harmoniae modulatione revolvi.
Isidore of Seville quotes
Siquidem et per naturam pleraque mutationem recipiunt, et corrupta in diversas species transformantur; sicut de vitulorum carnibus putridis apes, sicut de equis scarabei, de mulis locustae, de cancris scorpiones.
Isidore of Seville
Litterae autem sunt indices rerum, signa verborum, quibus tanta vis est, ut nobis dicta absentium sine voce loquantur. Verba enim per oculos non per aures introducunt.




Isidore of Seville quotes
Theological necessity was among the main reasons which led St. Isidore of Seville, in the seventh century, to incorporate this theory [of the later development of insects out of carrion, following the initial creation], supported by St. Basil and St. Augustine, into his great encyclopedic work [Etymologiae] which gave materials for thought on God and Nature to so many generations. He familiarized the theological world still further with the doctrine of secondary creation, giving such examples of it as that "bees are generated from decomposed veal, beetles from horseflesh, grasshoppers from mules, scorpions from crabs," and, in order to give still stronger force to the idea of such transformations, he dwells on the biblical account of Nebuchadnezzar, which appears to have taken strong hold upon medieval thought in science, and he declares that other human beings had been changed into animals, especially into swine, wolves, and owls.
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