of the eagle (every contact leaves a trace)

All roads lead to Rome for the moment.

Aurelius Ambrosius, 4th century Bishop of Milan.

Imperial capital in an Empire. Bishop of an imperial/ state religion.

My understanding of context at the moment is zero

Pertaining to species?

For Ambrose of Milan, is it one outstanding characteristic that determines a species?

Pertaining to the Emperor?

Thoughts of things divine? Defining characteristic in the eagle texts would appear to be wisdom. Somewhat earthly focus at first glance.

Context is king; I have some reading to do.

the chosen generation/ the holy nation

Hot Sun

Simmias! I should have hard work to persuade other people that I do not regard my present situation as a misfortune, when I cannot even make you believe it, but you are afraid I am more churlish now than I used to be. And you seem to think I am inferior in prophetic power to the swans who sing at other times also, but when they feel that they are to die,


Plato, Phaedo 84e

Swan Song

Yet he entertains and gravely repeats many extraordinary fancies. He believes the old tales about the phoenix, about the swan’s dying song, and about the eagle holding up her young towards the sun and casting away those that turn their eyes from its rays – the rejected eaglets, he adds, are brought up by the coot


F. Homes Dudden, The Life and Times of St. Ambrose, Vol. 1.

In the depths of her interior / Were fears she was inferior / And something even eerier…

THe faire Diana neuer more reuiued, the faire Diana, the faire Diana neuer more reuiued, {repeat} her louers hart that spied her in the fountaine, while she her naked lims, her naked lims in wa-ter dy-ued, then me the coūtry wench set by the mountaine, washing a vayle to cloth the locks re-fy-ned, washing a vayle to cloth the locks refyned, to cloth the locks re-fy-ned, that on fayre Laura’s head the gold resemble, which made me quake, although the Sunne then shined, though the Sunne then shyned, & euery ioynt {repeat} & euery ioynt with louing frost to tremble, and euery ioynt with louing frost to tremble.

snow is cold not merely to itself

she féedeth and loueth him as her owne birde, lyke to her in kinde

AN Hawke tyreth, féedeth, gorgeth, beaketh, rouseth, endueth, muteth, percheth, and iouketh, puketh ouer, proyneth, plumeth, shée warbeleth, and mantelleth: she tyreth vpon rumpes, shée feedeth on al maner of flesh: shée gorgeth when shée filleth her gorge full of meat: shée beaketh when she sueth, that is to say, when shée wipeth her beake: shee rouseth when shée shaketh her feathers

Unknown Pleasures (lyke with lyke)

in turning towards the sun


… Also Ambrose sayth, and Aristotle libro. 20. that ther is one māner Eagle that he cal∣leth Almachor, and is ful sharpe of sight, and shée taketh her owne birdes in her claws, and maketh them to looke euen on the Sunne, and that ere their wings bée full growen, and except they looke stiflye and steadfastly against the Sunne: shée beateth them, and setteth them euen before the Sunne. And if any eie of any of her Birdes watereth in looking on the Sunne, shée slaieth him, as though he went out of kind: or else driueth him out of the neast, and dispiseth him, and set∣teth not by him: and the birde that beholdeth and setteth his eie steadfastly vp∣pon the Sun, she féedeth and loueth him as her owne birde, lyke to her in kinde…


Batman vppon Bartholome his booke De proprietatibus rerum, newly corrected, enlarged and amended: with such additions as are requisite, vnto euery seuerall booke: taken foorth of the most approued authors, the like heretofore not translated in English. Profitable for all estates, as well for the benefite of the mind as the bodie. 1582 http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A05237.0001.001

Dialogue of Arthur and Eliwold

I wonder, seeing I am a bard,
On the top of the oak and its branches on high 
What the vision of an eagle, what the illusion.

Arthur, who hast attained distant tame
Joy and advantage of thine host,
The eagle heretofore hast thou seen.


Ymddiddan Arthur a’r Eryr (dialogue of Arthur and Eliwold) and Proffwydoliaeth yr Eryr (prophecy of the eagle)

Two eagle references in Welsh.

One an instructional religious poem the other a collection of prophecies from the 13th century which circulated in Latin and Welsh.