The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

Brunellus in speculo stulto[rum]

About This Item

Title

Brunellus in speculo stulto[rum]
Brunellus in speculo stultorum
Brunellus and the mirror of fools

Subject

Equidae
Physicians
Incunabula
Caricatures
Book Illustrations

Description

Woodcut printed by Konrad Kachelofen, artist unknown.
Woodcut depicts Brunellus the ass, his tail in hand standing opposite Galienus the doctor, both characters from Speculum stultorum (or Mirror of fools). The donkey's head is reflected in a mirror, held aloft by a donkey-eared jester balancing on one foot.

Source

A Mirror for Fools (Speculum Stultorum) is a satirical poem written in Latin elegiacs describing the adventures of Burnel the Ass, a runaway donkey in search of a longer tail. Burnel initially consults the physician Galen, who advises him to be satisfied with the tail nature gave him, but eventually sends him off to Salerno with a sham tail-lengthening prescription. A popular manuscript in its time, Mirror of Fools is referenced in the story of The Cockerel’s Revenge in Chaucer’s The Nun Priest’s Tale.

Publisher

Digitized by the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Date

1490

Contributor

Kachelofen, Konrad, -1528 or 1529

Identifier

8h_27_1490.a1r

Temporal Coverage

History, Medieval

Original Format

1 print : woodcut, hand-colored

Physical Dimensions

13 x 9 cm

Citation

“Brunellus in speculo stulto[rum],” The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library, accessed November 24, 2017, http://www.cppdigitallibrary.org/items/show/142.