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Medieval Music Database

Febus mundo oriens; Lanista vipereus; Cornibus equivocis

Three-voice anonymous motet


Ivrea: Biblioteca Capitolare 115, fol. 3v-4 (3/3).


Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, edited by Friedrich Blume, 16 vols., Kassel and Basel: Bärenreiter, 1949 ff, plate 59.


1. Motets of French Provenance, edited by Frank Ll. Harrison, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1968. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century V, p. 13.
2. Three 14th-Century Motets in Honour of Gaston Fébus, edited by Peter Lefferts, Devon: Antico Edition AE 23, 1986, p. 7.


1. BESSELER, Heinrich. 'Studien zur Musik des Mittelalters. I. Neue Quellen des 14. und beginnenden 15. Jahrhunderts', Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, VII (1925): 167-252.
2. SANDERS, Ernest. 'The mediaeval motet', Gattungen der Musik in Einzeldarstellungen: Gedenkschrift Leo Schrade, Erste Folge, Bern, Munich: 1971, pp. 497-573.
3. GÜNTHER, Ursula. 'Problems of dating in Ars nova and Ars subtilior', L'Ars nova italiana del Trecento IV: Certaldo 1975, 1978, p. 292.


1. Music of the Gothic Era [c.1160 - 1400], Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow (1975): Archiv 2723 045(3) (EUR)/ 2710 019(3) (GER/USA).
2. Febus Avant!, Huelgas Ensemble, directed by Paul van Nevel (1991): Sony Classical SK 48 195.



Febus mundo oriens
Girans sub ecliptica
Per signa mirifica
Zoe rauptum transiens.

Vapores disperciens
Fervet vi clarifica
Tetraque malefica
Jam procul abiciens.

Radius est igniens
Yma face publica
Rupes et antartica
Loca calefaciens.

Dura liquefaciens
Corda parabolica
Et nunc quondam mistica
Apparere faciens.

Tu lunaque paciens
Eclipsim in practica
A cauda sophistica
Draconis resiliens.

Recipe sufficiens
Lumen ne umbratica
Sis ex arte magica
Unde sis deficiens.


Lanista vipereus
Ibis fundens toxicum
Pellitur dum germeus
Vigor est in publicum.

Sic dum comes floreus
Ostendit se Guallicum
Perit sermo felleus
Eum dicens Anglicum.

Zelat miles stelleus
Regni bonum exitum
Quod hostilis malleus
Compressit non modicum.

Constat ut lapideus
Mons dum nil sophisticum
Movet hunc nam aqueus
Flos ad modum apicum.

Inest et equoreus
Dalphinus qui unicum
Reputat nam lacteus
Umor trait reliquum.

Te vero corporeus
Vigor dat terrificum
Et decor purpureus
Te facit angelicum.


Cornibus equivocis
Pascens inter lilia
Feriens feralia
Et ferarum principem
Debellans multiplicem
Fructum ponens crucifixe
Vaca salit dum infixe
Sunt vires in ilicem
Natans aquam duplicem
Ad delectabilia
Pascua fertilia
Venit cum univocis.



The sun rising above the world.
circling through the ecliptic.
passing through the wonderful
signs of the Zodiac.

dispersing mists.
burns with clarifying strength.
and now from afar dispelling
wicked, noxious things.

it is a beam, setting on fire
with its heavenly light the deepest
recesses of the realm, warming the
rock and the antarctic locales.

softening hard hearts.
and now making plain
what was once mysterious
and obscure.

And you, O moon, suffering
an eclipse in your affairs.
recoiling from the illusory tail
of the dragon.

take in sufficient light
so that you aren't cast
into shadow by magic art.
and thus be in eclipse.


The viperous troublemaker.
an Ibis spreading poison.
is driven off when there is
budding strength in the community.

Thus it was when the flower-bedecked
count revealed himself a Frenchman;
the vile rumour saying he was
an Englishman came to nothing.

The shining knight ardently wishes
a good future for his realm.
which the hammer of his enemy
has attacked without moderation.

He stands firm as a rocky mountain
since no deceptive argument
can move him.
for the sharp-pointed water flower

is on him, and the sea-going
dolphin, which proclaims him
unique, while a milky whiteness
draws together the remainder.

Yea truly, bodily strength
makes you terrifying.
and adornment of royal purple
makes you angelic.


With horns of equal weight.
grazing among the lilies.
smiting all that is deadly.
and vanquishing the prince
of the wild beasts, placing the
multiform fruit in cruciform fashion.
the cow jumps while the forces
are stuck in an oak-tree;
swimming the double waters
to delightful.
fertile pastures.
she comes wtih those of one voice.

Text revision and translation © AA:B1 (PD 4465); Lefferts: F~ebus 86# 21

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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