Polish Lands against a European Background until the Mid-16th Century
Part II. The town and the river
Bartholomeus Anglicus advised preparing potagium with the use of river water (as well as spring water), and thus he acknowledged its high value as far as consumption is concerned. In a book devoted to the river, De fluvio, he underlined it once more by stating that drinking water from the river invigorates and refreshes the thirsty: fitientes potu reficit et recreat.108 He wrote: fluvius a fluendo est dictus secundum Isidori, and pointed to the everlasting character of the river that will never cease to flow, unless it is cut off from its source: enim est perennis fluxus que continue fluit et nisi eius intercipiatur origo fluere non desistit.109 It flows in its main river bed (still bearing its own name), it is fed by tributaries, and the further it flows from the source, the more water it gets.110 It takes on the qualities of places it flows through, including the colour, the taste and the smell. Praising the qualities of the river, Bartholomeus highlighted the numerous benefits it brings to both animals and humans: habet etiam flumen sive fluvius quo ad effectu multiplice utilitate humanis usibus congruentem… unum tam iumentis quam hominibus tam parvis quam maioribus equaliter administrat. The faster it flows, the more benefits it offers. Emphasizing the strength of its current, Bartholomeus pointed not only to the transport qualities of the river (naves… suo impulsu agitat et impellit), but also to its role as a source of energy for even the largest mill wheels: rotas etiam...
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