Augustine and the Miraculous Peacock

For who but God, the creator of everything, made it so that the flesh of a dead peacock would not rot? It seemed incredible when I heard it, but it happened that this bird was cooked and served to me at Carthage, and I ordered that a suitable amount of flesh from the breast be kept aside. After a suitable number of days, when any other flesh (even if cooked) would be rotting, it was brought out and set before me, but it didn’t smell bad to me at all. Furthermore, it was found to be the same after it had been stored for more than 30 days, and it was the same after a year, except that its body was a little bit more dried out and shriveled up.

Quis enim nisi Deus creator omnium dedit carni pauonis mortui ne putesceret? Quod cum auditu incredibile uideretur, euenit ut apud Carthaginem nobis cocta apponeretur haec auis, de cuius pectore pulparum, quantum uisum est, decerptum seruari iussimus; quod post dierum tantum spatium, quanto alia caro quaecumque cocta putesceret, prolatum atque oblatum nihil nostrum offendit olfactum. Itemque repositum post dies amplius quam triginta idem quod erat inuentum est, idemque post annum, nisi quod aliquantum corpulentiae siccioris et contractioris fuit.

—Augustine, De civitate Dei 21.4

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