5. Prodigiorum Ac Ostentorum Chronicon
This work is also known by its anglicized name, The Chronicles of Portents and Prophecies, and it was written by a man named Conrad Lycosthenes in 1557. It contains a vast and lengthy collection of all the monsters, mysterious, occult beliefs, and even sightings of Halley’s Comet, monstrous beasts, and more, spanning from Adam and Eve, through ancient Greece, and onward to the medieval ages. It’s like an almanac for completely weird human beliefs from ancient history until 1557, and it contains many grim, fatalistic prophecies which closely resemble, in both writing and content, those of the contemporary author Nostradamus. It also contains sea monsters, natural disasters, and even what some believe is a UFO, some unknown space object which was likely a comet and was seen in Arabia in 1479.
Its content and illustrations are the stuff of medieval nightmares and those long before, with two-headed monsters and plagues of locusts devouring the Earth. And, like the Ripley Scroll, its cryptic Middle English prose makes it a dark and delightful bit of wonder from a world far removed from ours today. It’s like a massive encyclopedia written in the same style as the Book of Revelation.