Isidore of Seville [7th century CE]
Whales are immense beasts, with bodies equal to mountains. They have their name from emitting water, for the Greek ballein means emit; they raise waves higher than those of any other sea beast. They are called monsters (cete) because of their horribleness. The whale that swallowed Jonah was of such size that its belly resembled hell; as Jonah says (Jonah 2:2): “He heard me from the belly of hell.”
image: Bodleian Library, MS. Ashmole 1511, Folio 86v
A magnificent many-finned whale catches fish, while misguided sailors, thinking it to be an island, try to land on its back.