The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 12v - Simie vocantur...; apes.

Folio 13r - Apes, continued. De satiris; satyrs. De cervis; deer

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Commentary, Translation and Transcription

These sections are located below the image on each page, scroll down page and click on the tabs to view them. It is also possible to view the translation alongside the image by clicking the translation icon in the toolbar

It is not part of the project to provide a definitive edition of the text of the Bestiary, but to help readers by providing a transcription and translation of the text. Currently the following editorial conventions obtain:


  1. The original capitalisation is retained, but capitals have been added for personal and place names, excluding deus and diabolus.
  2. The original punctuation, including a point and inverted semi-colon (both serving as commas), and a point (serving as a full stop), is represented by comma, full stop and question-mark; a colon has been inserted before quotations.
  3. Suggested readings are in [ ].
  4. Variants from other Bestiary texts (eg Ashmole 1511 and Patrologia Latina 176) are added where they indicate a corruption, elucidate a meaning and replace excised text. They are represented as [A: PL:]


  1. Direct quotations from the Bible, where identified, are cited from the Authorised Version in ( ).
  2. Paraphrased quotations are identified where possible and indicated as: (see Job, 18:22).
  3. Suggested translations of corrupt words are in [ ].
  4. Capitalisation is sparing; additional punctuation has been used where necessary to give the sense. Paragraphs have been created to break up the text.





The female monkey gives birth to twins, loving one and hating the other. When hunted, she carries the loved one in her arms while the other clings to her back. Eventually she tires, drops the favoured baby and the other one is saved. The ape does not have a tail.


Pricking and margins are visible. Initial indicator 's' in left margin. Initial type 2. Prick marks for pouncing are visible all around the image. There is a faint sketch of a dog facing right, in the bottom right margin. It is the same type of animal as on f.5r.



Satyrs. Deer.


The satyr, like the ape, has some similarities with man. He is partly like a goat with a beard, horns, and broad tail. His rather human body is covered with shaggy hair. He holds his thyrsus or wand, used in his lustful and disorderly revels. His face is quite attractive and he makes pantomime gestures.


Below him the illustration of a hart has been excised. In the centre of the lower margin is a very faint 'c', indicating the start of the next quire. Pricking and ruling are visible. Initial indicator 'c' in right margin. Initial type 2.