The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 29v - [PL, De aquilone et austro ventis]; [Of the north wind and the south wind]

Folio 30r - the wind, continued. Item de accipitre; Of the hawk. Beatus Gregorius de acciptre quomodo plumescat; The blessed Gregory on the hawk and how it moults

Help Copyright


To explore the image, simply click the image to zoom, double-click to zoom out, or click-drag to pan. You can also zoom in and out using the mouse scroll wheel.


(Alt is Option on Macintosh)

  • Alt-click-drag to create a zoom-rectangle
  • Alt-click / Alt-double-click to zoom fully in / out
  • Alt-click-Reset button to return to the prior view

The thumbnail view in the top left can also be clicked or click-dragged to pan.

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • a to zoom in
  • z to zoom out
  • Arrow keys pan around the image
  • Escape resets initial view or exits fullscreen

Toolbar buttons

Use the Toolbar for exact navigation - if using a mouse, hold it over any button to see a helpful tip.

Zoom out

Zoom in

Pan left

Pan right

Pan up

Pan down

Reset Image

Full screen view

View translation alongside image

View double page - bi folio

Download image for personal, research or teaching purposes


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.



A discussion on the north and south wind (aquilo).


This spread-eagled bird is usually referred to as a hawk, preceding its chapter on ff.30r-30v. It may depict the hawk spreading its wings to the south wind to facilitate moulting. However it is placed next to a text referring the the devil uplifted on wings of pride. It might be alternatively an eagle (aquila), a pun on aquilo the north wind, and a tangible image for the invisible wind. Initials type 2.



The south wind continued; the hawk.


The hawk grips its frame and twists backwards aggressively.


The gilding of the initial 'A' overlaps the frame of the illustration, indicating that in this case the letter was gilded after the picture.