The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 51v - the bat, continued. [De gragulo]; Of the jay


Folio 52r - the jay, continued.


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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:

Text

  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:]

Translation

  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.

COMMENTARY

Text

The bat. The jay, a talkative bird.

Illustration

Portrait of the bat.

Comment

Compared with many other bestiary illustrations, this is a fairly accurate ventral view of a bat whose wings are shown as a membrane stretching from its three fingers down to its toes and tail. Its furry face has the typically uncanny human look. The artist has realised that the flight membrane joins the fingers, legs and tail even though there should be five fingers with four supporting the wing. It is classified as a bird because of its wings rather than as a mammal because of its fur. The bat has been pricked for pouncing. The illustration of the jackdaw has been excised.

COMMENTARY

Text

The jay, a chattering bird. Some men are not suited to be monks.