The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 102r - Of stones and what they can do, 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.
Sard gets its name from the island where it was first found; it is red in colour; the least valuable of gemstones, it has no virtue other than its beauty and the fact that it removes the harmful effect of the onyx stone. There are five kinds. Chrysolite resembles the water of the sea and has a grain of gold within it, and sparks like fire. Its virtue is to counter night-time fears; if it is pierced, with the hair of an ass placed in the middle, and worn on the left arm, it puts demons to flight. It is found in Ethiopia. Beryl has a hexagonal shape to give it greater clarity; the better kind has the colour of oil or sea water. It is found in India. It bestows love between a man and a woman; it brings honour to him who wears it; it warms the hand of anyone who holds it; water in which it has lain is good for the eyes; and it takes away asthma and the pains of fevers. There are nine kinds. Topaz gets its name from the island, Topazos, where it is found. It is valued more because it has two kinds of radiance: one the colour of gold; the other, clearer. It is quite good for piles; it is said to feel the pull of the moon; and it causes water to stop boiling. It comes from Arabia. The chrysoprase comes from India. Its colour is like the sap of a leek, with golden marks; but there is nothing on record about its virtue. There are three kinds of hyacinth. Each one gives strength, and removes sadness and false suspicion. The kind with a watery colour chills you; anyone who wears it on his neck or finger can go in safety in foreign parts and is safe from overeating; he will be honoured by his enemies and anything he seeks in a righteous fashion, he will receive. The stone cannot be engraved. The amethyst is the colour of a violet or a drop of red wine or whiteish. It comes from India. It is easy to shatter. If it were rarer, it would be more valuable. There are five kinds to look for. Chelidony is a stone. It is found in the stomach of the swallow; it has two colours, black and red; the black kind is helpful to the insane, heals demonic possession and other kinds of weakness; it makes a man eloquent and loved; it should be worn on the left arm wrapped in a linen cloth. The red kind helps to bring things to completion; it offers protection against the threats and rages of kings and princes; if it is moistened in saffron and worn in a linen cloth, it heals anyone with a fever and restrains noxious humours. Jet comes from Lycia. The better kind is found in England. When it is made warm it attracts straw; it burns

Text

The properties of various stones.

Comment

Initials type 4. Several corrections in the margin: 'nouem' [omission] / 'demonico's [rectifying ‘diamonicos’] / ? –

Folio Attributes

  • Pricking

    Pricking

    Pricking
    Line pricking and ruling. Detail from f.7r

    Once the quires were arranged they had to be prepared for writing by drawing up the lines. Tiny parallel pinpricks were made on the outer and inner edges of each page and horizontal lines ruled between them. In a completed book these pinpricks should have been trimmed off during the final stages of production but in the Aberdeen Bestiary they have survived in 12 out of the 15 quires (only E , G and M are fully trimmed). Careful measuring shows that the holes were pricked with the quires folded up, using a long pointed pricker, because they are the same distance apart throughout an entire quire. In quires B and C there is a double hole on the penultimate line, indicating to the person ruling lines that the page is about to end. In these two quires the holes have a coarse triangular shape and are set up to 6mm in from the edge. Elsewhere the holes are smaller, circular and much closer to the edge. Pinpricks were also made at the top and bottom of the pages to provide vertical margins. These survive in every quire. In quires A.F,H,J,K,L,M and N there are single pricks for the vertical lines. In B and C there are double pricks and double margins while in G there are double pricks and a variety of single and double ruled lines. On f.48r (quire G) where there are double pricks for the margins, the wrong holes have been joined and the faulty diagonal line has been redrawn correctly.

  • Initial Type 4

    Initial Type 4

    Initial Type 4
    Type 4 initial. Detail from f.96v

    Type 4 initials are red or blue. On any given page they alternate red and blue regularly. Blue initials are embellished with red tassels and vice versa. The colouring and form of the letters is not very even and appears rather hurried in places. In the Bestiary proper, they appear on f.79v and f.80r. Thereafter this is the basic initial used in the thirteenth-century Lapidary addition, found from f.94r onwards. This suggests that gaps left in the twelfth-century text on ff. 79v and 80r were filled in when the book was completed in the later thirteenth century. The poor quality of the later work is apparent from f.94r onwards, and is apparent on f.79v where the wrong capital ‘U’ was inserted and later corrected to ‘F’ for Fagus, the beech tree.

Transcription

Sardinus nomen habet ab insula ubi prius inventa est, rubei coloris est\ vilissima gemmarum, nec aliud virtutis habet nisi pulcritudinem\ et quod aufert lapidi onide suum nocumentum, et hic quinque species habet.\ Crisolitus similitudinem habet aque maris, et interius granum auri,\ et scintille ut ignis, virtus eius est contra nocturnos timores, si perforetur et\ ponatur seta asine in medio et portetur in sinistro brachio, fugat de\mones et invenitur in Ethiopia. \ Berillus formam habet sex angularem\ ut maiorem reddat claritatem, qui melior est, colorem habet olei vel aque maris,\ in India invenitur amorem confert inter virum et mulierem, honorem\ ferenti, calefacit manum stringentis ipsum, aqua ubi iacuit valet oculis\ aufert suspiria, dolores et febrium et eius sunt novem species.\ Topazius nomen habet ex insula, et ubi invenitur, et carior est quia radiorum\ duas habet species, color unius sicut auri, alterius clarior aliquantu\lum valet ad ficum, et dicitur quod sentit lunam aquam bullientem fa\cit quiescere, venit de Arabia. \ Crisopassus venit de India, color\ eius ut ius porete guttas habet aureas, sed eius virtus non scribitur.\ Iacunctus tres habet species et omnis confortat, et tollit tristiciam et suspicio\nem vanam, quidam aquatici coloris infrigidit qui hunc portat collo\ vel digito tutus ire potest in alienam provinciam, et tutus ingurgita\cione, et honorabitur ab hostibus et quod iuste petit recipiat, et scul\pi non potest facere.\ Amatistus colorem habet viole vel [in] gut\te vini rubei vel aliquantulum [coloris] albidum, ex India ve\nit, facilis ad frangendum, carior esset si esset rarior, et quinque species habet\ quas require.\ Celidonius lapis est. Invenitur in ventre hyrun\dinis duos habet colores nigrum et rubeum, niger valet lu\naticis sanat diamonicos [demonicos] et alios langores, facit hominem\ eloquentem et dilectum, sinistro brachio debet ferri in panno lineo.\ Lapis rubeus [valet] adiuvat ad perficiendum quod incho\atur, valet contra minas et iras regum et principum, si tingatur\ in croco et feratur in lineo panno sanat febricitantem et restrin\git humores noxios.\ Gagates nascitur in Licia qui meli\or est, invenitur in Anglia, cum calescit attrait [attrahit] paleam ardet

Translation

Sard gets its name from the island where it was first found; it is red in colour; the least valuable of gemstones, it has no virtue other than its beauty and the fact that it removes the harmful effect of the onyx stone. There are five kinds. Chrysolite resembles the water of the sea and has a grain of gold within it, and sparks like fire. Its virtue is to counter night-time fears; if it is pierced, with the hair of an ass placed in the middle, and worn on the left arm, it puts demons to flight. It is found in Ethiopia. Beryl has a hexagonal shape to give it greater clarity; the better kind has the colour of oil or sea water. It is found in India. It bestows love between a man and a woman; it brings honour to him who wears it; it warms the hand of anyone who holds it; water in which it has lain is good for the eyes; and it takes away asthma and the pains of fevers. There are nine kinds. Topaz gets its name from the island, Topazos, where it is found. It is valued more because it has two kinds of radiance: one the colour of gold; the other, clearer. It is quite good for piles; it is said to feel the pull of the moon; and it causes water to stop boiling. It comes from Arabia. The chrysoprase comes from India. Its colour is like the sap of a leek, with golden marks; but there is nothing on record about its virtue. There are three kinds of hyacinth. Each one gives strength, and removes sadness and false suspicion. The kind with a watery colour chills you; anyone who wears it on his neck or finger can go in safety in foreign parts and is safe from overeating; he will be honoured by his enemies and anything he seeks in a righteous fashion, he will receive. The stone cannot be engraved. The amethyst is the colour of a violet or a drop of red wine or whiteish. It comes from India. It is easy to shatter. If it were rarer, it would be more valuable. There are five kinds to look for. Chelidony is a stone. It is found in the stomach of the swallow; it has two colours, black and red; the black kind is helpful to the insane, heals demonic possession and other kinds of weakness; it makes a man eloquent and loved; it should be worn on the left arm wrapped in a linen cloth. The red kind helps to bring things to completion; it offers protection against the threats and rages of kings and princes; if it is moistened in saffron and worn in a linen cloth, it heals anyone with a fever and restrains noxious humours. Jet comes from Lycia. The better kind is found in England. When it is made warm it attracts straw; it burns
  • Commentary

    Text

    The properties of various stones.

    Comment

    Initials type 4. Several corrections in the margin: 'nouem' [omission] / 'demonico's [rectifying ‘diamonicos’] / ? –

    Folio Attributes

    • Pricking

      Pricking

      Pricking
      Line pricking and ruling. Detail from f.7r

      Once the quires were arranged they had to be prepared for writing by drawing up the lines. Tiny parallel pinpricks were made on the outer and inner edges of each page and horizontal lines ruled between them. In a completed book these pinpricks should have been trimmed off during the final stages of production but in the Aberdeen Bestiary they have survived in 12 out of the 15 quires (only E , G and M are fully trimmed). Careful measuring shows that the holes were pricked with the quires folded up, using a long pointed pricker, because they are the same distance apart throughout an entire quire. In quires B and C there is a double hole on the penultimate line, indicating to the person ruling lines that the page is about to end. In these two quires the holes have a coarse triangular shape and are set up to 6mm in from the edge. Elsewhere the holes are smaller, circular and much closer to the edge. Pinpricks were also made at the top and bottom of the pages to provide vertical margins. These survive in every quire. In quires A.F,H,J,K,L,M and N there are single pricks for the vertical lines. In B and C there are double pricks and double margins while in G there are double pricks and a variety of single and double ruled lines. On f.48r (quire G) where there are double pricks for the margins, the wrong holes have been joined and the faulty diagonal line has been redrawn correctly.

    • Initial Type 4

      Initial Type 4

      Initial Type 4
      Type 4 initial. Detail from f.96v

      Type 4 initials are red or blue. On any given page they alternate red and blue regularly. Blue initials are embellished with red tassels and vice versa. The colouring and form of the letters is not very even and appears rather hurried in places. In the Bestiary proper, they appear on f.79v and f.80r. Thereafter this is the basic initial used in the thirteenth-century Lapidary addition, found from f.94r onwards. This suggests that gaps left in the twelfth-century text on ff. 79v and 80r were filled in when the book was completed in the later thirteenth century. The poor quality of the later work is apparent from f.94r onwards, and is apparent on f.79v where the wrong capital ‘U’ was inserted and later corrected to ‘F’ for Fagus, the beech tree.

  • Translation
    Sard gets its name from the island where it was first found; it is red in colour; the least valuable of gemstones, it has no virtue other than its beauty and the fact that it removes the harmful effect of the onyx stone. There are five kinds. Chrysolite resembles the water of the sea and has a grain of gold within it, and sparks like fire. Its virtue is to counter night-time fears; if it is pierced, with the hair of an ass placed in the middle, and worn on the left arm, it puts demons to flight. It is found in Ethiopia. Beryl has a hexagonal shape to give it greater clarity; the better kind has the colour of oil or sea water. It is found in India. It bestows love between a man and a woman; it brings honour to him who wears it; it warms the hand of anyone who holds it; water in which it has lain is good for the eyes; and it takes away asthma and the pains of fevers. There are nine kinds. Topaz gets its name from the island, Topazos, where it is found. It is valued more because it has two kinds of radiance: one the colour of gold; the other, clearer. It is quite good for piles; it is said to feel the pull of the moon; and it causes water to stop boiling. It comes from Arabia. The chrysoprase comes from India. Its colour is like the sap of a leek, with golden marks; but there is nothing on record about its virtue. There are three kinds of hyacinth. Each one gives strength, and removes sadness and false suspicion. The kind with a watery colour chills you; anyone who wears it on his neck or finger can go in safety in foreign parts and is safe from overeating; he will be honoured by his enemies and anything he seeks in a righteous fashion, he will receive. The stone cannot be engraved. The amethyst is the colour of a violet or a drop of red wine or whiteish. It comes from India. It is easy to shatter. If it were rarer, it would be more valuable. There are five kinds to look for. Chelidony is a stone. It is found in the stomach of the swallow; it has two colours, black and red; the black kind is helpful to the insane, heals demonic possession and other kinds of weakness; it makes a man eloquent and loved; it should be worn on the left arm wrapped in a linen cloth. The red kind helps to bring things to completion; it offers protection against the threats and rages of kings and princes; if it is moistened in saffron and worn in a linen cloth, it heals anyone with a fever and restrains noxious humours. Jet comes from Lycia. The better kind is found in England. When it is made warm it attracts straw; it burns
  • Transcription
    Sardinus nomen habet ab insula ubi prius inventa est, rubei coloris est\ vilissima gemmarum, nec aliud virtutis habet nisi pulcritudinem\ et quod aufert lapidi onide suum nocumentum, et hic quinque species habet.\ Crisolitus similitudinem habet aque maris, et interius granum auri,\ et scintille ut ignis, virtus eius est contra nocturnos timores, si perforetur et\ ponatur seta asine in medio et portetur in sinistro brachio, fugat de\mones et invenitur in Ethiopia. \ Berillus formam habet sex angularem\ ut maiorem reddat claritatem, qui melior est, colorem habet olei vel aque maris,\ in India invenitur amorem confert inter virum et mulierem, honorem\ ferenti, calefacit manum stringentis ipsum, aqua ubi iacuit valet oculis\ aufert suspiria, dolores et febrium et eius sunt novem species.\ Topazius nomen habet ex insula, et ubi invenitur, et carior est quia radiorum\ duas habet species, color unius sicut auri, alterius clarior aliquantu\lum valet ad ficum, et dicitur quod sentit lunam aquam bullientem fa\cit quiescere, venit de Arabia. \ Crisopassus venit de India, color\ eius ut ius porete guttas habet aureas, sed eius virtus non scribitur.\ Iacunctus tres habet species et omnis confortat, et tollit tristiciam et suspicio\nem vanam, quidam aquatici coloris infrigidit qui hunc portat collo\ vel digito tutus ire potest in alienam provinciam, et tutus ingurgita\cione, et honorabitur ab hostibus et quod iuste petit recipiat, et scul\pi non potest facere.\ Amatistus colorem habet viole vel [in] gut\te vini rubei vel aliquantulum [coloris] albidum, ex India ve\nit, facilis ad frangendum, carior esset si esset rarior, et quinque species habet\ quas require.\ Celidonius lapis est. Invenitur in ventre hyrun\dinis duos habet colores nigrum et rubeum, niger valet lu\naticis sanat diamonicos [demonicos] et alios langores, facit hominem\ eloquentem et dilectum, sinistro brachio debet ferri in panno lineo.\ Lapis rubeus [valet] adiuvat ad perficiendum quod incho\atur, valet contra minas et iras regum et principum, si tingatur\ in croco et feratur in lineo panno sanat febricitantem et restrin\git humores noxios.\ Gagates nascitur in Licia qui meli\or est, invenitur in Anglia, cum calescit attrait [attrahit] paleam ardet
Folio 102r - Of stones and what they can do, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen