The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 103r - 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.
flux and takes away jaundice. Eaglestone is a stone which the eagle carries from the ends of the earth to its nest. It does not put the stone down until it is inside the nest; there the stone remains until the eagle's young have grown up. This stone has another stone within it: for this reason it is of benefit to pregant women; likewise at childbirth. It should be worn on the left side. It prevents drunkenness; it increases wealth; it bestows love and victory; it keeps young children healthy; and it takes away epilepsy. If anyone should be suspected of giving poison, the stone should be placed under his plate; as long as it stays there, the suspect will not be able to eat; if the suspicion is true, he can eat only when the stone has been removed. Moonstone has the colour of jasper. It is called silenites because it waxes and wanes with the moon. It bestows love; it is good for the health. It comes from Persia. Gagatromen is a stone which is marked like the skin of a a wild goat. It gives a leader victory and puts his enemies to flight. The thunderstone falls to earth with a bolt of lightning. If you wear it and behave chastely, lightning will not strike the spot on which you stand, and no storms will arise. It helps you in war and to achieve your purpose. It bestows sleep and sweet dreams. It has two colours. The bloodstone is of this nature: if you place it in a vessel facing the sun, it makes the sun turn red and causes a new eclipse; it also makes the vessel boil and spill water if it is full. Anyone wearing it can foretell much of the future. It bestows praise on a man, and good health. It staunches a flow of blood and works against poison and trickery. If you wear it together with the herb of the same name, you can go where you want, invisible, using the appropriate spell. The bloodstone comes from Ethiopia and Africa. It is of the colour of the emerald with blood-coloured marks. Epistites is a brilliant red stone. Its nature is that it quenches a boiling cauldron, and after a short while cools it. It scares harmful birds away from seeded ground; it repels storms; it banishes quarrels; and it keeps you safe safe. Placed in the sun, it gives out light like fire; It is better worn on the left. Hematite gets its name from blood. Powdered and mixed with the white of egg, it is good for roughness of the eyelids. Ground and mixed with water, it helps anyone who spits blood. It restrains menstruation; it takes away the scar tissue that grows in wounds; and it restrains a flux of the stomach. Drunk in wine, it works against poison

Text

The properties of various stones.

Comment

Initials type 4.

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

fluxum et aufert janiz.\ Ethites est lapis quem aquila ex ultimis finibus terre fert ad nidum\ suum, nec ponit antequam in nidum portetur et ibi remanet quo\adusque pulli maturi sint. Hic lapis lapidem habet intra se, et propterea\ utilis est mulieri pregnanti, et similiter ad partum debet deferri in sinistra parte\ perhibet ebrietatem, accrescit divicias, confert dilectionem et victoriam,\ conservat infantes sanos, aufert guttam caducam, et siquis suspectus\ fuerit de veneno dando ponatur lapis iste sub disco eius et quamdiu moratur\ ibi non manducabit qui suspectus est, si verum est amoto lapide potest.\ Celnites est lapis colorem habet iaspidis, vocatur silenites quia crescit et\ decrescit cum luna, confert dilectionem, valet corpori, nascitur in\ Persia\ Sagatromen [Gagatronem] lapis maculatus est ut pellis ca\preoli, confert principi victoriam, et fugat hostes.\ Ceraunius lapis est cadens cum fulgure, qui cum caste fertur ubi est\ nec cadit fulgur nec tempestas, valet in bello et in pla\cito, confert sensum [somnium] et pulcra fantasmata. Dupplicem habet colorem.\ Eliotropia lapis huius nature, si ponatur in vasa contra solem facit\ colorem eius rubeum, et eclipsim novam et cito ebullire vas\ in quo ponitur et aqua eicere hac si plenum esset, qui fert plura potest dicere de\ futuris, confert homini laudem, sanitatem, sistit sanguinem, est contra\ venenum et fraudem, collatus cum herba que eiusdem nominis esse, pergit\ quo voluerit non videbitur, et hoc cum incantatione que ad hoc spectat.\ Venit de Ethiopia et Affrica, coloris est smaragdinis et guttas habet\ sanguineas.\ Epistites lapis rubeus et splendens, et eius\ natura est quod caldaria ebulliencia sistit, et post pauca infri\gidat aufert de terris seminatis aves nocentes, et tempestates,\ aufert rixas, et facit hominem securum, si contra solem ponatur\ claritatem reddat ut ignis, vult ferri ex parte sinistra.\ Ematites nomen habet ex sanguine, pulvis eius cum albu\ bine [albumine] ovis valet ad asperitatem palpebrarum. Item per cotim\ factus et aque mixtus valet equo [eo] qui iactat sanguinem, restringit\ mensium, aufert carnem que super excrescit in plaga, restrin\git fluxum ventris, si bibatur cum vino valet contra vene\

Translation

flux and takes away jaundice. Eaglestone is a stone which the eagle carries from the ends of the earth to its nest. It does not put the stone down until it is inside the nest; there the stone remains until the eagle's young have grown up. This stone has another stone within it: for this reason it is of benefit to pregant women; likewise at childbirth. It should be worn on the left side. It prevents drunkenness; it increases wealth; it bestows love and victory; it keeps young children healthy; and it takes away epilepsy. If anyone should be suspected of giving poison, the stone should be placed under his plate; as long as it stays there, the suspect will not be able to eat; if the suspicion is true, he can eat only when the stone has been removed. Moonstone has the colour of jasper. It is called silenites because it waxes and wanes with the moon. It bestows love; it is good for the health. It comes from Persia. Gagatromen is a stone which is marked like the skin of a a wild goat. It gives a leader victory and puts his enemies to flight. The thunderstone falls to earth with a bolt of lightning. If you wear it and behave chastely, lightning will not strike the spot on which you stand, and no storms will arise. It helps you in war and to achieve your purpose. It bestows sleep and sweet dreams. It has two colours. The bloodstone is of this nature: if you place it in a vessel facing the sun, it makes the sun turn red and causes a new eclipse; it also makes the vessel boil and spill water if it is full. Anyone wearing it can foretell much of the future. It bestows praise on a man, and good health. It staunches a flow of blood and works against poison and trickery. If you wear it together with the herb of the same name, you can go where you want, invisible, using the appropriate spell. The bloodstone comes from Ethiopia and Africa. It is of the colour of the emerald with blood-coloured marks. Epistites is a brilliant red stone. Its nature is that it quenches a boiling cauldron, and after a short while cools it. It scares harmful birds away from seeded ground; it repels storms; it banishes quarrels; and it keeps you safe safe. Placed in the sun, it gives out light like fire; It is better worn on the left. Hematite gets its name from blood. Powdered and mixed with the white of egg, it is good for roughness of the eyelids. Ground and mixed with water, it helps anyone who spits blood. It restrains menstruation; it takes away the scar tissue that grows in wounds; and it restrains a flux of the stomach. Drunk in wine, it works against poison
  • Commentary

    Text

    The properties of various stones.

    Comment

    Initials type 4.

    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
    flux and takes away jaundice. Eaglestone is a stone which the eagle carries from the ends of the earth to its nest. It does not put the stone down until it is inside the nest; there the stone remains until the eagle's young have grown up. This stone has another stone within it: for this reason it is of benefit to pregant women; likewise at childbirth. It should be worn on the left side. It prevents drunkenness; it increases wealth; it bestows love and victory; it keeps young children healthy; and it takes away epilepsy. If anyone should be suspected of giving poison, the stone should be placed under his plate; as long as it stays there, the suspect will not be able to eat; if the suspicion is true, he can eat only when the stone has been removed. Moonstone has the colour of jasper. It is called silenites because it waxes and wanes with the moon. It bestows love; it is good for the health. It comes from Persia. Gagatromen is a stone which is marked like the skin of a a wild goat. It gives a leader victory and puts his enemies to flight. The thunderstone falls to earth with a bolt of lightning. If you wear it and behave chastely, lightning will not strike the spot on which you stand, and no storms will arise. It helps you in war and to achieve your purpose. It bestows sleep and sweet dreams. It has two colours. The bloodstone is of this nature: if you place it in a vessel facing the sun, it makes the sun turn red and causes a new eclipse; it also makes the vessel boil and spill water if it is full. Anyone wearing it can foretell much of the future. It bestows praise on a man, and good health. It staunches a flow of blood and works against poison and trickery. If you wear it together with the herb of the same name, you can go where you want, invisible, using the appropriate spell. The bloodstone comes from Ethiopia and Africa. It is of the colour of the emerald with blood-coloured marks. Epistites is a brilliant red stone. Its nature is that it quenches a boiling cauldron, and after a short while cools it. It scares harmful birds away from seeded ground; it repels storms; it banishes quarrels; and it keeps you safe safe. Placed in the sun, it gives out light like fire; It is better worn on the left. Hematite gets its name from blood. Powdered and mixed with the white of egg, it is good for roughness of the eyelids. Ground and mixed with water, it helps anyone who spits blood. It restrains menstruation; it takes away the scar tissue that grows in wounds; and it restrains a flux of the stomach. Drunk in wine, it works against poison
  • Transcription
    fluxum et aufert janiz.\ Ethites est lapis quem aquila ex ultimis finibus terre fert ad nidum\ suum, nec ponit antequam in nidum portetur et ibi remanet quo\adusque pulli maturi sint. Hic lapis lapidem habet intra se, et propterea\ utilis est mulieri pregnanti, et similiter ad partum debet deferri in sinistra parte\ perhibet ebrietatem, accrescit divicias, confert dilectionem et victoriam,\ conservat infantes sanos, aufert guttam caducam, et siquis suspectus\ fuerit de veneno dando ponatur lapis iste sub disco eius et quamdiu moratur\ ibi non manducabit qui suspectus est, si verum est amoto lapide potest.\ Celnites est lapis colorem habet iaspidis, vocatur silenites quia crescit et\ decrescit cum luna, confert dilectionem, valet corpori, nascitur in\ Persia\ Sagatromen [Gagatronem] lapis maculatus est ut pellis ca\preoli, confert principi victoriam, et fugat hostes.\ Ceraunius lapis est cadens cum fulgure, qui cum caste fertur ubi est\ nec cadit fulgur nec tempestas, valet in bello et in pla\cito, confert sensum [somnium] et pulcra fantasmata. Dupplicem habet colorem.\ Eliotropia lapis huius nature, si ponatur in vasa contra solem facit\ colorem eius rubeum, et eclipsim novam et cito ebullire vas\ in quo ponitur et aqua eicere hac si plenum esset, qui fert plura potest dicere de\ futuris, confert homini laudem, sanitatem, sistit sanguinem, est contra\ venenum et fraudem, collatus cum herba que eiusdem nominis esse, pergit\ quo voluerit non videbitur, et hoc cum incantatione que ad hoc spectat.\ Venit de Ethiopia et Affrica, coloris est smaragdinis et guttas habet\ sanguineas.\ Epistites lapis rubeus et splendens, et eius\ natura est quod caldaria ebulliencia sistit, et post pauca infri\gidat aufert de terris seminatis aves nocentes, et tempestates,\ aufert rixas, et facit hominem securum, si contra solem ponatur\ claritatem reddat ut ignis, vult ferri ex parte sinistra.\ Ematites nomen habet ex sanguine, pulvis eius cum albu\ bine [albumine] ovis valet ad asperitatem palpebrarum. Item per cotim\ factus et aque mixtus valet equo [eo] qui iactat sanguinem, restringit\ mensium, aufert carnem que super excrescit in plaga, restrin\git fluxum ventris, si bibatur cum vino valet contra vene\
Folio 103r - Of stones and what they can do, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen