The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 103v - Of stones and what they can do, continued.


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Commentary, Translation and Transcription

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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.
and against snakebite; taken with honey it is good for eye trouble; and it softens the stone in the bladder. It comes from Africa, Ethiopia and Arabia. Asbestos comes from Arcadia. It has a metallic colour. Its nature is that if you once ignite it, it burns forever. Penantes conceives and gives birth to another stone; for this reason it is good for women who are pregnant or in labour. Sagda is hard to find. This is how you find it: it sticks to ships and cannot be taken or cut off. It is found in the country of the Chaldeans. Medus is found among the Turks. It bestows life and death if it is ground on a green grindstone and mixed with a woman's milk. Placed on sightless eyes, it restores their vision. Dissolved in the milk of a ewe that has had no more than one lamb, and that one a male, it takes away gout and cures the kidneys. It should be kept in silver and drunk in the evening and before lunch. If the powder is administered in water, whoever drinks it will vomit up his lungs and die; and if he bathes his eyes with it, he will go blind. Its colour is black. Gelatia is a stone so hard that it cannot be shattered and so cold that it cannot be warmed. Exacontalitus has sixty colours within it. It is found in the land of the cave-dwellers. Dionysia is black in colour, with red marks. Ground in water, it has the flavour of wine; nevertheless, it banishes drunkenness. Chryselectrum has the colour of gold and amber. If it is given in the morning it brings joy; but it brings anger and sadness if it is not looked at often. Diadocos is of value to those who cast spells in water, but if it touches a dead man it loses its virtue. Pyrite does not allow you to grasp it, because if you do so, it burns your hand. Chelonite is a stone, carried by a certain kind of tortoise in India. It is a mixture of purple and other colours. If you put it in your mouth, well washed, under your tongue, at the waxing of the moon, it gives you the power to see the future; on the first day you can do this up to the sixth hour; when the moon is new, you have the power for the full twenty-four hours, up to the fifteenth day. This stone is unaffected by fire.

Text

The properties of various stones.

Comment

Initials type 4.

Folio Attributes

  • 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

num, contra morsum serpentis, cum melle valet oculis dolentibus\ frangit petram interius venit de Affrica et Ethiopia et Arabia.\ Abestos est de Archadia, color ferri, cuius natura si semel accenditur\ semper ardet.\ Penantes concipit lapidem et parit et\ propterea valet mulieribus habentibus in ventrem et parturientibus.\ Sadda gravis ad inveniendum sic invenitur, adheret navibus\ nec aufertur nec cecetur [secetur], in terra Caldeorum invenitur.\ Modus [Medus] intra Turcorum invenitur confert vitam et mortem\ si confricatur ad cotim viridem et misceatur cum lacte mulieri\ et ponatur ad oculos cecos dat visum, si cum lacte ovis que nusquam\ nisi unum agnum habuerit, aufert podagram et sanat renes, de\bet includi argento et quando sic bibitur debet vespere, et ante pran\dium, sed si daretur pulvis cum aqua, evomaret pulmonem\ et hic moreretur, et sic lavans oculos excecaretur, color eius niger est.\ Selaor [Gelatia] lapis adeo durus quod frangi non potest et adeo frigidos quod\ non calefieri potest. Exacontalitos sexaginta habet colo\res in proprio loco invenitur in terra draconitidarum. \ Dionisia colo\rem habet nigrum, guttas rubeas, cum aqua trita saporem habet vini et\ tamen aufert ebrietatem.\ Eriselectrus [Criselectrus] colorem habet auri et electri,\ si detur mane fert gaudium, sed iram et tristiciam nisi sepius videatur.\ Diadocos valet incantatoribus per aquam, sed si tangat mor\tuum amittit virtutem. Pirites non permittit quod stringatur\ quia si constringitur ardet manum.\ Chelonite lapis quem fert testudo quidam in India, purpurei et\ varii coloris est, si feratur in ore bene lavato sub lingua, lu\na crescente, potest futura videre, a prima diei usque ad sextam, et cum\ nova est luna est xva per totum diem, hic lapis non tenet ignem.

Translation

and against snakebite; taken with honey it is good for eye trouble; and it softens the stone in the bladder. It comes from Africa, Ethiopia and Arabia. Asbestos comes from Arcadia. It has a metallic colour. Its nature is that if you once ignite it, it burns forever. Penantes conceives and gives birth to another stone; for this reason it is good for women who are pregnant or in labour. Sagda is hard to find. This is how you find it: it sticks to ships and cannot be taken or cut off. It is found in the country of the Chaldeans. Medus is found among the Turks. It bestows life and death if it is ground on a green grindstone and mixed with a woman's milk. Placed on sightless eyes, it restores their vision. Dissolved in the milk of a ewe that has had no more than one lamb, and that one a male, it takes away gout and cures the kidneys. It should be kept in silver and drunk in the evening and before lunch. If the powder is administered in water, whoever drinks it will vomit up his lungs and die; and if he bathes his eyes with it, he will go blind. Its colour is black. Gelatia is a stone so hard that it cannot be shattered and so cold that it cannot be warmed. Exacontalitus has sixty colours within it. It is found in the land of the cave-dwellers. Dionysia is black in colour, with red marks. Ground in water, it has the flavour of wine; nevertheless, it banishes drunkenness. Chryselectrum has the colour of gold and amber. If it is given in the morning it brings joy; but it brings anger and sadness if it is not looked at often. Diadocos is of value to those who cast spells in water, but if it touches a dead man it loses its virtue. Pyrite does not allow you to grasp it, because if you do so, it burns your hand. Chelonite is a stone, carried by a certain kind of tortoise in India. It is a mixture of purple and other colours. If you put it in your mouth, well washed, under your tongue, at the waxing of the moon, it gives you the power to see the future; on the first day you can do this up to the sixth hour; when the moon is new, you have the power for the full twenty-four hours, up to the fifteenth day. This stone is unaffected by fire.
  • Commentary

    Text

    The properties of various stones.

    Comment

    Initials type 4.

    Folio Attributes

    • 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
    and against snakebite; taken with honey it is good for eye trouble; and it softens the stone in the bladder. It comes from Africa, Ethiopia and Arabia. Asbestos comes from Arcadia. It has a metallic colour. Its nature is that if you once ignite it, it burns forever. Penantes conceives and gives birth to another stone; for this reason it is good for women who are pregnant or in labour. Sagda is hard to find. This is how you find it: it sticks to ships and cannot be taken or cut off. It is found in the country of the Chaldeans. Medus is found among the Turks. It bestows life and death if it is ground on a green grindstone and mixed with a woman's milk. Placed on sightless eyes, it restores their vision. Dissolved in the milk of a ewe that has had no more than one lamb, and that one a male, it takes away gout and cures the kidneys. It should be kept in silver and drunk in the evening and before lunch. If the powder is administered in water, whoever drinks it will vomit up his lungs and die; and if he bathes his eyes with it, he will go blind. Its colour is black. Gelatia is a stone so hard that it cannot be shattered and so cold that it cannot be warmed. Exacontalitus has sixty colours within it. It is found in the land of the cave-dwellers. Dionysia is black in colour, with red marks. Ground in water, it has the flavour of wine; nevertheless, it banishes drunkenness. Chryselectrum has the colour of gold and amber. If it is given in the morning it brings joy; but it brings anger and sadness if it is not looked at often. Diadocos is of value to those who cast spells in water, but if it touches a dead man it loses its virtue. Pyrite does not allow you to grasp it, because if you do so, it burns your hand. Chelonite is a stone, carried by a certain kind of tortoise in India. It is a mixture of purple and other colours. If you put it in your mouth, well washed, under your tongue, at the waxing of the moon, it gives you the power to see the future; on the first day you can do this up to the sixth hour; when the moon is new, you have the power for the full twenty-four hours, up to the fifteenth day. This stone is unaffected by fire.
  • Transcription
    num, contra morsum serpentis, cum melle valet oculis dolentibus\ frangit petram interius venit de Affrica et Ethiopia et Arabia.\ Abestos est de Archadia, color ferri, cuius natura si semel accenditur\ semper ardet.\ Penantes concipit lapidem et parit et\ propterea valet mulieribus habentibus in ventrem et parturientibus.\ Sadda gravis ad inveniendum sic invenitur, adheret navibus\ nec aufertur nec cecetur [secetur], in terra Caldeorum invenitur.\ Modus [Medus] intra Turcorum invenitur confert vitam et mortem\ si confricatur ad cotim viridem et misceatur cum lacte mulieri\ et ponatur ad oculos cecos dat visum, si cum lacte ovis que nusquam\ nisi unum agnum habuerit, aufert podagram et sanat renes, de\bet includi argento et quando sic bibitur debet vespere, et ante pran\dium, sed si daretur pulvis cum aqua, evomaret pulmonem\ et hic moreretur, et sic lavans oculos excecaretur, color eius niger est.\ Selaor [Gelatia] lapis adeo durus quod frangi non potest et adeo frigidos quod\ non calefieri potest. Exacontalitos sexaginta habet colo\res in proprio loco invenitur in terra draconitidarum. \ Dionisia colo\rem habet nigrum, guttas rubeas, cum aqua trita saporem habet vini et\ tamen aufert ebrietatem.\ Eriselectrus [Criselectrus] colorem habet auri et electri,\ si detur mane fert gaudium, sed iram et tristiciam nisi sepius videatur.\ Diadocos valet incantatoribus per aquam, sed si tangat mor\tuum amittit virtutem. Pirites non permittit quod stringatur\ quia si constringitur ardet manum.\ Chelonite lapis quem fert testudo quidam in India, purpurei et\ varii coloris est, si feratur in ore bene lavato sub lingua, lu\na crescente, potest futura videre, a prima diei usque ad sextam, et cum\ nova est luna est xva per totum diem, hic lapis non tenet ignem.
Folio 103v - Of stones and what they can do, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen