The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 14v - De caprea; the wild goat


Translation Open Book View Download image for personal, teaching or research purposes Help Copyright

Help

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.

Shortcuts

(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 arround 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

Help

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.
but the proud he knoweth afar off.' (Psalms, 138:6) He created and established all things, and rules and judges and sees; and before anything arises in our hearts he foresees and understands it. Lastly, just as the goat perceives from afar hunters approaching, so Christ knew in advance the plot of his betrayer, saying: 'Behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.' (Matthew, 26:46) Of the wild goat The goat has these characteristics: when grazing, it moves from high to even higher pastures. It picks out good grass from bad by the sharpness of its eyes. It feeds by chewing the grass. When wounded, it hurries to find the herb dittany and, by touching it, is healed. In the same way, good preachers graze on the law of the Lord and take delight in good works as in good pastures, rising from one virtue to another. They choose good writings from bad with the eyes of the heart and meditate upon those they have chosen, that is they examine the good in the views expressed and, having pondered them, commit them to memory. Wounded by sin, they hurry back to Christ by confessing and are quickly healed. For this reason, Christ is rightly said to be like ditanny. For as dittany drives out iron from a wound and heals it, so Christ through confession casts out the devil and pardons sin. Of the monocerus

Text

The wild goat. The Monoceros.

Illustration

Two agile beasts lock horns in a roundel.

Comment

The illustration is not related to the text which describes the goats eating grass in high pastures. Pricking and ruling are visible. Initial indicator 'e' in right margin. Initial type 2.

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.

  • Ruling

    Ruling

    Ruling
    Ruling continues under the illustration. Detail from f.16r

    After the leaves had been pricked, they were ready for ruling. Most pages up to quire F have 29 lines (except for the heavily illustrated quire A). The remaining quires use 28, 30 or 31 lines. The most regular ruling is found in B and C: the two top and bottom lines extend across the whole page. The lines in A, B and C are ruled in a grey colour. From D onwards the lines are a darker brown. The horizontal lines here are also neater, not overlapping the vertical margins. This would suggest that the ruling in A,B and C was done by a different person from the rest. In D and E there is a triple spaced double line across the top and bottom of the page but thereafter the ruling patterns become somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes there are double spaced top and bottom lines, sometimes the number of lines varies. On f.18v, the normal pattern of 29 lines is inadequate. It would appear that the scribe himself had to add two additional lines below the bottom margin, in order to complete his tale. Generally, the written space is 185 x 110/115mm. The ruling appears to have been made without any plan for the illuminations: on f.14r and f.16r the ruled lines pass under the illustration. Two pairs of leaves were left blank. F.3v-f.4r were probably intended to be glued together in order to support the weight of paint and gold leaf on f.4v. f.6r and f.6v precede the Lion story. In the Ashmole Bestiary, the lion has two full page illustrations, which were probably intended here. Two pairs of leaves are glued together. F.56r has a hole in it, which is concealed by being glued to the next page, f.56v. F.93r is glued to f.93v, probably because of the gilded double illumination on f.93v.

  • Initial Indicators

    Initial Indicators

    Initial Indicators
    Initial indicator 'v'. Detail from f.16r

    When the scribe was writing he would leave a gap on the page where an initial was supposed to be inserted. To make sure that the illuminated letter was correct, the scribe would write a very small initial in the margin. They are written on the outside edge of the sheet. Over 30 of these small letters survive. Up to quire C they are marked with the same black ink as the text. After that both black and red ink are used.

  • Initial Type 2

    Initial Type 2

    Initial Type 2
    Type 2 initial. Detail from f.5v

    Type 2 is much more common. The letter is made with burnished gold, filled with a blue or brown background which is decorated with a delicate white tracery. Many of these are embellished with red or blue traces or sprays. The Aberdeen Bestiary is a very early example of the use of sprays which culminates in the art of William de Brailes in the mid-thirteenth century (Morgan 1982,no.68). An elaborate spray is on f.41v. The fine white filigree pattern is also found on some of the illuminations (f.3r, f.11r, f.12r) suggesting that the main illuminator also made these initials. This type generally occupies two lines. This initial is generally used to introduce each new animal.

Transcription

respicit, et alta a longe cognoscit, et omnia crevavit et con\didit, et regit et iudicet, et prospicit, et antequam in cordibus nostris\ aliquid oriatur, previdet et cognoscit. Denique sicut et capra a lon\ge cognoscit venantium adventum, ita Christus precivit [prescivit] insidi\as proditoris sui dicens: Ecce appropinquit qui me tradet.\ De Capra\ Caprea has habet\ naturas,\ quod pascendo de\ altis ad altiora\ tendit. Bonas\ herbas a noxiis\ oculorum acumi\ne eligit. Her\bas ruminat,\ vulnerata ad\ ditannum cur\rit, qua tacta\ sanatur. Sic boni\ predicatores, pas\centes in lege domini, et in bonis operibus quasi in bono pastu\ delectantes, de virtute in virtutem conscendunt. Bonas sen\tencias a malis oculis cordis eligunt, et electas ruminant,\ id est bonum perscrutantur, et ruminatas tradunt\ memorie. A peccato vulnerati, ad Christum confitentes re\currunt, et cito sanantur. Ideoque Christus bene ditannus\ dicitur. Sicut enim ditannus ferrum a vulnere depellit,\ et vulnus sanat, ita Christus per confessionem diabolum\ eicit, et peccatum ignoscit.\ De monocero\

Translation

but the proud he knoweth afar off.' (Psalms, 138:6) He created and established all things, and rules and judges and sees; and before anything arises in our hearts he foresees and understands it. Lastly, just as the goat perceives from afar hunters approaching, so Christ knew in advance the plot of his betrayer, saying: 'Behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.' (Matthew, 26:46) Of the wild goat The goat has these characteristics: when grazing, it moves from high to even higher pastures. It picks out good grass from bad by the sharpness of its eyes. It feeds by chewing the grass. When wounded, it hurries to find the herb dittany and, by touching it, is healed. In the same way, good preachers graze on the law of the Lord and take delight in good works as in good pastures, rising from one virtue to another. They choose good writings from bad with the eyes of the heart and meditate upon those they have chosen, that is they examine the good in the views expressed and, having pondered them, commit them to memory. Wounded by sin, they hurry back to Christ by confessing and are quickly healed. For this reason, Christ is rightly said to be like ditanny. For as dittany drives out iron from a wound and heals it, so Christ through confession casts out the devil and pardons sin. Of the monocerus
  • Commentary

    Text

    The wild goat. The Monoceros.

    Illustration

    Two agile beasts lock horns in a roundel.

    Comment

    The illustration is not related to the text which describes the goats eating grass in high pastures. Pricking and ruling are visible. Initial indicator 'e' in right margin. Initial type 2.

    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.

    • Ruling

      Ruling

      Ruling
      Ruling continues under the illustration. Detail from f.16r

      After the leaves had been pricked, they were ready for ruling. Most pages up to quire F have 29 lines (except for the heavily illustrated quire A). The remaining quires use 28, 30 or 31 lines. The most regular ruling is found in B and C: the two top and bottom lines extend across the whole page. The lines in A, B and C are ruled in a grey colour. From D onwards the lines are a darker brown. The horizontal lines here are also neater, not overlapping the vertical margins. This would suggest that the ruling in A,B and C was done by a different person from the rest. In D and E there is a triple spaced double line across the top and bottom of the page but thereafter the ruling patterns become somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes there are double spaced top and bottom lines, sometimes the number of lines varies. On f.18v, the normal pattern of 29 lines is inadequate. It would appear that the scribe himself had to add two additional lines below the bottom margin, in order to complete his tale. Generally, the written space is 185 x 110/115mm. The ruling appears to have been made without any plan for the illuminations: on f.14r and f.16r the ruled lines pass under the illustration. Two pairs of leaves were left blank. F.3v-f.4r were probably intended to be glued together in order to support the weight of paint and gold leaf on f.4v. f.6r and f.6v precede the Lion story. In the Ashmole Bestiary, the lion has two full page illustrations, which were probably intended here. Two pairs of leaves are glued together. F.56r has a hole in it, which is concealed by being glued to the next page, f.56v. F.93r is glued to f.93v, probably because of the gilded double illumination on f.93v.

    • Initial Indicators

      Initial Indicators

      Initial Indicators
      Initial indicator 'v'. Detail from f.16r

      When the scribe was writing he would leave a gap on the page where an initial was supposed to be inserted. To make sure that the illuminated letter was correct, the scribe would write a very small initial in the margin. They are written on the outside edge of the sheet. Over 30 of these small letters survive. Up to quire C they are marked with the same black ink as the text. After that both black and red ink are used.

    • Initial Type 2

      Initial Type 2

      Initial Type 2
      Type 2 initial. Detail from f.5v

      Type 2 is much more common. The letter is made with burnished gold, filled with a blue or brown background which is decorated with a delicate white tracery. Many of these are embellished with red or blue traces or sprays. The Aberdeen Bestiary is a very early example of the use of sprays which culminates in the art of William de Brailes in the mid-thirteenth century (Morgan 1982,no.68). An elaborate spray is on f.41v. The fine white filigree pattern is also found on some of the illuminations (f.3r, f.11r, f.12r) suggesting that the main illuminator also made these initials. This type generally occupies two lines. This initial is generally used to introduce each new animal.

  • Translation
    but the proud he knoweth afar off.' (Psalms, 138:6) He created and established all things, and rules and judges and sees; and before anything arises in our hearts he foresees and understands it. Lastly, just as the goat perceives from afar hunters approaching, so Christ knew in advance the plot of his betrayer, saying: 'Behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.' (Matthew, 26:46) Of the wild goat The goat has these characteristics: when grazing, it moves from high to even higher pastures. It picks out good grass from bad by the sharpness of its eyes. It feeds by chewing the grass. When wounded, it hurries to find the herb dittany and, by touching it, is healed. In the same way, good preachers graze on the law of the Lord and take delight in good works as in good pastures, rising from one virtue to another. They choose good writings from bad with the eyes of the heart and meditate upon those they have chosen, that is they examine the good in the views expressed and, having pondered them, commit them to memory. Wounded by sin, they hurry back to Christ by confessing and are quickly healed. For this reason, Christ is rightly said to be like ditanny. For as dittany drives out iron from a wound and heals it, so Christ through confession casts out the devil and pardons sin. Of the monocerus
  • Transcription
    respicit, et alta a longe cognoscit, et omnia crevavit et con\didit, et regit et iudicet, et prospicit, et antequam in cordibus nostris\ aliquid oriatur, previdet et cognoscit. Denique sicut et capra a lon\ge cognoscit venantium adventum, ita Christus precivit [prescivit] insidi\as proditoris sui dicens: Ecce appropinquit qui me tradet.\ De Capra\ Caprea has habet\ naturas,\ quod pascendo de\ altis ad altiora\ tendit. Bonas\ herbas a noxiis\ oculorum acumi\ne eligit. Her\bas ruminat,\ vulnerata ad\ ditannum cur\rit, qua tacta\ sanatur. Sic boni\ predicatores, pas\centes in lege domini, et in bonis operibus quasi in bono pastu\ delectantes, de virtute in virtutem conscendunt. Bonas sen\tencias a malis oculis cordis eligunt, et electas ruminant,\ id est bonum perscrutantur, et ruminatas tradunt\ memorie. A peccato vulnerati, ad Christum confitentes re\currunt, et cito sanantur. Ideoque Christus bene ditannus\ dicitur. Sicut enim ditannus ferrum a vulnere depellit,\ et vulnus sanat, ita Christus per confessionem diabolum\ eicit, et peccatum ignoscit.\ De monocero\
Folio 14v - De caprea; the wild goat | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen