The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 17v - Wolf, 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.
never turns towards the correction of penitence. Now what is to be done for a man when the wolf has taken away his power of shouting, when he has lost even the power of speech; he loses the help of those who are at a distance. But what is to be done? The man should take off his clothes and trample them underfoot, and taking two stones in his hands, he should beat one against the other. What happens then? The wolf, losing the boldness that comes with its courage will run away. The man, saved by his cleverness, will be free, as he was in the beginning. This is to be understood in spiritual terms and can be taken to a higher level as an allegory. For what do we mean by the wolf if not the Devil? What by the man, if not sin? What by the stones, if not the apostles, or other saints of our Lord? For they are all called by the prophet 'stones of adamant'.(see Ezekiel, 3:9) For our Lord himself is called in the law 'as tumbling stone and rock of offence'; (see Romans, 9:33, 1 Peter,2:8) and the prophet says of him: 'I saw a man standing on a mountain of adamant.' [SOURCE] Before we were finally redeemed, we were under the power of the enemy and had lost the capacity to call for help, and much as our sins required it, we were not heard by God, nor could we call any of the saints to our aid. But after God in his mercy bestowed his grace upon us in his son, in the act of baptism we laid aside, like old clothes, the person we were before, withall his deeds, and put on, like new clothes, a new person made in the image of God. Then we took stones in our hands and beat them one against the other, because we attract with our prayers the attention of the saints of God, who now reign with him in heaven, asking them to gain the ear of God, our judge, and procure a pardon for our sin, lest Cerberus, whom we do not know should swallow us up, rejoicing in our death. Wolves mate on no more than twelve days in the year. They can go hungry for a long time, and after long fasts, eat a large amount. Ethiopia produces wolves with manes, so diversely coloured, men say, that no hue is lacking. A characteristic of Ethiopian wolves

Text

The allegory of the wolf.

Comment

Pricking and ruling are visible.

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.

Transcription

tudinis correctionem [A: correptionem] nunquam flecti. Quid vero agendum est homini\ cui lupus abstulit vires clamandi , qui vero non habet potestatem vocife\randi, perdit auxilium longe stantis. Sed quid agendum sit?\ Deponat vestimentum suum homo pedibus suis conculcandum\ sumens in manibus duos lapides quos feriat alterutrum. Quid\ inde? Lupus audaciam sue virtutis perdens, fugiet. Homo vero\ tutus suo ingenio liber erit sicut in principio. Spiritualiter autem hoc\ intelligendum est atque ad superiorem locum allegorice, est di\cendum [PL: discendum]. Quid enim per lupum nisi diabolum? Quid per\ hominem nisi peccatum? Quid per lapides nisi apostolos, seu\ ceteros sanctos vel dominum nostrum significare poterimus? Omnes enim\ per prophetam adamantini lapides dicti sunt. Ipse enim dominus noster\ Iesu Christus in lege vocatus lapis offensionis, et petra scan\dali, de quo dicit propheta: Vidi virum stantem supra montem\ adamantinum. Antequam denique redempti essemus, sub potesta\te inimici eramus, vocemque clamandi perdideramus quoniam pec\catis nostris exigentibus a deo non audiebamur, neque aliquem\ sanctorum in auxilium nobis interpellabamus. Postquam vero clemens\ dominus gratificavit nos in filio suo, deposuimus in baptismo\ veterem hominem cum actibus suis, ac induimus novum qui\ secundum dominum creatus est. Deinde sumpsimus lapides in manibus\ de quibus alterutrum ferimus, quia sanctos dei qui iam in celis reg\nant cum ipso, nostri oris ferimus alloquio, ut et ipsi au\res pulsent iudicis, ac veniam nobis impetrent criminis\ ne nos quem nescimus sorbeat Cerberus, gaudens nostro interitu.\ Lupi toto anno non amplius quam dies xii coeunt; famem diu\ portant, et post longa ieiunia multum devorant. Lupos \ Ethiopia mittit, cervice iubatos, et tanto varios ut nul\lum eis colorem dicunt abesse. Ethopicis lupis proprium\

Translation

never turns towards the correction of penitence. Now what is to be done for a man when the wolf has taken away his power of shouting, when he has lost even the power of speech; he loses the help of those who are at a distance. But what is to be done? The man should take off his clothes and trample them underfoot, and taking two stones in his hands, he should beat one against the other. What happens then? The wolf, losing the boldness that comes with its courage will run away. The man, saved by his cleverness, will be free, as he was in the beginning. This is to be understood in spiritual terms and can be taken to a higher level as an allegory. For what do we mean by the wolf if not the Devil? What by the man, if not sin? What by the stones, if not the apostles, or other saints of our Lord? For they are all called by the prophet 'stones of adamant'.(see Ezekiel, 3:9) For our Lord himself is called in the law 'as tumbling stone and rock of offence'; (see Romans, 9:33, 1 Peter,2:8) and the prophet says of him: 'I saw a man standing on a mountain of adamant.' [SOURCE] Before we were finally redeemed, we were under the power of the enemy and had lost the capacity to call for help, and much as our sins required it, we were not heard by God, nor could we call any of the saints to our aid. But after God in his mercy bestowed his grace upon us in his son, in the act of baptism we laid aside, like old clothes, the person we were before, withall his deeds, and put on, like new clothes, a new person made in the image of God. Then we took stones in our hands and beat them one against the other, because we attract with our prayers the attention of the saints of God, who now reign with him in heaven, asking them to gain the ear of God, our judge, and procure a pardon for our sin, lest Cerberus, whom we do not know should swallow us up, rejoicing in our death. Wolves mate on no more than twelve days in the year. They can go hungry for a long time, and after long fasts, eat a large amount. Ethiopia produces wolves with manes, so diversely coloured, men say, that no hue is lacking. A characteristic of Ethiopian wolves
  • Commentary

    Text

    The allegory of the wolf.

    Comment

    Pricking and ruling are visible.

    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.

  • Translation
    never turns towards the correction of penitence. Now what is to be done for a man when the wolf has taken away his power of shouting, when he has lost even the power of speech; he loses the help of those who are at a distance. But what is to be done? The man should take off his clothes and trample them underfoot, and taking two stones in his hands, he should beat one against the other. What happens then? The wolf, losing the boldness that comes with its courage will run away. The man, saved by his cleverness, will be free, as he was in the beginning. This is to be understood in spiritual terms and can be taken to a higher level as an allegory. For what do we mean by the wolf if not the Devil? What by the man, if not sin? What by the stones, if not the apostles, or other saints of our Lord? For they are all called by the prophet 'stones of adamant'.(see Ezekiel, 3:9) For our Lord himself is called in the law 'as tumbling stone and rock of offence'; (see Romans, 9:33, 1 Peter,2:8) and the prophet says of him: 'I saw a man standing on a mountain of adamant.' [SOURCE] Before we were finally redeemed, we were under the power of the enemy and had lost the capacity to call for help, and much as our sins required it, we were not heard by God, nor could we call any of the saints to our aid. But after God in his mercy bestowed his grace upon us in his son, in the act of baptism we laid aside, like old clothes, the person we were before, withall his deeds, and put on, like new clothes, a new person made in the image of God. Then we took stones in our hands and beat them one against the other, because we attract with our prayers the attention of the saints of God, who now reign with him in heaven, asking them to gain the ear of God, our judge, and procure a pardon for our sin, lest Cerberus, whom we do not know should swallow us up, rejoicing in our death. Wolves mate on no more than twelve days in the year. They can go hungry for a long time, and after long fasts, eat a large amount. Ethiopia produces wolves with manes, so diversely coloured, men say, that no hue is lacking. A characteristic of Ethiopian wolves
  • Transcription
    tudinis correctionem [A: correptionem] nunquam flecti. Quid vero agendum est homini\ cui lupus abstulit vires clamandi , qui vero non habet potestatem vocife\randi, perdit auxilium longe stantis. Sed quid agendum sit?\ Deponat vestimentum suum homo pedibus suis conculcandum\ sumens in manibus duos lapides quos feriat alterutrum. Quid\ inde? Lupus audaciam sue virtutis perdens, fugiet. Homo vero\ tutus suo ingenio liber erit sicut in principio. Spiritualiter autem hoc\ intelligendum est atque ad superiorem locum allegorice, est di\cendum [PL: discendum]. Quid enim per lupum nisi diabolum? Quid per\ hominem nisi peccatum? Quid per lapides nisi apostolos, seu\ ceteros sanctos vel dominum nostrum significare poterimus? Omnes enim\ per prophetam adamantini lapides dicti sunt. Ipse enim dominus noster\ Iesu Christus in lege vocatus lapis offensionis, et petra scan\dali, de quo dicit propheta: Vidi virum stantem supra montem\ adamantinum. Antequam denique redempti essemus, sub potesta\te inimici eramus, vocemque clamandi perdideramus quoniam pec\catis nostris exigentibus a deo non audiebamur, neque aliquem\ sanctorum in auxilium nobis interpellabamus. Postquam vero clemens\ dominus gratificavit nos in filio suo, deposuimus in baptismo\ veterem hominem cum actibus suis, ac induimus novum qui\ secundum dominum creatus est. Deinde sumpsimus lapides in manibus\ de quibus alterutrum ferimus, quia sanctos dei qui iam in celis reg\nant cum ipso, nostri oris ferimus alloquio, ut et ipsi au\res pulsent iudicis, ac veniam nobis impetrent criminis\ ne nos quem nescimus sorbeat Cerberus, gaudens nostro interitu.\ Lupi toto anno non amplius quam dies xii coeunt; famem diu\ portant, et post longa ieiunia multum devorant. Lupos \ Ethiopia mittit, cervice iubatos, et tanto varios ut nul\lum eis colorem dicunt abesse. Ethopicis lupis proprium\
Folio 17v - Wolf, continued | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen