The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 22v - the horse 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.
as the ancients said, you look for four things: form, beauty, temperament and colour. As to form, the body should be sound and firm; its height consistent with strength; long and narrow in the flank; haunches, large and rounded; broad chest; the entire body knotted with the thickness of its muscles; dry hooves, supported by a curved frog. As to beauty: its head should be small and dry; the skin taut against its bones; the ears, short and neat; the eyes, large, the nostrils broad and the neck erect; the mane, and tail, thick; the hooves firmly curved. As to temperament: it should be bold of spirit, light-footed, with quivering limbs - a sign of courage; it should be easy to rouse when it is at rest, and once it has been put to the gallop, it should not be difficult to control. You can judge the pace of a horse by the pricking of its ears, its mettle from the quivering of its limbs. The main colours to be found are: bay, golden, rosy, chestnut, tawny-red, pale yellow, blue-grey, dappled, light grey, brilliant white, ordinary white, piebald, black. After these come variegated colours based on black or bay; other mixtures or those which are the colour of ashes are the lowest sort According to the ancients, a bay, badius, was a powerful horse, because among other animals its pace was stronger. The same horse was called spadix or fenicatus, date-brown, from the palm-tree which the Syrians call spadix. The blue-grey, glaucus, is like the colour of eyes, painted and suffused with brightness. The pale yellow, gilvus, is better described by the colour 'off-white'. A piebald horse, guttatus, is white, mottled with black. The brilliant and ordinary white, candidus and albus, differ one from the other. For the ordinary white has a sort of paleness, but the brilliant white is like snow, suffused with pure, shining light. Light grey, canus, is so called because it is composed of brilliant white and black. A dappled horse, scutulatus, gets its name from its circular, shield-like, patches of brilliant white and dark brown. A variegated horse, varius, is so called because it has stripes of different colours. Those which have white feet are called petili; 'slenderfeet'; those with a white forehead callidi, 'hotheads'. The tawny-red horse, cervinus, is commonly called gaurans. The horse called vosinus

Text

Physical and temperamental attributes of the horse.

Transcription

aiunt veteres, quatuor expectantur, forma, pulcritudo, meri\tum atque color. Forma ut sit validum corpus et solidum, robori conveniens altitudo, latus longum, substrictum, \maximi et rotundi clunes, pectus late patens, corpus omne \maculorum densitate nodosum, pes siccus, et cornu concavo \solidatus. Pulchritudo ut sit exiguum caput, et siccum, \pelle prope ossibus adherente. Aures breves et argute, oculi \magni, nares patule et erecta cervix. Goma densa et cauda \ungularum fixa rotunditas. Meritum, ut sit animo au\dax, pedibus alacer, trementibus membris, quod est fortitu\dinis indicium, quique ex summa quiete facile concitatur, \et excitata festinatione non difficile teneatur. Motus autem \equi in auribus intelligitur, virtus in membris trementibus. \Color hic precipue expectandus badius, aureus, roseus, mir\teus, cervinus, gilvus, glaucus, scutulatus, canus, candidus, \albus, guttatus niger. Sequenti autem ordine varius ex nigro \badioque distinctus, reliquus varius color vel cinereus deter\imus. Badium autem antiqui validum dicebant, quod inter \cetera animalia forcius vadat. Ipse est et spadix, quem Fenica\tum vocant, et dictus a colore palme quam Syrii spadicem \vocant. Glaucus vero est veluti pictos habens oculus, et quodam splen\dore perfusos. Gilvus autem melius color est subalbidus. Guttatus \albus nigris intervenientibus punctis. Candidus autem et albus, invi\cem sibi differunt. Nam albus cum quodam pallore est. Candidus \vero est niveus et pura luce perfusus. Canus dictus quia ex candido \colore et nigro est. Scutulatus vocatus propter orbes quos habet candidos \inter purpuras. Varius quod vias habet imparium colorum. Qui \autem albos tamen pedes habent, petili appellantur, qui frontem albam \calidi. Cervinus est quem vulgo gaurantem dicunt. Onosimus\

Translation

as the ancients said, you look for four things: form, beauty, temperament and colour. As to form, the body should be sound and firm; its height consistent with strength; long and narrow in the flank; haunches, large and rounded; broad chest; the entire body knotted with the thickness of its muscles; dry hooves, supported by a curved frog. As to beauty: its head should be small and dry; the skin taut against its bones; the ears, short and neat; the eyes, large, the nostrils broad and the neck erect; the mane, and tail, thick; the hooves firmly curved. As to temperament: it should be bold of spirit, light-footed, with quivering limbs - a sign of courage; it should be easy to rouse when it is at rest, and once it has been put to the gallop, it should not be difficult to control. You can judge the pace of a horse by the pricking of its ears, its mettle from the quivering of its limbs. The main colours to be found are: bay, golden, rosy, chestnut, tawny-red, pale yellow, blue-grey, dappled, light grey, brilliant white, ordinary white, piebald, black. After these come variegated colours based on black or bay; other mixtures or those which are the colour of ashes are the lowest sort According to the ancients, a bay, badius, was a powerful horse, because among other animals its pace was stronger. The same horse was called spadix or fenicatus, date-brown, from the palm-tree which the Syrians call spadix. The blue-grey, glaucus, is like the colour of eyes, painted and suffused with brightness. The pale yellow, gilvus, is better described by the colour 'off-white'. A piebald horse, guttatus, is white, mottled with black. The brilliant and ordinary white, candidus and albus, differ one from the other. For the ordinary white has a sort of paleness, but the brilliant white is like snow, suffused with pure, shining light. Light grey, canus, is so called because it is composed of brilliant white and black. A dappled horse, scutulatus, gets its name from its circular, shield-like, patches of brilliant white and dark brown. A variegated horse, varius, is so called because it has stripes of different colours. Those which have white feet are called petili; 'slenderfeet'; those with a white forehead callidi, 'hotheads'. The tawny-red horse, cervinus, is commonly called gaurans. The horse called vosinus
  • Commentary

    Text

    Physical and temperamental attributes of the horse.

  • Translation
    as the ancients said, you look for four things: form, beauty, temperament and colour. As to form, the body should be sound and firm; its height consistent with strength; long and narrow in the flank; haunches, large and rounded; broad chest; the entire body knotted with the thickness of its muscles; dry hooves, supported by a curved frog. As to beauty: its head should be small and dry; the skin taut against its bones; the ears, short and neat; the eyes, large, the nostrils broad and the neck erect; the mane, and tail, thick; the hooves firmly curved. As to temperament: it should be bold of spirit, light-footed, with quivering limbs - a sign of courage; it should be easy to rouse when it is at rest, and once it has been put to the gallop, it should not be difficult to control. You can judge the pace of a horse by the pricking of its ears, its mettle from the quivering of its limbs. The main colours to be found are: bay, golden, rosy, chestnut, tawny-red, pale yellow, blue-grey, dappled, light grey, brilliant white, ordinary white, piebald, black. After these come variegated colours based on black or bay; other mixtures or those which are the colour of ashes are the lowest sort According to the ancients, a bay, badius, was a powerful horse, because among other animals its pace was stronger. The same horse was called spadix or fenicatus, date-brown, from the palm-tree which the Syrians call spadix. The blue-grey, glaucus, is like the colour of eyes, painted and suffused with brightness. The pale yellow, gilvus, is better described by the colour 'off-white'. A piebald horse, guttatus, is white, mottled with black. The brilliant and ordinary white, candidus and albus, differ one from the other. For the ordinary white has a sort of paleness, but the brilliant white is like snow, suffused with pure, shining light. Light grey, canus, is so called because it is composed of brilliant white and black. A dappled horse, scutulatus, gets its name from its circular, shield-like, patches of brilliant white and dark brown. A variegated horse, varius, is so called because it has stripes of different colours. Those which have white feet are called petili; 'slenderfeet'; those with a white forehead callidi, 'hotheads'. The tawny-red horse, cervinus, is commonly called gaurans. The horse called vosinus
  • Transcription
    aiunt veteres, quatuor expectantur, forma, pulcritudo, meri\tum atque color. Forma ut sit validum corpus et solidum, robori conveniens altitudo, latus longum, substrictum, \maximi et rotundi clunes, pectus late patens, corpus omne \maculorum densitate nodosum, pes siccus, et cornu concavo \solidatus. Pulchritudo ut sit exiguum caput, et siccum, \pelle prope ossibus adherente. Aures breves et argute, oculi \magni, nares patule et erecta cervix. Goma densa et cauda \ungularum fixa rotunditas. Meritum, ut sit animo au\dax, pedibus alacer, trementibus membris, quod est fortitu\dinis indicium, quique ex summa quiete facile concitatur, \et excitata festinatione non difficile teneatur. Motus autem \equi in auribus intelligitur, virtus in membris trementibus. \Color hic precipue expectandus badius, aureus, roseus, mir\teus, cervinus, gilvus, glaucus, scutulatus, canus, candidus, \albus, guttatus niger. Sequenti autem ordine varius ex nigro \badioque distinctus, reliquus varius color vel cinereus deter\imus. Badium autem antiqui validum dicebant, quod inter \cetera animalia forcius vadat. Ipse est et spadix, quem Fenica\tum vocant, et dictus a colore palme quam Syrii spadicem \vocant. Glaucus vero est veluti pictos habens oculus, et quodam splen\dore perfusos. Gilvus autem melius color est subalbidus. Guttatus \albus nigris intervenientibus punctis. Candidus autem et albus, invi\cem sibi differunt. Nam albus cum quodam pallore est. Candidus \vero est niveus et pura luce perfusus. Canus dictus quia ex candido \colore et nigro est. Scutulatus vocatus propter orbes quos habet candidos \inter purpuras. Varius quod vias habet imparium colorum. Qui \autem albos tamen pedes habent, petili appellantur, qui frontem albam \calidi. Cervinus est quem vulgo gaurantem dicunt. Onosimus\
Folio 22v - the horse continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen