The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 23r - the horse continued.


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View double page - bi folio

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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.
is so called because its colour is that of an ass, whose coat is also the colour of ashes. These are found in the country, bred from the species we call equiferi, wild horses, and cannot therefore make the transition to domesticated status. The horse called mauron, a moor or arab, is black, because the Greek word for a black man is mauron. A cob, mannus, is a smaller kind of horse, commonly called brunius 'a brown'. The ancients called post-horses veredi, because they drew carriages, vehere redas, that is, because they pulled them or because they went on public highways, via, along which carriages, reda, customarily go. There are three kinds of horse. One is the noble war-horse, capable of carrying heavy weights; the second is the everyday kind, used for drawing loads but unsuitable for riding. The third is born from a combination of different species, and is also called bigener, hybrid, because it is born of mixed stock, like a mule. The word mulus, mule, comes from the Greek. It is called this in Greek because under the miller's yoke it draws the lumbering millstones, mola, in a circle to grind the corn. The Jews say that Ana, the son of the great-grandchild of Esau, was the very first to have herds of mares covered by asses in the desert, so that as a result new animals were born of many sires - against nature. It is said that wild asses were also put to she-asses and the same kind of cross-breeding was obtained in order to produce from them asses which were very fleet of foot. Indeed human activity has brought together a variety of animals to mate. And from this adulterous interbreeding man has produced a new species, just as Jacob obtained animals of the same colour - also against nature. For his ewes conceived lambs of the same colour as the rams which mounted them, seeing them reflected in water. Finally it is said that the same thing happens with herds of mares, that men put noble stallions in view of those which are about to conceive, so that they can conceive and create offspring in the stallions' image. Pigeon fanciers place images of the most beautiful pigeons in places where they flock, to catch the birds' eye, so that they may produce babies which look like them. It is for this reason that people order pregnant women not to look at animals with very ugly countenances, such as dog-headed apes ...

Text

Attributes of the horse. The mule, a grinder of corn. How to create a hybrid.

Comment

Pricking on right margin.

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.

Transcription

autem dictus quod sit color eius de asino idem et cinereus. \Sunt autem hii agresti de genere orti quos equiferos dicimus \et proinde ad urbanam dignitatem transire non possunt. \Mauron niger est, nigrum enim Greci mauron vocant. Man\nus vero equus brevior est quem vulgo brunium vocant. Veredos \antiqui dixerunt quod veherent redas, id est ducerent, vel quod vias \publicas currant per quas et redas ire solitum erat. Equorum \tria genera sunt. Unum generosum preliis, et oneribus aptum, al\terum vulgare atque gregarium ad vehendum, non ad equitan\dum aptum. Tercium ex permixtione diversi generis ortum, quod \etiam dicitur bigenerum, quia ex diversis nascitur ut mulus. Mulus a \Greco tractum vocabulum habet. Greco enim hoc vocatur vel quod iu\go pistorum subactus, tardas molendo ducat in girum molas. \Judei asserunt quod Ana abnepos Esau equarum greges ab asi\nis in deserto ipse primus fecerit ascendi, ut multorum inde nova \contra naturam animalia nascerentur. Onagros quoque ad hoc admis\sos esse ad asinas, et ipsum istiusmodi reperisse concubitum, ut ex his \velocissimi asini nascerentur. Industria quippe humana \diversum animal in coitu coegit. Sicque adulterina commix\tione genus aliud reperit, sicut et Jacob contra naturam colorum \similitudines procuravit. Nam tales fetus oves illius concipi\ebant, quales umbras arietum desuper ascendentium in \aquarum speculo contemplabantur. Denique et hoc ipsum in equo\rum gregibus fieri fertur, ut generosus obiciant visibus concipi\entium, quo eorum similes concipere et creare possint. Nam et \columbarum dilectores depictas ponunt pulcherrimas co\lumbas hisdem locis quibus ille versantur, quo rapiente visu simi-les generent. Inde est quod quidam gravidas milieres iubent \nullos intueri turpissimos animalium vultus, ut scenophalos \

Translation

is so called because its colour is that of an ass, whose coat is also the colour of ashes. These are found in the country, bred from the species we call equiferi, wild horses, and cannot therefore make the transition to domesticated status. The horse called mauron, a moor or arab, is black, because the Greek word for a black man is mauron. A cob, mannus, is a smaller kind of horse, commonly called brunius 'a brown'. The ancients called post-horses veredi, because they drew carriages, vehere redas, that is, because they pulled them or because they went on public highways, via, along which carriages, reda, customarily go. There are three kinds of horse. One is the noble war-horse, capable of carrying heavy weights; the second is the everyday kind, used for drawing loads but unsuitable for riding. The third is born from a combination of different species, and is also called bigener, hybrid, because it is born of mixed stock, like a mule. The word mulus, mule, comes from the Greek. It is called this in Greek because under the miller's yoke it draws the lumbering millstones, mola, in a circle to grind the corn. The Jews say that Ana, the son of the great-grandchild of Esau, was the very first to have herds of mares covered by asses in the desert, so that as a result new animals were born of many sires - against nature. It is said that wild asses were also put to she-asses and the same kind of cross-breeding was obtained in order to produce from them asses which were very fleet of foot. Indeed human activity has brought together a variety of animals to mate. And from this adulterous interbreeding man has produced a new species, just as Jacob obtained animals of the same colour - also against nature. For his ewes conceived lambs of the same colour as the rams which mounted them, seeing them reflected in water. Finally it is said that the same thing happens with herds of mares, that men put noble stallions in view of those which are about to conceive, so that they can conceive and create offspring in the stallions' image. Pigeon fanciers place images of the most beautiful pigeons in places where they flock, to catch the birds' eye, so that they may produce babies which look like them. It is for this reason that people order pregnant women not to look at animals with very ugly countenances, such as dog-headed apes ...
  • Commentary

    Text

    Attributes of the horse. The mule, a grinder of corn. How to create a hybrid.

    Comment

    Pricking on right margin.

    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.

  • Translation
    is so called because its colour is that of an ass, whose coat is also the colour of ashes. These are found in the country, bred from the species we call equiferi, wild horses, and cannot therefore make the transition to domesticated status. The horse called mauron, a moor or arab, is black, because the Greek word for a black man is mauron. A cob, mannus, is a smaller kind of horse, commonly called brunius 'a brown'. The ancients called post-horses veredi, because they drew carriages, vehere redas, that is, because they pulled them or because they went on public highways, via, along which carriages, reda, customarily go. There are three kinds of horse. One is the noble war-horse, capable of carrying heavy weights; the second is the everyday kind, used for drawing loads but unsuitable for riding. The third is born from a combination of different species, and is also called bigener, hybrid, because it is born of mixed stock, like a mule. The word mulus, mule, comes from the Greek. It is called this in Greek because under the miller's yoke it draws the lumbering millstones, mola, in a circle to grind the corn. The Jews say that Ana, the son of the great-grandchild of Esau, was the very first to have herds of mares covered by asses in the desert, so that as a result new animals were born of many sires - against nature. It is said that wild asses were also put to she-asses and the same kind of cross-breeding was obtained in order to produce from them asses which were very fleet of foot. Indeed human activity has brought together a variety of animals to mate. And from this adulterous interbreeding man has produced a new species, just as Jacob obtained animals of the same colour - also against nature. For his ewes conceived lambs of the same colour as the rams which mounted them, seeing them reflected in water. Finally it is said that the same thing happens with herds of mares, that men put noble stallions in view of those which are about to conceive, so that they can conceive and create offspring in the stallions' image. Pigeon fanciers place images of the most beautiful pigeons in places where they flock, to catch the birds' eye, so that they may produce babies which look like them. It is for this reason that people order pregnant women not to look at animals with very ugly countenances, such as dog-headed apes ...
  • Transcription
    autem dictus quod sit color eius de asino idem et cinereus. \Sunt autem hii agresti de genere orti quos equiferos dicimus \et proinde ad urbanam dignitatem transire non possunt. \Mauron niger est, nigrum enim Greci mauron vocant. Man\nus vero equus brevior est quem vulgo brunium vocant. Veredos \antiqui dixerunt quod veherent redas, id est ducerent, vel quod vias \publicas currant per quas et redas ire solitum erat. Equorum \tria genera sunt. Unum generosum preliis, et oneribus aptum, al\terum vulgare atque gregarium ad vehendum, non ad equitan\dum aptum. Tercium ex permixtione diversi generis ortum, quod \etiam dicitur bigenerum, quia ex diversis nascitur ut mulus. Mulus a \Greco tractum vocabulum habet. Greco enim hoc vocatur vel quod iu\go pistorum subactus, tardas molendo ducat in girum molas. \Judei asserunt quod Ana abnepos Esau equarum greges ab asi\nis in deserto ipse primus fecerit ascendi, ut multorum inde nova \contra naturam animalia nascerentur. Onagros quoque ad hoc admis\sos esse ad asinas, et ipsum istiusmodi reperisse concubitum, ut ex his \velocissimi asini nascerentur. Industria quippe humana \diversum animal in coitu coegit. Sicque adulterina commix\tione genus aliud reperit, sicut et Jacob contra naturam colorum \similitudines procuravit. Nam tales fetus oves illius concipi\ebant, quales umbras arietum desuper ascendentium in \aquarum speculo contemplabantur. Denique et hoc ipsum in equo\rum gregibus fieri fertur, ut generosus obiciant visibus concipi\entium, quo eorum similes concipere et creare possint. Nam et \columbarum dilectores depictas ponunt pulcherrimas co\lumbas hisdem locis quibus ille versantur, quo rapiente visu simi-les generent. Inde est quod quidam gravidas milieres iubent \nullos intueri turpissimos animalium vultus, ut scenophalos \
Folio 23r - the horse continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen