The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 25v - birds continued. De pennis deargentatis columbe; Of the wings of the dove.


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.
like the swan and the blackbird. Some imitate the words and voices of men, like the parrot and magpie. There are countless others, however, differing alike in kind and habits. For it is impossible to find out how many kinds of birds there are. And anyone who could penetrate the desert places of Scythia and India or Ethiopia still could not get to know all the species of birds there or the differences between them. Birds are called aves because they do not go in a straight line but fly at random, off-course, per avia. They are called alites, winged creatures, because it is on their wings, ale, that they reach for the skies and it is by beating them that they ascend to the heights. They are called volucres, flying creatures, from volandum, flying, For what we call 'walking' and 'flying' stem from the same mechanism. For what we call vola, the hollow, or middle part of the foot or the hand, is in birds the middle part of the wings - at the junction with the shoulders - by whose motion the flight feathers are activated; hence their name, volucres. The young of all birds are called pulli. But the young of quadrupeds are also called pulli. So, too, is a human child. The newly-born, then, are called pulli, because they are polluti, unclean; for the same reason, dark clothes are also called pulla. Birds have wings, ale, in which feathers, fixed in a particular order, demonstrate the act of flight. Wings are called ale because birds nourish, alere, and cherish their young, folding their wings around them. The flight feather, penna, is so called from pendeo, to hover, that is, fly, from which comes also 'suspend'. For birds move by means of their flight feathers when they entrust themselves to the air. The down feather, pluma, is so to speak, piluma, derived from pilus, hair. For just as there are hairs on the body of a quadruped, so there is down on birds. It is known that many bird-names are formed from the sound of their call, like grus, the crane; corvus, the raven; cignus, the swan; bubo, the owl; milvus, the kite; ulula, the screech-owl; cuculus, the cuckoo; [garrulus] graculus, the jackdaw, and others. For the particular call they give has taught man what name they should be given. Of the silver-sheathed wings of the dove It is my intention to paint a picture of the dove, whose wings are sheathed in silver and whose tail has the pale colour of gold (see Psalms, 68:13). In painting this picture I intend to improve the minds of ordinary people, in such a way that their soul will at least perceive physically things which it has difficulty in grasping mentally; that what they have difficulty comprehending with their ears, they will perceive with their eyes. I want not only to depict the dove by creating its likeness,

Text

Birds, their names and songs. The dove. The writer wishes to paint a picture of the dove in all its beauty so that people who cannot understand its allegorical virtues will at least be able to perceive its physical attributes.

Comment

There is no illustration to the text about painting a picture of the dove with silvery wing feathers and golden tail feathers. Instead the text is heralded by an elaborate illuminated initial 'C', type 3. It is painted with delicate foliage designs. Up to this point, the account of the birds comes from the 'standard' Isidore Etymologies text. The type 3 initial indicates the start of text mainly deriving from the Aviarium of Hugo of Fouilloy, 'Concerning the silver-sheathed wings of the dove' (Clark, 1992, 117).

Folio Attributes

  • Initial Type 3

    Initial Type 3

    Initial Type 3
    Type 3 initial. Detail from f.77v

    Type 3 is the most luxurious: a gold letter is framed by a blue or brown patterned square (f.3r, f.5v); or the other way around with a painted letter and gilded frame (f.36v, f.77v). On f.36v there are tiny red circles found on the clothing of God and Adam in quire A. Therefore the initials of type 3 are also by the main illuminator. Type 3 may occupy only two lines as in quire A or up to eight lines on f.77v. It is generally, but not always, used to signal a particularly significant section. So, it is used in the Creation sequence, and the start of the Bestiary proper. On f.25v it is used to highlight the start of a section on birds derived from the Aviarium by Hugo of Fouilloy, as distinct from the general bird section deriving from the ‘standard’ bestiary on f.25r. In the latter part of the book where there are fewer illustrations it is used to introduce the next category (f.72r passim): worms and insects, fish, trees, Isidore on the nature of man, Isidore on human body parts, and the condition of man. Three individual topics are given particular emphasis with the type 3 initial: the hoopoe (f.36r) famous for its filial piety; the magpie, likened to a poet (f.36v) and the perindens tree which can be understood as God (f.64v).

Transcription

ut cignus et merula. Alie verba et voces hominum imitantur, ut \psitacus et pica. Sed alia sicut genere ita et moribus innumerabilia. \Nam et volucrum quot genera sint, invenire quisque non potest. \Neque enim omnes Scithie et Indie aut Ethiopie deserta quis pe\netrare potuit, qui earum genus vel differentias nosset. \ Aves \dicte eo quod vias rectas non habent sed per avia queque discurrunt. \Alites quod alis alta intendunt et ad sublimia remigio alarum \conscendant. Volucres a volando. Nam unde volare, inde \et ambulare dicimus. Vola enim dicitur media pars pedis sive \manus, et in avibus media pars alarum quarum motu penne \agitantur, inde volucres. Pulli dicuntur avium omnium nati. \Sed et animalium quadrupedum nati pulli dicuntur. Et homo \parvus pullus, recentes igitur nati pulli, eo quod polluti sunt, unde \et vestis nigra et pulla dicta. Ale sunt in quibus penne \per or\dinem fixe volandi exhibent usum. Vocate autem ale quod \his aves complexus alant ac fovent pullos. Penna a pendendo, \id est a volando dicta, unde et pendere. Volucres enim pennarum \auxilio moventur quando se aeri mandant. Pluma quasi piluma. \Nam sicut pili in quadrupedum corpore, ita pluma in avibus. \Avium nomina multa a sono vocis constat esse composita ut \grus, corvus, cignus, bubo, milvus, ulula, cuculus, garrulus, \graculus et cetera. Varietas enim vocis earum docuit homi\nes quid vocarentur. \ De pennis deargentatis columbe \ Columbam cuius penne sunt deargentate et po\steriora dorsi eius in pallore auri pingere et per pic\turam simplicium mentes edificare decrevi, \ut quod simplicium animus intelligibili oculo capere \vix poterat, saltem carnali discernat, et quod vix poterat auditus, \percipiat visus. Nec tantum volui columbam formando pingere, \

Translation

like the swan and the blackbird. Some imitate the words and voices of men, like the parrot and magpie. There are countless others, however, differing alike in kind and habits. For it is impossible to find out how many kinds of birds there are. And anyone who could penetrate the desert places of Scythia and India or Ethiopia still could not get to know all the species of birds there or the differences between them. Birds are called aves because they do not go in a straight line but fly at random, off-course, per avia. They are called alites, winged creatures, because it is on their wings, ale, that they reach for the skies and it is by beating them that they ascend to the heights. They are called volucres, flying creatures, from volandum, flying, For what we call 'walking' and 'flying' stem from the same mechanism. For what we call vola, the hollow, or middle part of the foot or the hand, is in birds the middle part of the wings - at the junction with the shoulders - by whose motion the flight feathers are activated; hence their name, volucres. The young of all birds are called pulli. But the young of quadrupeds are also called pulli. So, too, is a human child. The newly-born, then, are called pulli, because they are polluti, unclean; for the same reason, dark clothes are also called pulla. Birds have wings, ale, in which feathers, fixed in a particular order, demonstrate the act of flight. Wings are called ale because birds nourish, alere, and cherish their young, folding their wings around them. The flight feather, penna, is so called from pendeo, to hover, that is, fly, from which comes also 'suspend'. For birds move by means of their flight feathers when they entrust themselves to the air. The down feather, pluma, is so to speak, piluma, derived from pilus, hair. For just as there are hairs on the body of a quadruped, so there is down on birds. It is known that many bird-names are formed from the sound of their call, like grus, the crane; corvus, the raven; cignus, the swan; bubo, the owl; milvus, the kite; ulula, the screech-owl; cuculus, the cuckoo; [garrulus] graculus, the jackdaw, and others. For the particular call they give has taught man what name they should be given. Of the silver-sheathed wings of the dove It is my intention to paint a picture of the dove, whose wings are sheathed in silver and whose tail has the pale colour of gold (see Psalms, 68:13). In painting this picture I intend to improve the minds of ordinary people, in such a way that their soul will at least perceive physically things which it has difficulty in grasping mentally; that what they have difficulty comprehending with their ears, they will perceive with their eyes. I want not only to depict the dove by creating its likeness,
  • Commentary

    Text

    Birds, their names and songs. The dove. The writer wishes to paint a picture of the dove in all its beauty so that people who cannot understand its allegorical virtues will at least be able to perceive its physical attributes.

    Comment

    There is no illustration to the text about painting a picture of the dove with silvery wing feathers and golden tail feathers. Instead the text is heralded by an elaborate illuminated initial 'C', type 3. It is painted with delicate foliage designs. Up to this point, the account of the birds comes from the 'standard' Isidore Etymologies text. The type 3 initial indicates the start of text mainly deriving from the Aviarium of Hugo of Fouilloy, 'Concerning the silver-sheathed wings of the dove' (Clark, 1992, 117).

    Folio Attributes

    • Initial Type 3

      Initial Type 3

      Initial Type 3
      Type 3 initial. Detail from f.77v

      Type 3 is the most luxurious: a gold letter is framed by a blue or brown patterned square (f.3r, f.5v); or the other way around with a painted letter and gilded frame (f.36v, f.77v). On f.36v there are tiny red circles found on the clothing of God and Adam in quire A. Therefore the initials of type 3 are also by the main illuminator. Type 3 may occupy only two lines as in quire A or up to eight lines on f.77v. It is generally, but not always, used to signal a particularly significant section. So, it is used in the Creation sequence, and the start of the Bestiary proper. On f.25v it is used to highlight the start of a section on birds derived from the Aviarium by Hugo of Fouilloy, as distinct from the general bird section deriving from the ‘standard’ bestiary on f.25r. In the latter part of the book where there are fewer illustrations it is used to introduce the next category (f.72r passim): worms and insects, fish, trees, Isidore on the nature of man, Isidore on human body parts, and the condition of man. Three individual topics are given particular emphasis with the type 3 initial: the hoopoe (f.36r) famous for its filial piety; the magpie, likened to a poet (f.36v) and the perindens tree which can be understood as God (f.64v).

  • Translation
    like the swan and the blackbird. Some imitate the words and voices of men, like the parrot and magpie. There are countless others, however, differing alike in kind and habits. For it is impossible to find out how many kinds of birds there are. And anyone who could penetrate the desert places of Scythia and India or Ethiopia still could not get to know all the species of birds there or the differences between them. Birds are called aves because they do not go in a straight line but fly at random, off-course, per avia. They are called alites, winged creatures, because it is on their wings, ale, that they reach for the skies and it is by beating them that they ascend to the heights. They are called volucres, flying creatures, from volandum, flying, For what we call 'walking' and 'flying' stem from the same mechanism. For what we call vola, the hollow, or middle part of the foot or the hand, is in birds the middle part of the wings - at the junction with the shoulders - by whose motion the flight feathers are activated; hence their name, volucres. The young of all birds are called pulli. But the young of quadrupeds are also called pulli. So, too, is a human child. The newly-born, then, are called pulli, because they are polluti, unclean; for the same reason, dark clothes are also called pulla. Birds have wings, ale, in which feathers, fixed in a particular order, demonstrate the act of flight. Wings are called ale because birds nourish, alere, and cherish their young, folding their wings around them. The flight feather, penna, is so called from pendeo, to hover, that is, fly, from which comes also 'suspend'. For birds move by means of their flight feathers when they entrust themselves to the air. The down feather, pluma, is so to speak, piluma, derived from pilus, hair. For just as there are hairs on the body of a quadruped, so there is down on birds. It is known that many bird-names are formed from the sound of their call, like grus, the crane; corvus, the raven; cignus, the swan; bubo, the owl; milvus, the kite; ulula, the screech-owl; cuculus, the cuckoo; [garrulus] graculus, the jackdaw, and others. For the particular call they give has taught man what name they should be given. Of the silver-sheathed wings of the dove It is my intention to paint a picture of the dove, whose wings are sheathed in silver and whose tail has the pale colour of gold (see Psalms, 68:13). In painting this picture I intend to improve the minds of ordinary people, in such a way that their soul will at least perceive physically things which it has difficulty in grasping mentally; that what they have difficulty comprehending with their ears, they will perceive with their eyes. I want not only to depict the dove by creating its likeness,
  • Transcription
    ut cignus et merula. Alie verba et voces hominum imitantur, ut \psitacus et pica. Sed alia sicut genere ita et moribus innumerabilia. \Nam et volucrum quot genera sint, invenire quisque non potest. \Neque enim omnes Scithie et Indie aut Ethiopie deserta quis pe\netrare potuit, qui earum genus vel differentias nosset. \ Aves \dicte eo quod vias rectas non habent sed per avia queque discurrunt. \Alites quod alis alta intendunt et ad sublimia remigio alarum \conscendant. Volucres a volando. Nam unde volare, inde \et ambulare dicimus. Vola enim dicitur media pars pedis sive \manus, et in avibus media pars alarum quarum motu penne \agitantur, inde volucres. Pulli dicuntur avium omnium nati. \Sed et animalium quadrupedum nati pulli dicuntur. Et homo \parvus pullus, recentes igitur nati pulli, eo quod polluti sunt, unde \et vestis nigra et pulla dicta. Ale sunt in quibus penne \per or\dinem fixe volandi exhibent usum. Vocate autem ale quod \his aves complexus alant ac fovent pullos. Penna a pendendo, \id est a volando dicta, unde et pendere. Volucres enim pennarum \auxilio moventur quando se aeri mandant. Pluma quasi piluma. \Nam sicut pili in quadrupedum corpore, ita pluma in avibus. \Avium nomina multa a sono vocis constat esse composita ut \grus, corvus, cignus, bubo, milvus, ulula, cuculus, garrulus, \graculus et cetera. Varietas enim vocis earum docuit homi\nes quid vocarentur. \ De pennis deargentatis columbe \ Columbam cuius penne sunt deargentate et po\steriora dorsi eius in pallore auri pingere et per pic\turam simplicium mentes edificare decrevi, \ut quod simplicium animus intelligibili oculo capere \vix poterat, saltem carnali discernat, et quod vix poterat auditus, \percipiat visus. Nec tantum volui columbam formando pingere, \
Folio 25v - birds continued. De pennis deargentatis columbe; Of the wings of the dove. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen