The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 27v - Item de columba; Also of the dove.


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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.
to its neighbour, the other is raised in contemplation to God. From these wings spring feathers, that is, spiritual virtues. These feathers gleam with the brilliance of silver, since word of their renown has the sweet ring of silver to those who hear it. The Greek word cleros is what we call in Latin sortes, shares allocated by lot. In life, there are four such 'shares': fear and hope, love and desire. They are 'shares', because they allot to us a place in our Father's heritage. Fear and desire are extremes, hope and love intervene. Fear throws the soul into confusion, desire tortures the mind, and unless something intervenes between them, the soul has no peace. We must, therefore, place hope and love between desire and fear. For hope transforms fear, love moderates desire. Anyone who is between hope and love, therefore, between the two inner shares, sleeps soundly; anyone who is between the two outer ones, namely, fear and desire, lies awake and loses his wits. If, therefore, you are a dove, or the feather of a dove, when you fear and desire, you lie sleepless between the outer shares; when you hope and love, you sleep soundly between the inner. 'And its tail feathers are in the pale colour of gold.' Burdens are usually carried on the back, which can be said to signify toil; but by the tail feathers, which lie behind the back, is meant the expectation of reward. We believe that after enduring the labours of the present, the righteous will be rewarded for their merit in the future. For God will reward his saints for their labours and lead them on a wondrous road; this, we believe, is represented by 'the pale colour of gold', because 'precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints' (Psalms, 116:15). On the flight feathers, therefore, there is silver, as there is eloquence on tongues; but on the tail feathers there is gold - the reward that follows toil. Also of the dove 'If you sleep among the sheepfolds...a dove, its wings sheathed in silver and its tail feathers in the pale colour of gold' (see BSV, Psalmi, 67:14; NEB, Psalms, 68:11-13). The silver-coloured dove means any prelate, or dignitary of the Church hierarchy still living, without the bile of malice. 'If you sleep among the sheepfolds...' What the Greeks call cleros, we call sortes, shares allocated by lot; therefore, the proper meaning of clerimonia is an inheritance

Text

The mystic aspects of the dove. The silver coloured dove.

Illustration

A dove in a roundel. This rather plain lifeless bird does not do justice to the luscious pictorial descriptions devoted to the dove on ff.26-30r. However, raking light reveals a lustrous silvered quality to the paint. The dove's feet are described as red for its symbolic meaning on f.28r but are shown as brown on f.27v.The extended rubric is written up the side of the image. Initial type 2.

Transcription

ad proximum, alter erigitur per contemplationem ad deum. Ex his alis \procedunt penne, id est virtutes anime. He penne, argentea claritate \resplendent quoniam per famam bone opinionis audientibus argenti \more dulce tinnitum prebent. Cleros vero Grece, sortes dicimus \Latine. Quatuor autem sunt sortes, timor et spes, amor et desiderium. \Sortes sunt, quia paterne hereditatis locum nobis distribuunt. Timor \et desiderium, sortes sunt extreme, spes et amor medie. Timor a\nimum conturbat, desiderium mentem cruciat, et nisi aliquid medi\um intervenerit, animus a quiete recedit. Oportet igitur ut inter deside\rium et timorem, spem ponamus et amorem. Spes enim timorem \recreat, amor desiderium temperat. Inter spem igitur et amorem quasi inter \medias sortes quietus dormit, qui inter extremas scilicet inter timorem et \desiderium vigilat et obstupescit. Si ergo es columba vel columbe \penna, dum times et desideras inter extremas sortes vigilas, dum \speras et diligis, inter medias quietus dormis. Et posteriora dorsi eius in pallore auri. \In dorso solent onera portari, et per hec eadem possunt operum labo\res designari, per posteriora vero dorsi denotatur expectatio premii. Post \tolerantiam siquidem presentium laborum, in futuro subsequi cre\dimus iustis premia meritorum. Reddet enim deus mercedem laborum \sanctis suorum, et deducet eos in via mirabili, et hoc in pallore au\ri esse credimus, quia preciosa est in conspectu domini mors sanctorum eius. In pen\nis ergo argentum, quia in linguis eloquium, in posterioribus \vero aurum, id est post labores premium. \ Item de columba \ Si dormiatis inter medios cleros, penne columbe deargentate et posteriora dorsi \eius in pallore auri. Columba deargentata, \est absque felle malicie quelibet adhuc \vivens prelatorum persona. Que inter me\dios cleros dormit. Cleros Grece, Latine \sors, unde et clerimonia proprie vocatur hereditas que sit testa\

Translation

to its neighbour, the other is raised in contemplation to God. From these wings spring feathers, that is, spiritual virtues. These feathers gleam with the brilliance of silver, since word of their renown has the sweet ring of silver to those who hear it. The Greek word cleros is what we call in Latin sortes, shares allocated by lot. In life, there are four such 'shares': fear and hope, love and desire. They are 'shares', because they allot to us a place in our Father's heritage. Fear and desire are extremes, hope and love intervene. Fear throws the soul into confusion, desire tortures the mind, and unless something intervenes between them, the soul has no peace. We must, therefore, place hope and love between desire and fear. For hope transforms fear, love moderates desire. Anyone who is between hope and love, therefore, between the two inner shares, sleeps soundly; anyone who is between the two outer ones, namely, fear and desire, lies awake and loses his wits. If, therefore, you are a dove, or the feather of a dove, when you fear and desire, you lie sleepless between the outer shares; when you hope and love, you sleep soundly between the inner. 'And its tail feathers are in the pale colour of gold.' Burdens are usually carried on the back, which can be said to signify toil; but by the tail feathers, which lie behind the back, is meant the expectation of reward. We believe that after enduring the labours of the present, the righteous will be rewarded for their merit in the future. For God will reward his saints for their labours and lead them on a wondrous road; this, we believe, is represented by 'the pale colour of gold', because 'precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints' (Psalms, 116:15). On the flight feathers, therefore, there is silver, as there is eloquence on tongues; but on the tail feathers there is gold - the reward that follows toil. Also of the dove 'If you sleep among the sheepfolds...a dove, its wings sheathed in silver and its tail feathers in the pale colour of gold' (see BSV, Psalmi, 67:14; NEB, Psalms, 68:11-13). The silver-coloured dove means any prelate, or dignitary of the Church hierarchy still living, without the bile of malice. 'If you sleep among the sheepfolds...' What the Greeks call cleros, we call sortes, shares allocated by lot; therefore, the proper meaning of clerimonia is an inheritance
  • Commentary

    Text

    The mystic aspects of the dove. The silver coloured dove.

    Illustration

    A dove in a roundel. This rather plain lifeless bird does not do justice to the luscious pictorial descriptions devoted to the dove on ff.26-30r. However, raking light reveals a lustrous silvered quality to the paint. The dove's feet are described as red for its symbolic meaning on f.28r but are shown as brown on f.27v.The extended rubric is written up the side of the image. Initial type 2.

  • Translation
    to its neighbour, the other is raised in contemplation to God. From these wings spring feathers, that is, spiritual virtues. These feathers gleam with the brilliance of silver, since word of their renown has the sweet ring of silver to those who hear it. The Greek word cleros is what we call in Latin sortes, shares allocated by lot. In life, there are four such 'shares': fear and hope, love and desire. They are 'shares', because they allot to us a place in our Father's heritage. Fear and desire are extremes, hope and love intervene. Fear throws the soul into confusion, desire tortures the mind, and unless something intervenes between them, the soul has no peace. We must, therefore, place hope and love between desire and fear. For hope transforms fear, love moderates desire. Anyone who is between hope and love, therefore, between the two inner shares, sleeps soundly; anyone who is between the two outer ones, namely, fear and desire, lies awake and loses his wits. If, therefore, you are a dove, or the feather of a dove, when you fear and desire, you lie sleepless between the outer shares; when you hope and love, you sleep soundly between the inner. 'And its tail feathers are in the pale colour of gold.' Burdens are usually carried on the back, which can be said to signify toil; but by the tail feathers, which lie behind the back, is meant the expectation of reward. We believe that after enduring the labours of the present, the righteous will be rewarded for their merit in the future. For God will reward his saints for their labours and lead them on a wondrous road; this, we believe, is represented by 'the pale colour of gold', because 'precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints' (Psalms, 116:15). On the flight feathers, therefore, there is silver, as there is eloquence on tongues; but on the tail feathers there is gold - the reward that follows toil. Also of the dove 'If you sleep among the sheepfolds...a dove, its wings sheathed in silver and its tail feathers in the pale colour of gold' (see BSV, Psalmi, 67:14; NEB, Psalms, 68:11-13). The silver-coloured dove means any prelate, or dignitary of the Church hierarchy still living, without the bile of malice. 'If you sleep among the sheepfolds...' What the Greeks call cleros, we call sortes, shares allocated by lot; therefore, the proper meaning of clerimonia is an inheritance
  • Transcription
    ad proximum, alter erigitur per contemplationem ad deum. Ex his alis \procedunt penne, id est virtutes anime. He penne, argentea claritate \resplendent quoniam per famam bone opinionis audientibus argenti \more dulce tinnitum prebent. Cleros vero Grece, sortes dicimus \Latine. Quatuor autem sunt sortes, timor et spes, amor et desiderium. \Sortes sunt, quia paterne hereditatis locum nobis distribuunt. Timor \et desiderium, sortes sunt extreme, spes et amor medie. Timor a\nimum conturbat, desiderium mentem cruciat, et nisi aliquid medi\um intervenerit, animus a quiete recedit. Oportet igitur ut inter deside\rium et timorem, spem ponamus et amorem. Spes enim timorem \recreat, amor desiderium temperat. Inter spem igitur et amorem quasi inter \medias sortes quietus dormit, qui inter extremas scilicet inter timorem et \desiderium vigilat et obstupescit. Si ergo es columba vel columbe \penna, dum times et desideras inter extremas sortes vigilas, dum \speras et diligis, inter medias quietus dormis. Et posteriora dorsi eius in pallore auri. \In dorso solent onera portari, et per hec eadem possunt operum labo\res designari, per posteriora vero dorsi denotatur expectatio premii. Post \tolerantiam siquidem presentium laborum, in futuro subsequi cre\dimus iustis premia meritorum. Reddet enim deus mercedem laborum \sanctis suorum, et deducet eos in via mirabili, et hoc in pallore au\ri esse credimus, quia preciosa est in conspectu domini mors sanctorum eius. In pen\nis ergo argentum, quia in linguis eloquium, in posterioribus \vero aurum, id est post labores premium. \ Item de columba \ Si dormiatis inter medios cleros, penne columbe deargentate et posteriora dorsi \eius in pallore auri. Columba deargentata, \est absque felle malicie quelibet adhuc \vivens prelatorum persona. Que inter me\dios cleros dormit. Cleros Grece, Latine \sors, unde et clerimonia proprie vocatur hereditas que sit testa\
Folio 27v - Item de columba; Also of the dove. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen