The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 30v - the hawk, continued.


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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.
Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?' (Job 39:26). On which the blessed Gregory Commentarys: It is the custom of hawks in the wild to spread their wings when the south wind blows, so that their limbs are warmed by the wind to release their old feathers. When there is no wind, they create a breeze by spreading their wings to face the rays of the sun and beating them; and thus, as the pores of their body open, either their old plumage falls out, or new feathers grow in. What does it signify, therefore, that the hawk moults in the south wind, if not that every saint is warmed by the touch of the breath of the Holy Spirit and, casting aside his old way of life, takes on the form of a new man? As the Apostle admonishes us, saying: 'Ye have put off the old man with his needs; and have put on the new man' (Colossians, 3:9). And again: 'But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day' (Corinthians 2, 4:16). To throw off the old plumage is to abandon a long-standing attachment to a deceitful way of life. To assume new plumage is to hold to a way of life that is gentle and simple. For the plumage of the old way of life weighs you down, while that of the new growth raises you up, so that the newer the plumage, the lighter it is for flight. The phrase 'stretching its wings to the south' is well chosen. 'To stretch' here means to reveal our thoughts by confessing them through the influence of the Holy Spirit, so that we no longer choose to conceal our sins by defending them but choose to reveal them openly by accusing ourselves of them. So, therefore, the hawk moults when it spreads its wings to the south wind, as we each clothe ourselves in the plumage of virtue when we lay our thoughts open to the Holy Spirit by confessing them. For if you do not reveal your old sins by confessing them, you will by no means accomplish the works of the new life. If you cannot bewail the sins that weigh you down, you will not have the strength to accomplish the works that can raise you up. For the power of remorse alone opens the pores of the heart and causes the plumage of virtue to grow. When the mind zealously convinces itself that it has been neglectful in the past, it becomes renewed, eager and refreshed. Therefore let the blessed Job be told: 'Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?' that is,

Text

The hawk spreads its wings to the south and moults.

Comment

Editorial correction in left margin. 'Tepentem' /'warming' to replace 'repente', thus 'they create for themselves a warming breeze'. Red initial 'n' indicator on left edge. Initial type 2. .

Folio Attributes

  • Scribal Corrections

    Scribal Corrections

    Scribal Corrections
    The Bestiary scribe ends, the Lapidary scribe begins. Detail from f.94r

    When the ruling was complete the quires were ready to receive the text. At this point the scribe had a clear idea about the precise layout of each page. He had to leave the correct amount of space for the rubrics, capitals and illuminations to be added. The scribal hand is fairly uniform throughout, though Clark (2006, 223) observes the Gothic textura formata (the type of lettering) changes on f.19r, becoming ‘somewhat more compact and rounded’. There is a marked change of hand, below the illustration of the dove and hawk on f.26r, for only 5 lines. The quill is broader and the letters larger but less steady or uniform. Another scribe, with a later thirteenth-century hand, writes the lapidary section of the book, beginning on f.94r. Sometimes the scribe made mistakes or omissions which were picked up by a contemporary editor. On f.17r you can see corrections written lightly in the margin with part of the text erased and corrected accordingly. Most of the corrections occur in the Aviarium section, f.25r-f.63r.

  • Initial Indicators

    Initial Indicators

    Initial Indicators
    Initial indicator 'v'. Detail from f.16r

    When the scribe was writing he would leave a gap on the page where an initial was supposed to be inserted. To make sure that the illuminated letter was correct, the scribe would write a very small initial in the margin. They are written on the outside edge of the sheet. Over 30 of these small letters survive. Up to quire C they are marked with the same black ink as the text. After that both black and red ink are used.

  • Initial Type 2

    Initial Type 2

    Initial Type 2
    Type 2 initial. Detail from f.5v

    Type 2 is much more common. The letter is made with burnished gold, filled with a blue or brown background which is decorated with a delicate white tracery. Many of these are embellished with red or blue traces or sprays. The Aberdeen Bestiary is a very early example of the use of sprays which culminates in the art of William de Brailes in the mid-thirteenth century (Morgan 1982,no.68). An elaborate spray is on f.41v. The fine white filigree pattern is also found on some of the illuminations (f.3r, f.11r, f.12r) suggesting that the main illuminator also made these initials. This type generally occupies two lines. This initial is generally used to introduce each new animal.

Transcription

Nunquid per sapientiam tuam plumescit accipiter expan\dens alas tuas [PL, suas] ad austrum? Unde beatus Gregorius: Agrestibus \accipitribus moris est, ut flante austro alas expandant quatinus \eorum membra ad laxandum pennam veterem venti tepore \concalescant. Cum vero ventus deest alis contra radium solis \expansis atque percussis, repente sibi auram faciunt, sicque apertis poris \vel veteris exiliunt, vel nove succrescunt. Quid est ergo accipitrem \in austro plumescere, nisi quod unusquisque sanctorum tactus flatu \sancti spiritus concalescit, et usum vetuste conversationis abiciens novi \hominis formam sumit? Quid apostolus ammonet dicens: Expolian\tes nos [PL, vos] veterem hominem cum actibus suis, et induentes novum. \Et rursum: Licet is qui foris est noster homo corrumpatur, tamen is qui \intus est renovatur de die in diem. Vetustam autem pennam proice\re est, inveterata studia dolose actionis amittere. Et novam pen\nam sumere est, mitem ac simplicem bene vivendi sensum tenere. \Penna namque veteris conversationis gravat, et pluma nove immu\tationis sublevat, ut ad volatum tanto leviorem quanto novi\orem reddat. Et bene ait: Expandens alas suas ad austrum, \expandere est per adventum sancti spiritus nostras confitendo cogitationes \aperire, ut iam non libeat defendendo nos tegere sed accusando \publicare. Tunc ergo accipiter plumescit, cum ad austrum alas ex\pandit, quia tunc se unusquisque virtutum pennis induit, cum sancto spiritu \cogitationes suas confitendo substernit. Qui enim fatendo vetera non \detegit, nove vite opera minime producit. Qui nescit lugere quod gra\vat, non valet proferre quod sublevat. Ipsa namque compunctio\nis vis poros cordis aperit, et plumas virtutum fundit. Cumque se \studiose mens de pigra vetustate redarguit, alacri novitate \iuvenescit. Dicatur ergo beato Job: Nunquid per sapientiam tuam plu\mescis accipiter, expandens alas tuas [PL, suas] ad austrum, id est, cuilibet \

Translation

Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?' (Job 39:26). On which the blessed Gregory Commentarys: It is the custom of hawks in the wild to spread their wings when the south wind blows, so that their limbs are warmed by the wind to release their old feathers. When there is no wind, they create a breeze by spreading their wings to face the rays of the sun and beating them; and thus, as the pores of their body open, either their old plumage falls out, or new feathers grow in. What does it signify, therefore, that the hawk moults in the south wind, if not that every saint is warmed by the touch of the breath of the Holy Spirit and, casting aside his old way of life, takes on the form of a new man? As the Apostle admonishes us, saying: 'Ye have put off the old man with his needs; and have put on the new man' (Colossians, 3:9). And again: 'But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day' (Corinthians 2, 4:16). To throw off the old plumage is to abandon a long-standing attachment to a deceitful way of life. To assume new plumage is to hold to a way of life that is gentle and simple. For the plumage of the old way of life weighs you down, while that of the new growth raises you up, so that the newer the plumage, the lighter it is for flight. The phrase 'stretching its wings to the south' is well chosen. 'To stretch' here means to reveal our thoughts by confessing them through the influence of the Holy Spirit, so that we no longer choose to conceal our sins by defending them but choose to reveal them openly by accusing ourselves of them. So, therefore, the hawk moults when it spreads its wings to the south wind, as we each clothe ourselves in the plumage of virtue when we lay our thoughts open to the Holy Spirit by confessing them. For if you do not reveal your old sins by confessing them, you will by no means accomplish the works of the new life. If you cannot bewail the sins that weigh you down, you will not have the strength to accomplish the works that can raise you up. For the power of remorse alone opens the pores of the heart and causes the plumage of virtue to grow. When the mind zealously convinces itself that it has been neglectful in the past, it becomes renewed, eager and refreshed. Therefore let the blessed Job be told: 'Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?' that is,
  • Commentary

    Text

    The hawk spreads its wings to the south and moults.

    Comment

    Editorial correction in left margin. 'Tepentem' /'warming' to replace 'repente', thus 'they create for themselves a warming breeze'. Red initial 'n' indicator on left edge. Initial type 2. .

    Folio Attributes

    • Scribal Corrections

      Scribal Corrections

      Scribal Corrections
      The Bestiary scribe ends, the Lapidary scribe begins. Detail from f.94r

      When the ruling was complete the quires were ready to receive the text. At this point the scribe had a clear idea about the precise layout of each page. He had to leave the correct amount of space for the rubrics, capitals and illuminations to be added. The scribal hand is fairly uniform throughout, though Clark (2006, 223) observes the Gothic textura formata (the type of lettering) changes on f.19r, becoming ‘somewhat more compact and rounded’. There is a marked change of hand, below the illustration of the dove and hawk on f.26r, for only 5 lines. The quill is broader and the letters larger but less steady or uniform. Another scribe, with a later thirteenth-century hand, writes the lapidary section of the book, beginning on f.94r. Sometimes the scribe made mistakes or omissions which were picked up by a contemporary editor. On f.17r you can see corrections written lightly in the margin with part of the text erased and corrected accordingly. Most of the corrections occur in the Aviarium section, f.25r-f.63r.

    • Initial Indicators

      Initial Indicators

      Initial Indicators
      Initial indicator 'v'. Detail from f.16r

      When the scribe was writing he would leave a gap on the page where an initial was supposed to be inserted. To make sure that the illuminated letter was correct, the scribe would write a very small initial in the margin. They are written on the outside edge of the sheet. Over 30 of these small letters survive. Up to quire C they are marked with the same black ink as the text. After that both black and red ink are used.

    • Initial Type 2

      Initial Type 2

      Initial Type 2
      Type 2 initial. Detail from f.5v

      Type 2 is much more common. The letter is made with burnished gold, filled with a blue or brown background which is decorated with a delicate white tracery. Many of these are embellished with red or blue traces or sprays. The Aberdeen Bestiary is a very early example of the use of sprays which culminates in the art of William de Brailes in the mid-thirteenth century (Morgan 1982,no.68). An elaborate spray is on f.41v. The fine white filigree pattern is also found on some of the illuminations (f.3r, f.11r, f.12r) suggesting that the main illuminator also made these initials. This type generally occupies two lines. This initial is generally used to introduce each new animal.

  • Translation
    Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?' (Job 39:26). On which the blessed Gregory Commentarys: It is the custom of hawks in the wild to spread their wings when the south wind blows, so that their limbs are warmed by the wind to release their old feathers. When there is no wind, they create a breeze by spreading their wings to face the rays of the sun and beating them; and thus, as the pores of their body open, either their old plumage falls out, or new feathers grow in. What does it signify, therefore, that the hawk moults in the south wind, if not that every saint is warmed by the touch of the breath of the Holy Spirit and, casting aside his old way of life, takes on the form of a new man? As the Apostle admonishes us, saying: 'Ye have put off the old man with his needs; and have put on the new man' (Colossians, 3:9). And again: 'But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day' (Corinthians 2, 4:16). To throw off the old plumage is to abandon a long-standing attachment to a deceitful way of life. To assume new plumage is to hold to a way of life that is gentle and simple. For the plumage of the old way of life weighs you down, while that of the new growth raises you up, so that the newer the plumage, the lighter it is for flight. The phrase 'stretching its wings to the south' is well chosen. 'To stretch' here means to reveal our thoughts by confessing them through the influence of the Holy Spirit, so that we no longer choose to conceal our sins by defending them but choose to reveal them openly by accusing ourselves of them. So, therefore, the hawk moults when it spreads its wings to the south wind, as we each clothe ourselves in the plumage of virtue when we lay our thoughts open to the Holy Spirit by confessing them. For if you do not reveal your old sins by confessing them, you will by no means accomplish the works of the new life. If you cannot bewail the sins that weigh you down, you will not have the strength to accomplish the works that can raise you up. For the power of remorse alone opens the pores of the heart and causes the plumage of virtue to grow. When the mind zealously convinces itself that it has been neglectful in the past, it becomes renewed, eager and refreshed. Therefore let the blessed Job be told: 'Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?' that is,
  • Transcription
    Nunquid per sapientiam tuam plumescit accipiter expan\dens alas tuas [PL, suas] ad austrum? Unde beatus Gregorius: Agrestibus \accipitribus moris est, ut flante austro alas expandant quatinus \eorum membra ad laxandum pennam veterem venti tepore \concalescant. Cum vero ventus deest alis contra radium solis \expansis atque percussis, repente sibi auram faciunt, sicque apertis poris \vel veteris exiliunt, vel nove succrescunt. Quid est ergo accipitrem \in austro plumescere, nisi quod unusquisque sanctorum tactus flatu \sancti spiritus concalescit, et usum vetuste conversationis abiciens novi \hominis formam sumit? Quid apostolus ammonet dicens: Expolian\tes nos [PL, vos] veterem hominem cum actibus suis, et induentes novum. \Et rursum: Licet is qui foris est noster homo corrumpatur, tamen is qui \intus est renovatur de die in diem. Vetustam autem pennam proice\re est, inveterata studia dolose actionis amittere. Et novam pen\nam sumere est, mitem ac simplicem bene vivendi sensum tenere. \Penna namque veteris conversationis gravat, et pluma nove immu\tationis sublevat, ut ad volatum tanto leviorem quanto novi\orem reddat. Et bene ait: Expandens alas suas ad austrum, \expandere est per adventum sancti spiritus nostras confitendo cogitationes \aperire, ut iam non libeat defendendo nos tegere sed accusando \publicare. Tunc ergo accipiter plumescit, cum ad austrum alas ex\pandit, quia tunc se unusquisque virtutum pennis induit, cum sancto spiritu \cogitationes suas confitendo substernit. Qui enim fatendo vetera non \detegit, nove vite opera minime producit. Qui nescit lugere quod gra\vat, non valet proferre quod sublevat. Ipsa namque compunctio\nis vis poros cordis aperit, et plumas virtutum fundit. Cumque se \studiose mens de pigra vetustate redarguit, alacri novitate \iuvenescit. Dicatur ergo beato Job: Nunquid per sapientiam tuam plu\mescis accipiter, expandens alas tuas [PL, suas] ad austrum, id est, cuilibet \
Folio 30v - the hawk, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen