The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 42r - the ostrich, continued.


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.
the ostrich has few feathers and is weighed down with a huge body, so that even if it were to try to fly, its sparse feathers would not support the mass of such a large a body in the air. The gyrfalcon and the hawk, therefore, well represent the elect who, in this life, are not without the contamination of sin, no matter how trivial. But when the very small amount of sin that is within them causes them to sink, the large amount of virtue amassed from their good works is at hand to lift them back up to the heights. In contrast, the hypocrite, even if he does a few good things to raise him up, does many bad things to weigh him down. He does not fail entirely to do good but commits many perverse deeds by which he cancels out what good he has done. The few feathers of the ostrich, therefore, do not lift up its body, in the sense that the large number of the hypocrite's bad deeds, compared to his too few good deeds, weigh him down. The wing of the ostrich is similar in colour to those of the gyrfalcon and the hawk, but does not resemble them in strength. For theirs are compressed and stronger and, in flight, can press down on the air because of their density. In contrast, the wings of the ostrich are loose, to the extent that they cannot sustain flight because the air, on which they are meant to press, passes over them. What do we see in this, if not that the solid virtues of the elect fly up, pressing down on the currents of human favour? But the deeds of the hypocrites, although they seem correct, cannot support flight, because clearly the breath of human praise flows through the wing of slack virtue. But when we discern the same outward aspect among the good and the bad, when we see the very same appearance of religious observance among the elect and the sinful, we perceive what should inform our understanding, that it may distinguish the elect from the sinful, as it separates true men from false. We will recognise the distinction more quickly, however, if we fix indelibly in our memory the words of our teacher, who said: 'Ye shall know them by their fruits' (Matthew, 7:16). For you should not judge them by the image they present of themselves but by the principles they observe in their actions. As a result, the author of the book of Job, after introducing the image of the ostrich, thereupon adds examples of its behaviour, saying: 'It abandons its eggs in the ground' (BSV; see NEB, Job, 39:14). What is meant by its eggs if not the child, still of tender years, who has to be cherished over a long period in order that it might be turned into a living bird? Indeed, the eggs

Text

The ostrich cannot fly and abandons its eggs.

Comment

Folio mark of two chevrons in top right corner. One text correction in margin: -'nas' [completing ‘penas’ 'feathers/plumages']

Folio Attributes

  • Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

    Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

    Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks
    Folio Marks

    To make a normal gathering, a sheet of vellum (the skin of a calf, lamb or kid) would be folded over twice and cut around the edges. This would make a gathering or quire of eight folios with sixteen sides. In the Bestiary there are fifteen quires, thirteen of which are made with the usual eight folios. The last two quires, added in the late thirteenth century, have six and four folios respectively. The folios are not precisely cut but in the most regular quires (B and C) they measure 300mm high and 210mm wide. In order to assemble the quires in the correct sequence they were labelled in lead point with letters of the alphabet. Some are missing with the result that the sequence runs -,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,-(folio missing),M,N. The last two quires (O and P) are the later additions and are not marked. The quire system was examined by MR James when the book was being rebound and he was able to produce the following analysis of the gatherings: A8 (wants folio 2, 8); B8 (4,5); C8 (4,8); D8 (4,5); E8-L8 (1); M8; N8; O6; P4 (4). Individual sheets in the quire needed to be marked. Although there were eight folios only the first four needed marking because they were folded with the last four. Each sheet was distinctively marked to make sure the quires could not get muddled up. The asterisk sign is repeated in quires B and M but they remain distinct because the B sign is in the top right corner while the M signs are all in the bottom left corner.

  • 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.

Transcription

strucio raris pennis [mark] induitur, et immani corpore gravatur,\ ut et si volare appetat ipsa pen[n]arum paucitas molem tanti\ corporis in aere non suspendat. Bene ergo in herodio et acciptre\ electorum persona signatur, qui quamdiu in hac vita sunt sine quan\ tulocumque culpe contagio esse non possunt. Sed cum eis parum\ quid inest quod deprimit, multa virtus bone actionis suppetit, que\ illos in superna sustollit. At contra ypocrita et siqua facit pauca que\ elevent, perpetrat multa que gravent. Neque nulla bona agit ypocrita\ sed quibus ea ipsa deprimat multa perversa committit.\ Pauce igitur penne\ strucionis corpus non sublevant, quia parum bonum ypocrite multi\ tudo prave actionis gravat. Hec quoque ipsa strucionis\ penna ad pen[nas]\ herodii et acciptris similitudinem coloris habet, virtutis vero simi\ litudinem non habet. Illorum namque concluse et firmiores sunt, et vo\ latu aerem premere virtute soliditatis possunt. At contra strucionis\ penne dissolute eo volatum sumere nequeunt, quo ab ipso quem\ premere debuerant aere transcenduntur. Quid ergo in his aspicimus, nisi quod\ electorum virtutes solide evolant, ut ventos humani favoris\ premant? Hypocritarum vero actio quamlibet recta videatur, volare non\ sufficit, quia videlicet fluxe virtutis pennam humane laudis au\ ra pertransit. Sed cum unum eundemque bonorum malorumque habitum cernimus,\ cum ipsam in electis ac reprobis professionis speciem videmus, unde intel\ ligentie nostre suppetat, ut electos a reprobis ut a falsis veros compre\ hendendo discernat perspicimus. Quod tamen cicius agnoscimus si inteme\ rata memoria preceptoris nostri verba signamus, qui ait: Ex fructibus\ eorum cognoscetis eos. Neque enim pensanda sunt que ostendunt in\ ymagine, sed que servant in actione. Unde hic postquam speciem stru\ cionis huius intulit, mox subiunxit facta dicens: Que derelinquit\ in terra ova sua. Quid enim per ova nisi tenera adhuc proles exprimitur,\ que diu fovenda est ut ad vivum volatile perducatur? Ova quippe\

Translation

the ostrich has few feathers and is weighed down with a huge body, so that even if it were to try to fly, its sparse feathers would not support the mass of such a large a body in the air. The gyrfalcon and the hawk, therefore, well represent the elect who, in this life, are not without the contamination of sin, no matter how trivial. But when the very small amount of sin that is within them causes them to sink, the large amount of virtue amassed from their good works is at hand to lift them back up to the heights. In contrast, the hypocrite, even if he does a few good things to raise him up, does many bad things to weigh him down. He does not fail entirely to do good but commits many perverse deeds by which he cancels out what good he has done. The few feathers of the ostrich, therefore, do not lift up its body, in the sense that the large number of the hypocrite's bad deeds, compared to his too few good deeds, weigh him down. The wing of the ostrich is similar in colour to those of the gyrfalcon and the hawk, but does not resemble them in strength. For theirs are compressed and stronger and, in flight, can press down on the air because of their density. In contrast, the wings of the ostrich are loose, to the extent that they cannot sustain flight because the air, on which they are meant to press, passes over them. What do we see in this, if not that the solid virtues of the elect fly up, pressing down on the currents of human favour? But the deeds of the hypocrites, although they seem correct, cannot support flight, because clearly the breath of human praise flows through the wing of slack virtue. But when we discern the same outward aspect among the good and the bad, when we see the very same appearance of religious observance among the elect and the sinful, we perceive what should inform our understanding, that it may distinguish the elect from the sinful, as it separates true men from false. We will recognise the distinction more quickly, however, if we fix indelibly in our memory the words of our teacher, who said: 'Ye shall know them by their fruits' (Matthew, 7:16). For you should not judge them by the image they present of themselves but by the principles they observe in their actions. As a result, the author of the book of Job, after introducing the image of the ostrich, thereupon adds examples of its behaviour, saying: 'It abandons its eggs in the ground' (BSV; see NEB, Job, 39:14). What is meant by its eggs if not the child, still of tender years, who has to be cherished over a long period in order that it might be turned into a living bird? Indeed, the eggs
  • Commentary

    Text

    The ostrich cannot fly and abandons its eggs.

    Comment

    Folio mark of two chevrons in top right corner. One text correction in margin: -'nas' [completing ‘penas’ 'feathers/plumages']

    Folio Attributes

    • Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

      Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

      Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks
      Folio Marks

      To make a normal gathering, a sheet of vellum (the skin of a calf, lamb or kid) would be folded over twice and cut around the edges. This would make a gathering or quire of eight folios with sixteen sides. In the Bestiary there are fifteen quires, thirteen of which are made with the usual eight folios. The last two quires, added in the late thirteenth century, have six and four folios respectively. The folios are not precisely cut but in the most regular quires (B and C) they measure 300mm high and 210mm wide. In order to assemble the quires in the correct sequence they were labelled in lead point with letters of the alphabet. Some are missing with the result that the sequence runs -,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,-(folio missing),M,N. The last two quires (O and P) are the later additions and are not marked. The quire system was examined by MR James when the book was being rebound and he was able to produce the following analysis of the gatherings: A8 (wants folio 2, 8); B8 (4,5); C8 (4,8); D8 (4,5); E8-L8 (1); M8; N8; O6; P4 (4). Individual sheets in the quire needed to be marked. Although there were eight folios only the first four needed marking because they were folded with the last four. Each sheet was distinctively marked to make sure the quires could not get muddled up. The asterisk sign is repeated in quires B and M but they remain distinct because the B sign is in the top right corner while the M signs are all in the bottom left corner.

    • 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.

  • Translation
    the ostrich has few feathers and is weighed down with a huge body, so that even if it were to try to fly, its sparse feathers would not support the mass of such a large a body in the air. The gyrfalcon and the hawk, therefore, well represent the elect who, in this life, are not without the contamination of sin, no matter how trivial. But when the very small amount of sin that is within them causes them to sink, the large amount of virtue amassed from their good works is at hand to lift them back up to the heights. In contrast, the hypocrite, even if he does a few good things to raise him up, does many bad things to weigh him down. He does not fail entirely to do good but commits many perverse deeds by which he cancels out what good he has done. The few feathers of the ostrich, therefore, do not lift up its body, in the sense that the large number of the hypocrite's bad deeds, compared to his too few good deeds, weigh him down. The wing of the ostrich is similar in colour to those of the gyrfalcon and the hawk, but does not resemble them in strength. For theirs are compressed and stronger and, in flight, can press down on the air because of their density. In contrast, the wings of the ostrich are loose, to the extent that they cannot sustain flight because the air, on which they are meant to press, passes over them. What do we see in this, if not that the solid virtues of the elect fly up, pressing down on the currents of human favour? But the deeds of the hypocrites, although they seem correct, cannot support flight, because clearly the breath of human praise flows through the wing of slack virtue. But when we discern the same outward aspect among the good and the bad, when we see the very same appearance of religious observance among the elect and the sinful, we perceive what should inform our understanding, that it may distinguish the elect from the sinful, as it separates true men from false. We will recognise the distinction more quickly, however, if we fix indelibly in our memory the words of our teacher, who said: 'Ye shall know them by their fruits' (Matthew, 7:16). For you should not judge them by the image they present of themselves but by the principles they observe in their actions. As a result, the author of the book of Job, after introducing the image of the ostrich, thereupon adds examples of its behaviour, saying: 'It abandons its eggs in the ground' (BSV; see NEB, Job, 39:14). What is meant by its eggs if not the child, still of tender years, who has to be cherished over a long period in order that it might be turned into a living bird? Indeed, the eggs
  • Transcription
    strucio raris pennis [mark] induitur, et immani corpore gravatur,\ ut et si volare appetat ipsa pen[n]arum paucitas molem tanti\ corporis in aere non suspendat. Bene ergo in herodio et acciptre\ electorum persona signatur, qui quamdiu in hac vita sunt sine quan\ tulocumque culpe contagio esse non possunt. Sed cum eis parum\ quid inest quod deprimit, multa virtus bone actionis suppetit, que\ illos in superna sustollit. At contra ypocrita et siqua facit pauca que\ elevent, perpetrat multa que gravent. Neque nulla bona agit ypocrita\ sed quibus ea ipsa deprimat multa perversa committit.\ Pauce igitur penne\ strucionis corpus non sublevant, quia parum bonum ypocrite multi\ tudo prave actionis gravat. Hec quoque ipsa strucionis\ penna ad pen[nas]\ herodii et acciptris similitudinem coloris habet, virtutis vero simi\ litudinem non habet. Illorum namque concluse et firmiores sunt, et vo\ latu aerem premere virtute soliditatis possunt. At contra strucionis\ penne dissolute eo volatum sumere nequeunt, quo ab ipso quem\ premere debuerant aere transcenduntur. Quid ergo in his aspicimus, nisi quod\ electorum virtutes solide evolant, ut ventos humani favoris\ premant? Hypocritarum vero actio quamlibet recta videatur, volare non\ sufficit, quia videlicet fluxe virtutis pennam humane laudis au\ ra pertransit. Sed cum unum eundemque bonorum malorumque habitum cernimus,\ cum ipsam in electis ac reprobis professionis speciem videmus, unde intel\ ligentie nostre suppetat, ut electos a reprobis ut a falsis veros compre\ hendendo discernat perspicimus. Quod tamen cicius agnoscimus si inteme\ rata memoria preceptoris nostri verba signamus, qui ait: Ex fructibus\ eorum cognoscetis eos. Neque enim pensanda sunt que ostendunt in\ ymagine, sed que servant in actione. Unde hic postquam speciem stru\ cionis huius intulit, mox subiunxit facta dicens: Que derelinquit\ in terra ova sua. Quid enim per ova nisi tenera adhuc proles exprimitur,\ que diu fovenda est ut ad vivum volatile perducatur? Ova quippe\
Folio 42r - the ostrich, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen