The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 43r - the ostrich, continued.


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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.
do not avoid the commotion caused by the wicked, yet are still fired with zeal for heavenly things. From this we see that many, as we said, are warm, though they live in the cold; for some, surrounded by the sluggish ways of the earthbound, glow with desire of heavenly hope. How is it that those surrounded by the cold-hearted are warmed, if not because Almighty God knows to warm the neglected eggs even when they are left in the dust, and having dispelled the numbness originally caused by the cold, animates them with the spirit of life, so that far from lying motionless here below, they are turned into living beings capable of flight, raising themselves up towards heavenly things by contemplation, that is, by flying? Note that these words condemn not only the evil of hypocrites but are also intended to check the pride of righteous teachers, if it should creep out. For when the Lord says that it is he who warms the neglected eggs in the dust, he shows plainly that he acts inwardly through the words of the teacher, even though he can, without any man's words, warm those whom he wishes, as they lie in the cold of the dust. It is as if he says plainly to the teachers: 'So that you should be in no doubt that I am he who works through you when you speak - behold, if I wish, I can also speak to the hearts of men without you.' The teachers, humbled in their thoughts, focus their words on the hypocrite, showing how the folly of his sluggishness can be very fully shown by the behaviour of the ostrich. For the text continues: 'The ostrich forgets that a foot may crush its eggs or a beast of the field trample on them' (see NEB, Job, 39:15). What is to be understood by the foot, if not the passage of everyday life? What is signified by the field, if not the world? On this subject, the Lord says in the Gospel: 'The field is the world' (Matthew, 13:38). What is represented in the beasts if not the ancient enemy, who plots the plunder of the world and gluts himself daily on human death? On this, the prophet promises: 'Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon' (Isaiah, 35:9). Thus, as the ostrich, deserting its eggs, forgets that they may be trampled underfoot, it is evident that hypocrites abandon the young they have produced as they associate with men and care nothing for them, lest they should fail to undo the examples of evil either by dutifully encouraging or vigilantly teaching the young they have abandoned. If they loved the eggs they bear, there is no doubt that they would fear lest anyone should by the example of bad works

Text

The ostrich deserts its eggs.

Comment

Folio mark of three superimposed chevrons in top right corner.

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.

Transcription

malorum turbas non fugere, et tamen superno ardore flagrare. Hinc est quod plerosque\ cernimus ut ita diximus in frigore et calore [PL, calere] unde enim nonnulli inter\ terrenorum hominum torpores positi, superne spei desideriis inardes\ cunt. Unde et inter frigida corda succensi sunt, nisi quia omnipotens deus\ derelicta ova scit etiam in pulvere calefacere, et frigoris pristini in\ sensibilitate discussa, per sensum spiritus vitalis animare, ut nequaquam\ iacentia in infimis torpeant, set in vivis volatilibus versa, sese ad\ celestia contemplando, id est volando suspendant. Notandum\ vero est quod in his verbis non solum ypocritarum actio perversa reprobatur,\ sed bonorum etiam magistrorum siqua forte subrepserit elatio pre\ mitur. Nam cum de se dominus dicit quod derelicta ova ipse in pul\ vere calefacit, profecto aperte indicat, quia [PL, quod] ipse operatur intrinsecus per verba\ doctoris, qui et sine verbis ullius hominis calefacit quos voluerit\ in frigore pulveris. Ac si aperte doctoribus dicat: Ut sciatis quia ego\ sum qui per vos loquentes operor, ecce cum voluero cordibus hominum\ etiam sine vobis loquor. Humiliata cogitatione doctorum, ad expri\ mendum ypocritam sermo convertitur, et qua fatuitate torpeat ad\ huc sub strucionis facto plenius indicatur. Nam sequitur: Obliviscitur\ quod pes conculcet ea aut bestia agri conterat. Quid in pede nisi transitus\ operationis accipitur? Quid in agro, nisi mundus iste signatur? De quo in evangelio\ dominus dicit: Ager autem est mundus. Quid in bestia nisi antiquis ho\ stis exprimitur? Qui huius mundi rapinas insi[d]ians, humana morte\ cotidie saciatur, de qua per prophetam pollicentem dicitur: Et mala bestia\ non transibit per eam. Strucio itaque ova deserens obliviscitur quod pes\ conculcet ea quia videlicet ypocrite eos quos in conversatione filios ge\ nerant derelinquunt et omnino non curant, ne aut exhortatio\ nis sollicitudine aut discipline custodia destitutos, pravorum\ operum exempla pervertant. Si enim ova que gignunt diligerent [A, diligenter]\ nimirum metuerent, ne quis ea perversa opera demonstrando\

Translation

do not avoid the commotion caused by the wicked, yet are still fired with zeal for heavenly things. From this we see that many, as we said, are warm, though they live in the cold; for some, surrounded by the sluggish ways of the earthbound, glow with desire of heavenly hope. How is it that those surrounded by the cold-hearted are warmed, if not because Almighty God knows to warm the neglected eggs even when they are left in the dust, and having dispelled the numbness originally caused by the cold, animates them with the spirit of life, so that far from lying motionless here below, they are turned into living beings capable of flight, raising themselves up towards heavenly things by contemplation, that is, by flying? Note that these words condemn not only the evil of hypocrites but are also intended to check the pride of righteous teachers, if it should creep out. For when the Lord says that it is he who warms the neglected eggs in the dust, he shows plainly that he acts inwardly through the words of the teacher, even though he can, without any man's words, warm those whom he wishes, as they lie in the cold of the dust. It is as if he says plainly to the teachers: 'So that you should be in no doubt that I am he who works through you when you speak - behold, if I wish, I can also speak to the hearts of men without you.' The teachers, humbled in their thoughts, focus their words on the hypocrite, showing how the folly of his sluggishness can be very fully shown by the behaviour of the ostrich. For the text continues: 'The ostrich forgets that a foot may crush its eggs or a beast of the field trample on them' (see NEB, Job, 39:15). What is to be understood by the foot, if not the passage of everyday life? What is signified by the field, if not the world? On this subject, the Lord says in the Gospel: 'The field is the world' (Matthew, 13:38). What is represented in the beasts if not the ancient enemy, who plots the plunder of the world and gluts himself daily on human death? On this, the prophet promises: 'Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon' (Isaiah, 35:9). Thus, as the ostrich, deserting its eggs, forgets that they may be trampled underfoot, it is evident that hypocrites abandon the young they have produced as they associate with men and care nothing for them, lest they should fail to undo the examples of evil either by dutifully encouraging or vigilantly teaching the young they have abandoned. If they loved the eggs they bear, there is no doubt that they would fear lest anyone should by the example of bad works
  • Commentary

    Text

    The ostrich deserts its eggs.

    Comment

    Folio mark of three superimposed chevrons in top right corner.

    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.

  • Translation
    do not avoid the commotion caused by the wicked, yet are still fired with zeal for heavenly things. From this we see that many, as we said, are warm, though they live in the cold; for some, surrounded by the sluggish ways of the earthbound, glow with desire of heavenly hope. How is it that those surrounded by the cold-hearted are warmed, if not because Almighty God knows to warm the neglected eggs even when they are left in the dust, and having dispelled the numbness originally caused by the cold, animates them with the spirit of life, so that far from lying motionless here below, they are turned into living beings capable of flight, raising themselves up towards heavenly things by contemplation, that is, by flying? Note that these words condemn not only the evil of hypocrites but are also intended to check the pride of righteous teachers, if it should creep out. For when the Lord says that it is he who warms the neglected eggs in the dust, he shows plainly that he acts inwardly through the words of the teacher, even though he can, without any man's words, warm those whom he wishes, as they lie in the cold of the dust. It is as if he says plainly to the teachers: 'So that you should be in no doubt that I am he who works through you when you speak - behold, if I wish, I can also speak to the hearts of men without you.' The teachers, humbled in their thoughts, focus their words on the hypocrite, showing how the folly of his sluggishness can be very fully shown by the behaviour of the ostrich. For the text continues: 'The ostrich forgets that a foot may crush its eggs or a beast of the field trample on them' (see NEB, Job, 39:15). What is to be understood by the foot, if not the passage of everyday life? What is signified by the field, if not the world? On this subject, the Lord says in the Gospel: 'The field is the world' (Matthew, 13:38). What is represented in the beasts if not the ancient enemy, who plots the plunder of the world and gluts himself daily on human death? On this, the prophet promises: 'Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon' (Isaiah, 35:9). Thus, as the ostrich, deserting its eggs, forgets that they may be trampled underfoot, it is evident that hypocrites abandon the young they have produced as they associate with men and care nothing for them, lest they should fail to undo the examples of evil either by dutifully encouraging or vigilantly teaching the young they have abandoned. If they loved the eggs they bear, there is no doubt that they would fear lest anyone should by the example of bad works
  • Transcription
    malorum turbas non fugere, et tamen superno ardore flagrare. Hinc est quod plerosque\ cernimus ut ita diximus in frigore et calore [PL, calere] unde enim nonnulli inter\ terrenorum hominum torpores positi, superne spei desideriis inardes\ cunt. Unde et inter frigida corda succensi sunt, nisi quia omnipotens deus\ derelicta ova scit etiam in pulvere calefacere, et frigoris pristini in\ sensibilitate discussa, per sensum spiritus vitalis animare, ut nequaquam\ iacentia in infimis torpeant, set in vivis volatilibus versa, sese ad\ celestia contemplando, id est volando suspendant. Notandum\ vero est quod in his verbis non solum ypocritarum actio perversa reprobatur,\ sed bonorum etiam magistrorum siqua forte subrepserit elatio pre\ mitur. Nam cum de se dominus dicit quod derelicta ova ipse in pul\ vere calefacit, profecto aperte indicat, quia [PL, quod] ipse operatur intrinsecus per verba\ doctoris, qui et sine verbis ullius hominis calefacit quos voluerit\ in frigore pulveris. Ac si aperte doctoribus dicat: Ut sciatis quia ego\ sum qui per vos loquentes operor, ecce cum voluero cordibus hominum\ etiam sine vobis loquor. Humiliata cogitatione doctorum, ad expri\ mendum ypocritam sermo convertitur, et qua fatuitate torpeat ad\ huc sub strucionis facto plenius indicatur. Nam sequitur: Obliviscitur\ quod pes conculcet ea aut bestia agri conterat. Quid in pede nisi transitus\ operationis accipitur? Quid in agro, nisi mundus iste signatur? De quo in evangelio\ dominus dicit: Ager autem est mundus. Quid in bestia nisi antiquis ho\ stis exprimitur? Qui huius mundi rapinas insi[d]ians, humana morte\ cotidie saciatur, de qua per prophetam pollicentem dicitur: Et mala bestia\ non transibit per eam. Strucio itaque ova deserens obliviscitur quod pes\ conculcet ea quia videlicet ypocrite eos quos in conversatione filios ge\ nerant derelinquunt et omnino non curant, ne aut exhortatio\ nis sollicitudine aut discipline custodia destitutos, pravorum\ operum exempla pervertant. Si enim ova que gignunt diligerent [A, diligenter]\ nimirum metuerent, ne quis ea perversa opera demonstrando\
Folio 43r - the ostrich, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen