The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 45r - the vulture, 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.
by his ascension made a place in heaven for our fleshly body, which he assumed? Christ is also fittingly represented by the word 'vulture'. The fact is, if a vulture, in flight, sees a corpse, it sets itself down to feed on it, and is often overtaken by death when it descends to the dead animal from a great height. It is right, therefore, that Christ, who was God's mediator and our redeemer, should be signified by the name 'vulture'. While remaining in the heights of his divinity, like the vulture flying on high, he saw the corpse of our mortality below and descended from heaven to the earth beneath; he deigned, indeed, to become man for our sake; and when he sought man, the living thing that had no life, he who in himself had eternal life, met his death at our hands. But the aim of this vulture, Christ, was our resurrection, because when he had been dead for three days, he delivered us from eternal death. For the treacherous people of Judea saw Christ as a mortal man, but little thought that by his death he would destroy ours. They, indeed, saw the vulture, but paid no attention to its eyes. They would not consider the ways of Christ's humility, by which he raised us to the heights, and so were like the bird that knows not the path. For they gave no serious thought to the fact that Christ's humility raised us to heaven and the purpose of his death was to restore us to life. Thus 'the fowl does not know the way, the eye of the vulture has not seen it', means that even if the Jews saw Christ, whom they put to death, they were unwilling to see how far the glory of our life would follow from his death. They were, in consequence, incensed to commit cruel acts of persecution, they refused to hear the words of life, they rejected the preachers of the kingdom of heaven by arresting them, treating them savagely, putting them to death. The preachers, rejected, left Judea where they had been sent and were dispersed among the Gentiles. Such is the nature of the vulture, that the sinner can also be represented by it. The vulture follows the army to fill itself with corpses, as the sinner follows the evil men of the Devil's army, modelling himself on their ways. The vulture feeds on the corpses of the dead as

Text

The vulture feeds on dead bodies.

Comment

On the third line, the addition in the margin 'si iacens' has not been inserted in the gap in the text.

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.

Transcription

Translation

by his ascension made a place in heaven for our fleshly body, which he assumed? Christ is also fittingly represented by the word 'vulture'. The fact is, if a vulture, in flight, sees a corpse, it sets itself down to feed on it, and is often overtaken by death when it descends to the dead animal from a great height. It is right, therefore, that Christ, who was God's mediator and our redeemer, should be signified by the name 'vulture'. While remaining in the heights of his divinity, like the vulture flying on high, he saw the corpse of our mortality below and descended from heaven to the earth beneath; he deigned, indeed, to become man for our sake; and when he sought man, the living thing that had no life, he who in himself had eternal life, met his death at our hands. But the aim of this vulture, Christ, was our resurrection, because when he had been dead for three days, he delivered us from eternal death. For the treacherous people of Judea saw Christ as a mortal man, but little thought that by his death he would destroy ours. They, indeed, saw the vulture, but paid no attention to its eyes. They would not consider the ways of Christ's humility, by which he raised us to the heights, and so were like the bird that knows not the path. For they gave no serious thought to the fact that Christ's humility raised us to heaven and the purpose of his death was to restore us to life. Thus 'the fowl does not know the way, the eye of the vulture has not seen it', means that even if the Jews saw Christ, whom they put to death, they were unwilling to see how far the glory of our life would follow from his death. They were, in consequence, incensed to commit cruel acts of persecution, they refused to hear the words of life, they rejected the preachers of the kingdom of heaven by arresting them, treating them savagely, putting them to death. The preachers, rejected, left Judea where they had been sent and were dispersed among the Gentiles. Such is the nature of the vulture, that the sinner can also be represented by it. The vulture follows the army to fill itself with corpses, as the sinner follows the evil men of the Devil's army, modelling himself on their ways. The vulture feeds on the corpses of the dead as
  • Commentary

    Text

    The vulture feeds on dead bodies.

    Comment

    On the third line, the addition in the margin 'si iacens' has not been inserted in the gap in the text.

    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.

  • Translation
    by his ascension made a place in heaven for our fleshly body, which he assumed? Christ is also fittingly represented by the word 'vulture'. The fact is, if a vulture, in flight, sees a corpse, it sets itself down to feed on it, and is often overtaken by death when it descends to the dead animal from a great height. It is right, therefore, that Christ, who was God's mediator and our redeemer, should be signified by the name 'vulture'. While remaining in the heights of his divinity, like the vulture flying on high, he saw the corpse of our mortality below and descended from heaven to the earth beneath; he deigned, indeed, to become man for our sake; and when he sought man, the living thing that had no life, he who in himself had eternal life, met his death at our hands. But the aim of this vulture, Christ, was our resurrection, because when he had been dead for three days, he delivered us from eternal death. For the treacherous people of Judea saw Christ as a mortal man, but little thought that by his death he would destroy ours. They, indeed, saw the vulture, but paid no attention to its eyes. They would not consider the ways of Christ's humility, by which he raised us to the heights, and so were like the bird that knows not the path. For they gave no serious thought to the fact that Christ's humility raised us to heaven and the purpose of his death was to restore us to life. Thus 'the fowl does not know the way, the eye of the vulture has not seen it', means that even if the Jews saw Christ, whom they put to death, they were unwilling to see how far the glory of our life would follow from his death. They were, in consequence, incensed to commit cruel acts of persecution, they refused to hear the words of life, they rejected the preachers of the kingdom of heaven by arresting them, treating them savagely, putting them to death. The preachers, rejected, left Judea where they had been sent and were dispersed among the Gentiles. Such is the nature of the vulture, that the sinner can also be represented by it. The vulture follows the army to fill itself with corpses, as the sinner follows the evil men of the Devil's army, modelling himself on their ways. The vulture feeds on the corpses of the dead as
  • Transcription
Folio 45r - the vulture, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen