The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 60v - the peacock, 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.
because judgement governs confession. For when a sinner judges himself in confession, then it is as if King Jehosaphat ruled in Judah. But Ophir is taken to mean 'grassland'. We call ground which has not been cultivated 'grassland'. It is deep in grass, producing a sense of pleasure. The effete sit on the grass, and the indolent lie on it. They sit endlessly, they lie wantonly. This stretch of grass is the world, barren and infertile. Jehosaphat's fleet, therefore, seeks to go to Ophir for gold, as we might seek purity of mind, waiting for the destruction of the world. But while they were at Asion Gaber, Jehosaphat's fleet is said to have been wrecked. Gaber, as Jerome says, means 'young' or 'strong'. It is not surprising, therefore, if the rashness of youth wrecks the fleet of confession. Since we have said a great deal by way of introduction, it remains for us Next to discuss the peacock, the subject we intended to deal with. The peacock, as Isidore says, gets its name from the sound of its cry. For when it starts, unexpectedly, to give its cry, it produces sudden fear in its hearers. The peacock is called pavo, therefore, from pavor, fear, since its cry produces fear in those who hear it. When the peacock lives it Tharsis, it signifies the effete. But when it is brought by the fleet to Jerusalem, it represents learned teachers. The peacock has hard flesh, resistant to decay, which can only with difficulty be cooked over a fire by a cook, or can scarcely be digested in the stomach, because of the heat of its liver. Such are the minds of teachers; they neither burn with the flame of desire, nor are they set alight by the heat of lust. The peacock has a fearful voice, an unaffected walk, a serpent's head and a sapphire breast. It also has on its wings feathers tinged with red. In addition, it has a long tail, covered with what I might call 'eyes'. The peacock has a fearful voice, as does a preacher when he threatens sinners with the unquenchable fire of Gehenna. It walks in an unaffected way, in the sense that the preacher does not overstep the bounds of humility in his behaviour. It has a serpent's head, as the preacher's mind is held in check by wise circumspection. But the sapphire colour of its breast

Text

The peacock has a serpent's head, a sapphire breast, wing feathers tinged in red and 'eyes' on its tail.

Transcription

quia iudicium confessionis [PL, confessioni] dominatur. Cum enim peccator in confes\ sione seipsum iudicat, tunc rex Josaphat in Judea regnat. Ophir\ vero herbosum interpretatur. Herbosa terra dicitur que aliquo non\ elaboratur. Que vestitur abundantia graminis, ut moveat affec\ tum delectationis. In hoc herboso voluptuosi sedent, desidiosi\ iacent. Sedent assiduitate, iacent dissolutione. Hoc herbosum\ est hic mundus sterilis et infecundus. In Ophir igitur classis Josa\ phat ire propter aurum nititur, ut dum mundi casus attenditur\ mentis puritas adquiratur. Set cum agitur in Asion Gaber clas\ sis Josaphat fracta fuisse perhibetur. Gaber sicut Jeronimo dicitur\ iuvenis sive fortis interpretatur. Non igitur mirum si classem confes\ sionis frangat impetus iuventutis. Quoniam de premissis plura dixi\ mus, restat ut de pavone de quo agere intendimus, aliquid\ postea dicamus. Pavo sicut Ysidorus dicit, a sono vocis\ nomen accepit. Cum enim ex improviso clamare ceperit, pavo\ rem subitum audientibus incutit. Pavo igitur a pavore dicitur, cum per\ vocem eius pavor audientibus inferatur. Pavo dum in Tharsis\ habitat, delicatos designat. Cum vero per classem in Jerusalem delatus\ fuerit, doctorum predicantium figuram gerit. Duras habet carnes\ et putredini resistentes, que vix a coco coquantur foco, vel a ca\ lore epatis coqui possint in stomacho. Tales sunt doctorum\ mentes quos nec flamma cupiditatis exurit, nec calor libidi\ nis accendit. Habet pavo vocem terribilem, incessum simplicem,\ caput serpentinum, pectus saphirinum. Habet etiam in alis\ plumas aliquantulum rufas. Habet etiam caudam longam, et ut\ ita dicam quasi oculis plenam. Habet pavo vocem terribilem quando\ predicator minatur peccatoribus iNextinguibilem Gehenne ignem. Sim\ pliciter incedit quociens in operibus suis humilitatem non excedit.\ Habet caput serpentis dum captum [PL, caput] mentis tenetur sub custodia cal\ lide circumspectionis. Color vero sapharinus in pectore, celeste\

Translation

because judgement governs confession. For when a sinner judges himself in confession, then it is as if King Jehosaphat ruled in Judah. But Ophir is taken to mean 'grassland'. We call ground which has not been cultivated 'grassland'. It is deep in grass, producing a sense of pleasure. The effete sit on the grass, and the indolent lie on it. They sit endlessly, they lie wantonly. This stretch of grass is the world, barren and infertile. Jehosaphat's fleet, therefore, seeks to go to Ophir for gold, as we might seek purity of mind, waiting for the destruction of the world. But while they were at Asion Gaber, Jehosaphat's fleet is said to have been wrecked. Gaber, as Jerome says, means 'young' or 'strong'. It is not surprising, therefore, if the rashness of youth wrecks the fleet of confession. Since we have said a great deal by way of introduction, it remains for us Next to discuss the peacock, the subject we intended to deal with. The peacock, as Isidore says, gets its name from the sound of its cry. For when it starts, unexpectedly, to give its cry, it produces sudden fear in its hearers. The peacock is called pavo, therefore, from pavor, fear, since its cry produces fear in those who hear it. When the peacock lives it Tharsis, it signifies the effete. But when it is brought by the fleet to Jerusalem, it represents learned teachers. The peacock has hard flesh, resistant to decay, which can only with difficulty be cooked over a fire by a cook, or can scarcely be digested in the stomach, because of the heat of its liver. Such are the minds of teachers; they neither burn with the flame of desire, nor are they set alight by the heat of lust. The peacock has a fearful voice, an unaffected walk, a serpent's head and a sapphire breast. It also has on its wings feathers tinged with red. In addition, it has a long tail, covered with what I might call 'eyes'. The peacock has a fearful voice, as does a preacher when he threatens sinners with the unquenchable fire of Gehenna. It walks in an unaffected way, in the sense that the preacher does not overstep the bounds of humility in his behaviour. It has a serpent's head, as the preacher's mind is held in check by wise circumspection. But the sapphire colour of its breast
  • Commentary

    Text

    The peacock has a serpent's head, a sapphire breast, wing feathers tinged in red and 'eyes' on its tail.

  • Translation
    because judgement governs confession. For when a sinner judges himself in confession, then it is as if King Jehosaphat ruled in Judah. But Ophir is taken to mean 'grassland'. We call ground which has not been cultivated 'grassland'. It is deep in grass, producing a sense of pleasure. The effete sit on the grass, and the indolent lie on it. They sit endlessly, they lie wantonly. This stretch of grass is the world, barren and infertile. Jehosaphat's fleet, therefore, seeks to go to Ophir for gold, as we might seek purity of mind, waiting for the destruction of the world. But while they were at Asion Gaber, Jehosaphat's fleet is said to have been wrecked. Gaber, as Jerome says, means 'young' or 'strong'. It is not surprising, therefore, if the rashness of youth wrecks the fleet of confession. Since we have said a great deal by way of introduction, it remains for us Next to discuss the peacock, the subject we intended to deal with. The peacock, as Isidore says, gets its name from the sound of its cry. For when it starts, unexpectedly, to give its cry, it produces sudden fear in its hearers. The peacock is called pavo, therefore, from pavor, fear, since its cry produces fear in those who hear it. When the peacock lives it Tharsis, it signifies the effete. But when it is brought by the fleet to Jerusalem, it represents learned teachers. The peacock has hard flesh, resistant to decay, which can only with difficulty be cooked over a fire by a cook, or can scarcely be digested in the stomach, because of the heat of its liver. Such are the minds of teachers; they neither burn with the flame of desire, nor are they set alight by the heat of lust. The peacock has a fearful voice, an unaffected walk, a serpent's head and a sapphire breast. It also has on its wings feathers tinged with red. In addition, it has a long tail, covered with what I might call 'eyes'. The peacock has a fearful voice, as does a preacher when he threatens sinners with the unquenchable fire of Gehenna. It walks in an unaffected way, in the sense that the preacher does not overstep the bounds of humility in his behaviour. It has a serpent's head, as the preacher's mind is held in check by wise circumspection. But the sapphire colour of its breast
  • Transcription
    quia iudicium confessionis [PL, confessioni] dominatur. Cum enim peccator in confes\ sione seipsum iudicat, tunc rex Josaphat in Judea regnat. Ophir\ vero herbosum interpretatur. Herbosa terra dicitur que aliquo non\ elaboratur. Que vestitur abundantia graminis, ut moveat affec\ tum delectationis. In hoc herboso voluptuosi sedent, desidiosi\ iacent. Sedent assiduitate, iacent dissolutione. Hoc herbosum\ est hic mundus sterilis et infecundus. In Ophir igitur classis Josa\ phat ire propter aurum nititur, ut dum mundi casus attenditur\ mentis puritas adquiratur. Set cum agitur in Asion Gaber clas\ sis Josaphat fracta fuisse perhibetur. Gaber sicut Jeronimo dicitur\ iuvenis sive fortis interpretatur. Non igitur mirum si classem confes\ sionis frangat impetus iuventutis. Quoniam de premissis plura dixi\ mus, restat ut de pavone de quo agere intendimus, aliquid\ postea dicamus. Pavo sicut Ysidorus dicit, a sono vocis\ nomen accepit. Cum enim ex improviso clamare ceperit, pavo\ rem subitum audientibus incutit. Pavo igitur a pavore dicitur, cum per\ vocem eius pavor audientibus inferatur. Pavo dum in Tharsis\ habitat, delicatos designat. Cum vero per classem in Jerusalem delatus\ fuerit, doctorum predicantium figuram gerit. Duras habet carnes\ et putredini resistentes, que vix a coco coquantur foco, vel a ca\ lore epatis coqui possint in stomacho. Tales sunt doctorum\ mentes quos nec flamma cupiditatis exurit, nec calor libidi\ nis accendit. Habet pavo vocem terribilem, incessum simplicem,\ caput serpentinum, pectus saphirinum. Habet etiam in alis\ plumas aliquantulum rufas. Habet etiam caudam longam, et ut\ ita dicam quasi oculis plenam. Habet pavo vocem terribilem quando\ predicator minatur peccatoribus iNextinguibilem Gehenne ignem. Sim\ pliciter incedit quociens in operibus suis humilitatem non excedit.\ Habet caput serpentis dum captum [PL, caput] mentis tenetur sub custodia cal\ lide circumspectionis. Color vero sapharinus in pectore, celeste\
Folio 60v - the peacock, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen