The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 62r - the eagle, 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.
He does it, not as a father denying his own child, but as one rejecting another's. seems to some, however, that the kindness of the common variety of the bird excuses the unkindness of its regal counterpart. The ordinary bird is called fulica, coot; in Greek, fene. Taking up the eaglet, abandoned or unacknowledged, the coot adds it to its brood, making it one of the family, with the same maternal devotion as it shows to its own chicks, and feeds and nourishes the eaglet and its own brood with equal attention. The coot, therefore, feeds another's young, while we cast off our own with the cruelty of an enemy. For the eagle, even if it rejects its young, does not cast them off as if they were its own, but will not even acknowledge them, as if they were unworthy of its kind. We, which is worse, abandon those we have already acknowledged as our own. Again of the eagle The word 'eagle' in the Holy Scriptures signifies sometimes evil spirits, ravishers of souls; sometimes the rulers of this world. Sometimes, in contrast, it signifies either the acute understanding of the saints, or the Lord incarnate flying swiftly over the depths then seeking once more the heights. The word 'eagle' represents those who lie in ambush for the spirit. This is confirmed by Jeremiah, who says: 'Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven' (Lamentations, 4:19). For our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of heaven when wicked men do such things against us that they seem to exceed the very rulers of the air in their evil machinations. The word 'eagle' also symbolises earthly power. Ezekiel says with reference to this: 'A great eagle with broad wings and long limbs, in full plumage, richly patterned, came to Lebanon. It took away the marrow of a cedar-tree, it plucked the highest foliage' (see Ezekiel, 17:3-4). This eagle - whom else does it signify but Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon? By the vastness of the eagle's great wings is represented the vastness of Nebuchadnezzar's army; by the length of its limbs, the length of his days; by its full plumage, his great wealth; by its rich patterning, his immeasurable earthly glory. 'The eagle came to Lebanon and took away the marrow of a cedar tree, it plucked the highest foliage',

Text

The eagle, its allegory.

Comment

Initial type 2.

Folio Attributes

  • Ruling

    Ruling

    Ruling
    Ruling continues under the illustration. Detail from f.16r

    After the leaves had been pricked, they were ready for ruling. Most pages up to quire F have 29 lines (except for the heavily illustrated quire A). The remaining quires use 28, 30 or 31 lines. The most regular ruling is found in B and C: the two top and bottom lines extend across the whole page. The lines in A, B and C are ruled in a grey colour. From D onwards the lines are a darker brown. The horizontal lines here are also neater, not overlapping the vertical margins. This would suggest that the ruling in A,B and C was done by a different person from the rest. In D and E there is a triple spaced double line across the top and bottom of the page but thereafter the ruling patterns become somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes there are double spaced top and bottom lines, sometimes the number of lines varies. On f.18v, the normal pattern of 29 lines is inadequate. It would appear that the scribe himself had to add two additional lines below the bottom margin, in order to complete his tale. Generally, the written space is 185 x 110/115mm. The ruling appears to have been made without any plan for the illuminations: on f.14r and f.16r the ruled lines pass under the illustration. Two pairs of leaves were left blank. F.3v-f.4r were probably intended to be glued together in order to support the weight of paint and gold leaf on f.4v. f.6r and f.6v precede the Lion story. In the Ashmole Bestiary, the lion has two full page illustrations, which were probably intended here. Two pairs of leaves are glued together. F.56r has a hole in it, which is concealed by being glued to the next page, f.56v. F.93r is glued to f.93v, probably because of the gilded double illumination on f.93v.

Transcription

dempnat. Nec quasi suum abdicat, sed quasi alienum recu\ sat. Hanc tamen ut quibusdam videtur regalis avis inclemen\ tiam plebeie avis excusat clementia. Avis cui nomen fulica\ est, que Grece dicitur fene, susceptum illum sive abdicatum, si\ ve non agnitum aquile pullum cum sua prole connectit, atque intermiscens suis eodem quo proprios fetus materne sedulita\ tis officio, et pari nutrimentorum subministratione pascit et\ nutrit. Ergo fene alienos nutrit, nos vero nostros inimici crudeli\ tate proicimus. Aquila enim si proicit, non quasi suum proicit, set\ quasi degenerem non recognoscit, nos quod peius est quos no\ stros recognoscimus abdicamus.\ Item de aquila \ Aquile vocabulo in sacra scriptura aliquando maligni spiritus\ raptores animarum, aliquando presentis seculi potestates,\ aliquando vero vel subtilissime sanctorum intelligentie vel incar\ natus dominus ima celeriter transvolans et mox summa repe\ tens designatur. Aquilarum nomine insidiatores spiritus exprimun\ tur. Jeremia attestante qui ait: Velociores fuerunt persecutores\ nostri aquilis celi. Persecutores enim nostri aquilis celi velociores sunt,\ cum tanta contra nos maligni homines faciunt, ut ipsas etiam\ aerias potestates inventionibus malicie preire videantur. Aquile\ vocabulo potestas terrena figuratur. Unde et per Ezechielem dicitur:\ Aquila grandis magnarum alarum, longo membrorum\ ductu, plena plumis et varitate venit ad Libanum, et tulit\ medullam cedri, et summitatem frondium eius evulsit. Qua\ videlicet aquila, quis alius quam Nabuchodonosor rex Babilo\ nis designatur? Qui pre universitate [,i>PL, pro immensitate] exercitus magnarum ala\ rum, pro diurnitate temporum longo membrorum ductu, pro mul\ tis diviciis plena plumis, pro innumera autem terrene glorie com\ positione plena varietate describitur. Que venit ad Libanum\ et tulit medullam cedri, et summitatem frondium eius evulsit\

Translation

He does it, not as a father denying his own child, but as one rejecting another's. seems to some, however, that the kindness of the common variety of the bird excuses the unkindness of its regal counterpart. The ordinary bird is called fulica, coot; in Greek, fene. Taking up the eaglet, abandoned or unacknowledged, the coot adds it to its brood, making it one of the family, with the same maternal devotion as it shows to its own chicks, and feeds and nourishes the eaglet and its own brood with equal attention. The coot, therefore, feeds another's young, while we cast off our own with the cruelty of an enemy. For the eagle, even if it rejects its young, does not cast them off as if they were its own, but will not even acknowledge them, as if they were unworthy of its kind. We, which is worse, abandon those we have already acknowledged as our own. Again of the eagle The word 'eagle' in the Holy Scriptures signifies sometimes evil spirits, ravishers of souls; sometimes the rulers of this world. Sometimes, in contrast, it signifies either the acute understanding of the saints, or the Lord incarnate flying swiftly over the depths then seeking once more the heights. The word 'eagle' represents those who lie in ambush for the spirit. This is confirmed by Jeremiah, who says: 'Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven' (Lamentations, 4:19). For our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of heaven when wicked men do such things against us that they seem to exceed the very rulers of the air in their evil machinations. The word 'eagle' also symbolises earthly power. Ezekiel says with reference to this: 'A great eagle with broad wings and long limbs, in full plumage, richly patterned, came to Lebanon. It took away the marrow of a cedar-tree, it plucked the highest foliage' (see Ezekiel, 17:3-4). This eagle - whom else does it signify but Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon? By the vastness of the eagle's great wings is represented the vastness of Nebuchadnezzar's army; by the length of its limbs, the length of his days; by its full plumage, his great wealth; by its rich patterning, his immeasurable earthly glory. 'The eagle came to Lebanon and took away the marrow of a cedar tree, it plucked the highest foliage',
  • Commentary

    Text

    The eagle, its allegory.

    Comment

    Initial type 2.

    Folio Attributes

    • Ruling

      Ruling

      Ruling
      Ruling continues under the illustration. Detail from f.16r

      After the leaves had been pricked, they were ready for ruling. Most pages up to quire F have 29 lines (except for the heavily illustrated quire A). The remaining quires use 28, 30 or 31 lines. The most regular ruling is found in B and C: the two top and bottom lines extend across the whole page. The lines in A, B and C are ruled in a grey colour. From D onwards the lines are a darker brown. The horizontal lines here are also neater, not overlapping the vertical margins. This would suggest that the ruling in A,B and C was done by a different person from the rest. In D and E there is a triple spaced double line across the top and bottom of the page but thereafter the ruling patterns become somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes there are double spaced top and bottom lines, sometimes the number of lines varies. On f.18v, the normal pattern of 29 lines is inadequate. It would appear that the scribe himself had to add two additional lines below the bottom margin, in order to complete his tale. Generally, the written space is 185 x 110/115mm. The ruling appears to have been made without any plan for the illuminations: on f.14r and f.16r the ruled lines pass under the illustration. Two pairs of leaves were left blank. F.3v-f.4r were probably intended to be glued together in order to support the weight of paint and gold leaf on f.4v. f.6r and f.6v precede the Lion story. In the Ashmole Bestiary, the lion has two full page illustrations, which were probably intended here. Two pairs of leaves are glued together. F.56r has a hole in it, which is concealed by being glued to the next page, f.56v. F.93r is glued to f.93v, probably because of the gilded double illumination on f.93v.

  • Translation
    He does it, not as a father denying his own child, but as one rejecting another's. seems to some, however, that the kindness of the common variety of the bird excuses the unkindness of its regal counterpart. The ordinary bird is called fulica, coot; in Greek, fene. Taking up the eaglet, abandoned or unacknowledged, the coot adds it to its brood, making it one of the family, with the same maternal devotion as it shows to its own chicks, and feeds and nourishes the eaglet and its own brood with equal attention. The coot, therefore, feeds another's young, while we cast off our own with the cruelty of an enemy. For the eagle, even if it rejects its young, does not cast them off as if they were its own, but will not even acknowledge them, as if they were unworthy of its kind. We, which is worse, abandon those we have already acknowledged as our own. Again of the eagle The word 'eagle' in the Holy Scriptures signifies sometimes evil spirits, ravishers of souls; sometimes the rulers of this world. Sometimes, in contrast, it signifies either the acute understanding of the saints, or the Lord incarnate flying swiftly over the depths then seeking once more the heights. The word 'eagle' represents those who lie in ambush for the spirit. This is confirmed by Jeremiah, who says: 'Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven' (Lamentations, 4:19). For our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of heaven when wicked men do such things against us that they seem to exceed the very rulers of the air in their evil machinations. The word 'eagle' also symbolises earthly power. Ezekiel says with reference to this: 'A great eagle with broad wings and long limbs, in full plumage, richly patterned, came to Lebanon. It took away the marrow of a cedar-tree, it plucked the highest foliage' (see Ezekiel, 17:3-4). This eagle - whom else does it signify but Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon? By the vastness of the eagle's great wings is represented the vastness of Nebuchadnezzar's army; by the length of its limbs, the length of his days; by its full plumage, his great wealth; by its rich patterning, his immeasurable earthly glory. 'The eagle came to Lebanon and took away the marrow of a cedar tree, it plucked the highest foliage',
  • Transcription
    dempnat. Nec quasi suum abdicat, sed quasi alienum recu\ sat. Hanc tamen ut quibusdam videtur regalis avis inclemen\ tiam plebeie avis excusat clementia. Avis cui nomen fulica\ est, que Grece dicitur fene, susceptum illum sive abdicatum, si\ ve non agnitum aquile pullum cum sua prole connectit, atque intermiscens suis eodem quo proprios fetus materne sedulita\ tis officio, et pari nutrimentorum subministratione pascit et\ nutrit. Ergo fene alienos nutrit, nos vero nostros inimici crudeli\ tate proicimus. Aquila enim si proicit, non quasi suum proicit, set\ quasi degenerem non recognoscit, nos quod peius est quos no\ stros recognoscimus abdicamus.\ Item de aquila \ Aquile vocabulo in sacra scriptura aliquando maligni spiritus\ raptores animarum, aliquando presentis seculi potestates,\ aliquando vero vel subtilissime sanctorum intelligentie vel incar\ natus dominus ima celeriter transvolans et mox summa repe\ tens designatur. Aquilarum nomine insidiatores spiritus exprimun\ tur. Jeremia attestante qui ait: Velociores fuerunt persecutores\ nostri aquilis celi. Persecutores enim nostri aquilis celi velociores sunt,\ cum tanta contra nos maligni homines faciunt, ut ipsas etiam\ aerias potestates inventionibus malicie preire videantur. Aquile\ vocabulo potestas terrena figuratur. Unde et per Ezechielem dicitur:\ Aquila grandis magnarum alarum, longo membrorum\ ductu, plena plumis et varitate venit ad Libanum, et tulit\ medullam cedri, et summitatem frondium eius evulsit. Qua\ videlicet aquila, quis alius quam Nabuchodonosor rex Babilo\ nis designatur? Qui pre universitate [,i>PL, pro immensitate] exercitus magnarum ala\ rum, pro diurnitate temporum longo membrorum ductu, pro mul\ tis diviciis plena plumis, pro innumera autem terrene glorie com\ positione plena varietate describitur. Que venit ad Libanum\ et tulit medullam cedri, et summitatem frondium eius evulsit\
Folio 62r - the eagle, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen