The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 76v - Of fish, 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.
From what teacher has it learned this art? Who interpreted such omens for it? Men often observe turbulence in the air and are often deceived, because frequently it disperses without a storm. The urchin is not mistaken; the significance of the signs it sees does not escape it. From where did this tiny creature get such knowledge that it can foretell the future, because it has no innate capacity to display such foresight. You must believe that it is through the kindness of the Lord of all things that the echinus. too, has received the gift of foresight. For if 'God so clothe the grass of the field' that we marvel, if he feeds 'the fowls of the air' (see Matthew, 6:26, 30); if 'he provideth for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God' (Job, 38:41); if he gives women the skill of weaving; if he has not left the spider, which hangs its open network on doorways, without the gift of knowledge; if he has given strength to the horse and loosed terror from its mane, so that it exults on the battlefield and laughs in the face of kings and 'smelleth the battle afar off' and says Ha! at the sound of the trumpets (see Job, 39: 19-25) ... if these many creatures, who lack the capacity of reason, together with the grass and the lilies of the field, are filled with the wisdom which the Lord has dispensed, why should we doubt that he has also conferred upon the echinus the grace of foresight? For there is nothing that the Lord has not examined, nothing that has not been revealed to him. He sees all things, who nourishes all things; he fills all things with wisdom, who has made all things in wisdom, as it is written (see Psalms, 104:24). For this reason, if he has not neglected the echinus, if he has not left him out of his visitation; if he attends to it and instructs it in signs of things to come, does he not take care of you? Indeed he does, as he proves in his divine wisdom, saying: 'If your heavenly father sees the fowls of the air and feeds them, are ye not much better than they? If God so clothe the grasses of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? ' (Matthew, 6: 26, 30). The conca and concle are so called because they are hollow, that is to say, they empty themselves, at the waning of the moon. For the limbs of all the enclosed sea-creatures and shellfish grow at the waxing of the moon

Text

Moral qualities of the sea urchin.

Transcription

quo doctore percipit? Quis ei fuit tanti interpres augurii?\ Sepe homines confusionem aeris vident et sepe falluntur,\ quod plerumque eam sine tempestate discuciant. Echinus\ non fallitur, echinum sua nequaquam signa pretereunt. Unde\ exiguo animali tanta scientia ut futura prenuntiet, quod ma\gis in eo nichil est quam tantam habere prudentiam. Crede quod\ per indulgentiam domini reorum omnium, hic quoque presci\entie huius munus acceperit. Etenim si fenum deus sic vestit\ ut miremur, si pascit volatilia, si parat corvis escam, pulli\ enim eorum clamant ad dominum, et si mulieribus dedit\ texture sapientiam, si araneam que tam subtiliter ac docte\ laxos casses suspendit in foribus sapientie non relinquat\ immunem, si ipse virtutem equo dedit, et solvit de cervice\ eius formidinem eut [ut] exultet in campis, et occurrens regi\bus arrideat, odoretur bellum eminus, excitetur sono\ tube, si hec irrationabilia pleraque et alia insensibilia, ut fe\num ut lilia repleta sue dispositione sapientie, quid du\bitamus, et quod etiam in echinum contulerit huius gra\ciam prescientie? Nichil enim inexploratum, nichil dissi\mulatum relinquit. Omnia videt qui pascit omnia, om\nia replet sapientia qui omnia in sapientia fecit ut scrip\tum est. Et ideo si echinum visitationis sue exortem non\ pretermisit, si eum considerat, et futurorum informat indi\ciis, tua non considerat? Immo vero considerat si [sic] contestatur\ eius divina sapientia dicens: Si respicit volatilia si pascit\ illa, nonne vos pluris estis illis? Si fenum agri quod hodie\ est, et cras in ignem mittitur deus sic vestit, quantomagis vos\ minime fidei? Conce conclee ex hac causa vocate, quia de\ ficiente luna cavantur, id est evacuantur. Omnium enim clau\sorum animalium maris atque concarum incremento lune\

Translation

From what teacher has it learned this art? Who interpreted such omens for it? Men often observe turbulence in the air and are often deceived, because frequently it disperses without a storm. The urchin is not mistaken; the significance of the signs it sees does not escape it. From where did this tiny creature get such knowledge that it can foretell the future, because it has no innate capacity to display such foresight. You must believe that it is through the kindness of the Lord of all things that the echinus. too, has received the gift of foresight. For if 'God so clothe the grass of the field' that we marvel, if he feeds 'the fowls of the air' (see Matthew, 6:26, 30); if 'he provideth for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God' (Job, 38:41); if he gives women the skill of weaving; if he has not left the spider, which hangs its open network on doorways, without the gift of knowledge; if he has given strength to the horse and loosed terror from its mane, so that it exults on the battlefield and laughs in the face of kings and 'smelleth the battle afar off' and says Ha! at the sound of the trumpets (see Job, 39: 19-25) ... if these many creatures, who lack the capacity of reason, together with the grass and the lilies of the field, are filled with the wisdom which the Lord has dispensed, why should we doubt that he has also conferred upon the echinus the grace of foresight? For there is nothing that the Lord has not examined, nothing that has not been revealed to him. He sees all things, who nourishes all things; he fills all things with wisdom, who has made all things in wisdom, as it is written (see Psalms, 104:24). For this reason, if he has not neglected the echinus, if he has not left him out of his visitation; if he attends to it and instructs it in signs of things to come, does he not take care of you? Indeed he does, as he proves in his divine wisdom, saying: 'If your heavenly father sees the fowls of the air and feeds them, are ye not much better than they? If God so clothe the grasses of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? ' (Matthew, 6: 26, 30). The conca and concle are so called because they are hollow, that is to say, they empty themselves, at the waning of the moon. For the limbs of all the enclosed sea-creatures and shellfish grow at the waxing of the moon
  • Commentary

    Text

    Moral qualities of the sea urchin.

  • Translation
    From what teacher has it learned this art? Who interpreted such omens for it? Men often observe turbulence in the air and are often deceived, because frequently it disperses without a storm. The urchin is not mistaken; the significance of the signs it sees does not escape it. From where did this tiny creature get such knowledge that it can foretell the future, because it has no innate capacity to display such foresight. You must believe that it is through the kindness of the Lord of all things that the echinus. too, has received the gift of foresight. For if 'God so clothe the grass of the field' that we marvel, if he feeds 'the fowls of the air' (see Matthew, 6:26, 30); if 'he provideth for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God' (Job, 38:41); if he gives women the skill of weaving; if he has not left the spider, which hangs its open network on doorways, without the gift of knowledge; if he has given strength to the horse and loosed terror from its mane, so that it exults on the battlefield and laughs in the face of kings and 'smelleth the battle afar off' and says Ha! at the sound of the trumpets (see Job, 39: 19-25) ... if these many creatures, who lack the capacity of reason, together with the grass and the lilies of the field, are filled with the wisdom which the Lord has dispensed, why should we doubt that he has also conferred upon the echinus the grace of foresight? For there is nothing that the Lord has not examined, nothing that has not been revealed to him. He sees all things, who nourishes all things; he fills all things with wisdom, who has made all things in wisdom, as it is written (see Psalms, 104:24). For this reason, if he has not neglected the echinus, if he has not left him out of his visitation; if he attends to it and instructs it in signs of things to come, does he not take care of you? Indeed he does, as he proves in his divine wisdom, saying: 'If your heavenly father sees the fowls of the air and feeds them, are ye not much better than they? If God so clothe the grasses of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? ' (Matthew, 6: 26, 30). The conca and concle are so called because they are hollow, that is to say, they empty themselves, at the waning of the moon. For the limbs of all the enclosed sea-creatures and shellfish grow at the waxing of the moon
  • Transcription
    quo doctore percipit? Quis ei fuit tanti interpres augurii?\ Sepe homines confusionem aeris vident et sepe falluntur,\ quod plerumque eam sine tempestate discuciant. Echinus\ non fallitur, echinum sua nequaquam signa pretereunt. Unde\ exiguo animali tanta scientia ut futura prenuntiet, quod ma\gis in eo nichil est quam tantam habere prudentiam. Crede quod\ per indulgentiam domini reorum omnium, hic quoque presci\entie huius munus acceperit. Etenim si fenum deus sic vestit\ ut miremur, si pascit volatilia, si parat corvis escam, pulli\ enim eorum clamant ad dominum, et si mulieribus dedit\ texture sapientiam, si araneam que tam subtiliter ac docte\ laxos casses suspendit in foribus sapientie non relinquat\ immunem, si ipse virtutem equo dedit, et solvit de cervice\ eius formidinem eut [ut] exultet in campis, et occurrens regi\bus arrideat, odoretur bellum eminus, excitetur sono\ tube, si hec irrationabilia pleraque et alia insensibilia, ut fe\num ut lilia repleta sue dispositione sapientie, quid du\bitamus, et quod etiam in echinum contulerit huius gra\ciam prescientie? Nichil enim inexploratum, nichil dissi\mulatum relinquit. Omnia videt qui pascit omnia, om\nia replet sapientia qui omnia in sapientia fecit ut scrip\tum est. Et ideo si echinum visitationis sue exortem non\ pretermisit, si eum considerat, et futurorum informat indi\ciis, tua non considerat? Immo vero considerat si [sic] contestatur\ eius divina sapientia dicens: Si respicit volatilia si pascit\ illa, nonne vos pluris estis illis? Si fenum agri quod hodie\ est, et cras in ignem mittitur deus sic vestit, quantomagis vos\ minime fidei? Conce conclee ex hac causa vocate, quia de\ ficiente luna cavantur, id est evacuantur. Omnium enim clau\sorum animalium maris atque concarum incremento lune\
Folio 76v - Of fish, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen