The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 77r - 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.
and empty when the moon is waning. For when the moon waxes, it increases a humour; when it wanes, it diminishes them. This is what physicians say. Conce is the name for those in the first state, that is, growing; but conclee are what they are called after they have shrunk - conculee, little conce, so to speak. There are many species of the conca, among them the pearl-bearing oysters called occeloe, in whose flesh a precious stone is formed. The authors of the book of the natures of living things relate that at night these creatures go ashore and are fertilised by the dew from heaven, for which reason they are called occeole, ob celestem. The murica is a sea snail, so called from its sharp point and rough surface; it is known by another name, concilium, because when you cut around it with an iron blade, it produces tears which are purple in colour, from which purple dye is made; from this comes the other name for purple, ostrum, because the dye is made from the fluid enclosed in the shell (in Greek, ostreon). The crab, cancros or cancer, is so called because they are shellfish, conce, with legs, crura; they are the enemies of oysters. They live on the flesh of oysters by extraordinary cleverness. For because they cannot open the oyster's strong shell, they watch out for a time when the oyster itself opens the closed leaves. Then the crab secretly inserts a small stone and, preventing the oyster from closing up again, gnaws away its flesh. They say that if ten crabs are bound together with a handful of basil, all the scorpions in the neighbourhood assemble at that point. There are two kinds of crab, river and sea. The oyster gets its name from the shell which protects the softness of the flesh within. For the Greek word for 'shell' is ostreon. Musculi are small shellfish; oysters conceive from their milk. They are called musculi, meaning, so to speak, masculi, 'males'. The tortoise, testudo, is so called because it is covered by the vault of its shell, in the manner of an arched roof. There are four species: land, sea, mud - that is, living in swamps or marshland; the fourth species belongs to rivers and lives in fresh water. Some relate the incredible fact that ships sail more slowly when they carry the right foot of a tortoise. Frogs, rane, get their name from their constant chatter, because they make a croaking noise all around the marshes where they breed, calling out in an uncouth manner with their peculiar sound.

Text

Oysters, the murex which produces the purple dye, crab, tortoise, frogs.

Transcription

membratim crescunt, defectu evacuantur. Luna enim cum\ in augmento fuerit, auget humorem, cum vero in defectum\ fuerit humores minuuntur. Hoc phisici dicunt. Conce autem\ prime posicionis nomen, conclee vero per diminutionem quasi concu\le. Concarum genera multa sunt, inter quas et margaritifere\ que occeloe dicuntur in quarum carne preciosus calculus solidatur.\ De quibus tradunt hi qui de animantium scripserunt naturis,\ eo quod nocturno tempore littora appetant et ex celesti rore\ margaritam concipiunt, unde et occeole nominantur. Murica\ coclea est maris dicta ab acumine et asperitate, que alio nomine\ concilium nominatur, propter quod circumcisa ferro lacrimas\ purpurei coloris emittat, ex quibus purpura tingitur, et inde\ ostrum appellatum quod hec tinctura ex teste humore elicitur.\ Cancros vocari quia conce sunt crura habentes inimica ostreis\ animalia. Eorum enim carnibus vivunt miro ingenio. Nam quia\ validam testam eius aperire non potest, explorat quando ostrea\ claustra testarum aperiat. Tunc cancer latenter lapillum inicit,\ atque impedita conclusione ostree carnes erodit. Tradunt enim\ quidam decem cancris concimi manipulo alligatis, omnes qui\ ibi sunt scorpiones ad eum locum coituros. Duo sunt autem\ genera cancrorum fluviales et maritimi. Ostrea dicta est a testa\ qua mollicies interior carnis munitur. Greci enim testam ostream\ dicunt. Musculi sunt conclee, a quorum lacte concipiunt ostree.\ Et dicti musculi quasi masculi. Testudo dictus eo quod tegmi\ne teste adopertus in camere modum. Sunt autem quatuor genera.\ Terrestres, maritime, lutarie, id est in ceno et palude viventes, quar\tum genus fluviales que in dulci aqua vivunt. Tradunt aliqui\ quod incredibile est, tardius ire navigia, testudinis pedem dex\trum vehentia. Rane a garrulitate eo quod circa genitales stre\punt paludes, et sonos vocis importunis clamoribus reddunt.\

Translation

and empty when the moon is waning. For when the moon waxes, it increases a humour; when it wanes, it diminishes them. This is what physicians say. Conce is the name for those in the first state, that is, growing; but conclee are what they are called after they have shrunk - conculee, little conce, so to speak. There are many species of the conca, among them the pearl-bearing oysters called occeloe, in whose flesh a precious stone is formed. The authors of the book of the natures of living things relate that at night these creatures go ashore and are fertilised by the dew from heaven, for which reason they are called occeole, ob celestem. The murica is a sea snail, so called from its sharp point and rough surface; it is known by another name, concilium, because when you cut around it with an iron blade, it produces tears which are purple in colour, from which purple dye is made; from this comes the other name for purple, ostrum, because the dye is made from the fluid enclosed in the shell (in Greek, ostreon). The crab, cancros or cancer, is so called because they are shellfish, conce, with legs, crura; they are the enemies of oysters. They live on the flesh of oysters by extraordinary cleverness. For because they cannot open the oyster's strong shell, they watch out for a time when the oyster itself opens the closed leaves. Then the crab secretly inserts a small stone and, preventing the oyster from closing up again, gnaws away its flesh. They say that if ten crabs are bound together with a handful of basil, all the scorpions in the neighbourhood assemble at that point. There are two kinds of crab, river and sea. The oyster gets its name from the shell which protects the softness of the flesh within. For the Greek word for 'shell' is ostreon. Musculi are small shellfish; oysters conceive from their milk. They are called musculi, meaning, so to speak, masculi, 'males'. The tortoise, testudo, is so called because it is covered by the vault of its shell, in the manner of an arched roof. There are four species: land, sea, mud - that is, living in swamps or marshland; the fourth species belongs to rivers and lives in fresh water. Some relate the incredible fact that ships sail more slowly when they carry the right foot of a tortoise. Frogs, rane, get their name from their constant chatter, because they make a croaking noise all around the marshes where they breed, calling out in an uncouth manner with their peculiar sound.
  • Commentary

    Text

    Oysters, the murex which produces the purple dye, crab, tortoise, frogs.

  • Translation
    and empty when the moon is waning. For when the moon waxes, it increases a humour; when it wanes, it diminishes them. This is what physicians say. Conce is the name for those in the first state, that is, growing; but conclee are what they are called after they have shrunk - conculee, little conce, so to speak. There are many species of the conca, among them the pearl-bearing oysters called occeloe, in whose flesh a precious stone is formed. The authors of the book of the natures of living things relate that at night these creatures go ashore and are fertilised by the dew from heaven, for which reason they are called occeole, ob celestem. The murica is a sea snail, so called from its sharp point and rough surface; it is known by another name, concilium, because when you cut around it with an iron blade, it produces tears which are purple in colour, from which purple dye is made; from this comes the other name for purple, ostrum, because the dye is made from the fluid enclosed in the shell (in Greek, ostreon). The crab, cancros or cancer, is so called because they are shellfish, conce, with legs, crura; they are the enemies of oysters. They live on the flesh of oysters by extraordinary cleverness. For because they cannot open the oyster's strong shell, they watch out for a time when the oyster itself opens the closed leaves. Then the crab secretly inserts a small stone and, preventing the oyster from closing up again, gnaws away its flesh. They say that if ten crabs are bound together with a handful of basil, all the scorpions in the neighbourhood assemble at that point. There are two kinds of crab, river and sea. The oyster gets its name from the shell which protects the softness of the flesh within. For the Greek word for 'shell' is ostreon. Musculi are small shellfish; oysters conceive from their milk. They are called musculi, meaning, so to speak, masculi, 'males'. The tortoise, testudo, is so called because it is covered by the vault of its shell, in the manner of an arched roof. There are four species: land, sea, mud - that is, living in swamps or marshland; the fourth species belongs to rivers and lives in fresh water. Some relate the incredible fact that ships sail more slowly when they carry the right foot of a tortoise. Frogs, rane, get their name from their constant chatter, because they make a croaking noise all around the marshes where they breed, calling out in an uncouth manner with their peculiar sound.
  • Transcription
    membratim crescunt, defectu evacuantur. Luna enim cum\ in augmento fuerit, auget humorem, cum vero in defectum\ fuerit humores minuuntur. Hoc phisici dicunt. Conce autem\ prime posicionis nomen, conclee vero per diminutionem quasi concu\le. Concarum genera multa sunt, inter quas et margaritifere\ que occeloe dicuntur in quarum carne preciosus calculus solidatur.\ De quibus tradunt hi qui de animantium scripserunt naturis,\ eo quod nocturno tempore littora appetant et ex celesti rore\ margaritam concipiunt, unde et occeole nominantur. Murica\ coclea est maris dicta ab acumine et asperitate, que alio nomine\ concilium nominatur, propter quod circumcisa ferro lacrimas\ purpurei coloris emittat, ex quibus purpura tingitur, et inde\ ostrum appellatum quod hec tinctura ex teste humore elicitur.\ Cancros vocari quia conce sunt crura habentes inimica ostreis\ animalia. Eorum enim carnibus vivunt miro ingenio. Nam quia\ validam testam eius aperire non potest, explorat quando ostrea\ claustra testarum aperiat. Tunc cancer latenter lapillum inicit,\ atque impedita conclusione ostree carnes erodit. Tradunt enim\ quidam decem cancris concimi manipulo alligatis, omnes qui\ ibi sunt scorpiones ad eum locum coituros. Duo sunt autem\ genera cancrorum fluviales et maritimi. Ostrea dicta est a testa\ qua mollicies interior carnis munitur. Greci enim testam ostream\ dicunt. Musculi sunt conclee, a quorum lacte concipiunt ostree.\ Et dicti musculi quasi masculi. Testudo dictus eo quod tegmi\ne teste adopertus in camere modum. Sunt autem quatuor genera.\ Terrestres, maritime, lutarie, id est in ceno et palude viventes, quar\tum genus fluviales que in dulci aqua vivunt. Tradunt aliqui\ quod incredibile est, tardius ire navigia, testudinis pedem dex\trum vehentia. Rane a garrulitate eo quod circa genitales stre\punt paludes, et sonos vocis importunis clamoribus reddunt.\
Folio 77r - Of fish, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen