The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 78r - Of trees, 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.
with roots and are subsequently transplanted from the soil in which they were grown. The root, radix, is so called because it is fixed deep in the ground as if by stakes, radius. Indeed, scholars of natural philosophy say that the depth of the root is equal to the height of the tree. The trunk is the vertical part of the tree, based on the root. The ancients called cortex, bark, corux; the word cortex itself comes from the fact that bark covers the tree like a hide, corium. The inner part of the bark, liber, so called because the bark is freed, liberatus, from it, that is, stripped away. For it is a buffer between the wood and the bark. Branches are what spread forth from the trunk, as twigs from the branches. Twigs, surculi, are so called because they are pruned with a saw, serra. The word virgultum refers to the thin twigs which sprout from the root. The branch springs from the trunk. The twig, virga, from the branch. The word virgultum is used correctly, however, because it means the twigs which grow at the root and are cut off by farmers as if they were useless; they are so called because they are removed from the other twigs. The word virga comes from strength, virtus, because a branch is very strong, or from its green colour, viriditas, or because it is a sign of peace, because it turns green with leaves, a symbol of growth. Magicians use them to calm snakes fighting amongst themselves, supporting them coiled around the branch; philosophers, kings, magistrates, heralds and ambassadors use them for this purpose. The highest parts of the tree are called flagella, whiplashes, because they catch repeated gusts of wind. Foliage, cime, is so to say, come, hair. Leaves, folia, in Latin, are sylia in Greek; the Latin word has come down to us by derivation from the Greek. Blossom, flores, is so called because it is dispersed quickly from the trees, like currents in a stream, fluor, which quickly dissipate. Blossom has a twofold charm - its colour and its scent. For it is stripped off by the south wind and is brought to flower by the wind of the west. A shoot ready to flower, we call gramen; the word comes from generare, to beget, which also gives us generatio. Fruit, fructus, get its name from frumen, the larynx, that is, the projecting part of the throat, with which we eat; fruges comes from the same source. Properly speaking, 'fruit' means in particular the produce of fields and trees which we use. But it is also applied, improperly and by transference, to animals. Apple, pomum, comes from opimus, rich, referring to its abundance. Things are said to be ripe, maturus, because they are then suitable for eating. Wood in its various forms, ligna, is so called because when it is kindled

Text

The etymology of parts of a tree.

Transcription

cum radicibus et a terra propria transferuntur. Radix appellatur quod\ quasi radiis quibusdam fixa terris in profunda mergitur. Nam\ phisici dicunt parem esse altitudinem radicum et arborum.\ Truncus est statura arboris insistens radici. Corticem veteres\ corucem vocabant, dictus autem cortex quod corio lignum\ tegat. Liber est corticis pars interior, dictus a liberato cortice, id est ab\lato. Est enim medium quiddam inter lignum et corticem.\ Rami sunt qui de trunco manant, sicut a ramis surculi. Sur\culi sunt a precisione serre nuncupati. Virgultum est quod de radice\ pullulat. Ramus de ipso robore arboris. Virga que de ramis,\ proprie autem virgultum appellatur, quod ad radicem arboris\ nascitur, et quasi inutile ab agricolis amputatur, et hinc dictum\ virgultum quod ex virga tollitur. Virga vel a virtute dicitur, quia\ vim in se habeat multam vel a viriditate vel quia pacis indicium\ est quod vireat. Unde hac utuntur magi ad placandos inter se\ serpentes, et iccirco in ea hos sustinent illigatos, hac etiam phi\losophi, hac reges et magistri, et nuntii et legati utuntur.\ Flagella dicuntur summe arborum partes, ab eo quod crebros\ ventorum sustinent flatus. Cimas vocatas quasi comas, fo\lia Grece sylia dicuntur. Unde est ad nos hoc nomen per dirivatio\nem translatum. Flores nominati, quod cito solvuntur de arbo\ribus quasi fluores, quod cito solvantur. In his duplex gratia, coloris\ et odoris. Austro enim flores solvuntur, zephiro fiunt. Gramen\ dicimus surculum pregnantem a generando unde et gene\ratio. Fructus accepit nomen a frumine, id est eminente gut\turis parte qua vescimur, unde et fruges, fructus autem\ proprie dicuntur agrorum et arborum quibus utique utimur.\ In animalibus vero abusive et translative vocari fructum. Po\ma dicta ab opimo, id est a copie ubertate. Matura dicuntur\ quia apta sunt ad manducandum. Ligna dicta quia accensa\

Translation

with roots and are subsequently transplanted from the soil in which they were grown. The root, radix, is so called because it is fixed deep in the ground as if by stakes, radius. Indeed, scholars of natural philosophy say that the depth of the root is equal to the height of the tree. The trunk is the vertical part of the tree, based on the root. The ancients called cortex, bark, corux; the word cortex itself comes from the fact that bark covers the tree like a hide, corium. The inner part of the bark, liber, so called because the bark is freed, liberatus, from it, that is, stripped away. For it is a buffer between the wood and the bark. Branches are what spread forth from the trunk, as twigs from the branches. Twigs, surculi, are so called because they are pruned with a saw, serra. The word virgultum refers to the thin twigs which sprout from the root. The branch springs from the trunk. The twig, virga, from the branch. The word virgultum is used correctly, however, because it means the twigs which grow at the root and are cut off by farmers as if they were useless; they are so called because they are removed from the other twigs. The word virga comes from strength, virtus, because a branch is very strong, or from its green colour, viriditas, or because it is a sign of peace, because it turns green with leaves, a symbol of growth. Magicians use them to calm snakes fighting amongst themselves, supporting them coiled around the branch; philosophers, kings, magistrates, heralds and ambassadors use them for this purpose. The highest parts of the tree are called flagella, whiplashes, because they catch repeated gusts of wind. Foliage, cime, is so to say, come, hair. Leaves, folia, in Latin, are sylia in Greek; the Latin word has come down to us by derivation from the Greek. Blossom, flores, is so called because it is dispersed quickly from the trees, like currents in a stream, fluor, which quickly dissipate. Blossom has a twofold charm - its colour and its scent. For it is stripped off by the south wind and is brought to flower by the wind of the west. A shoot ready to flower, we call gramen; the word comes from generare, to beget, which also gives us generatio. Fruit, fructus, get its name from frumen, the larynx, that is, the projecting part of the throat, with which we eat; fruges comes from the same source. Properly speaking, 'fruit' means in particular the produce of fields and trees which we use. But it is also applied, improperly and by transference, to animals. Apple, pomum, comes from opimus, rich, referring to its abundance. Things are said to be ripe, maturus, because they are then suitable for eating. Wood in its various forms, ligna, is so called because when it is kindled
  • Commentary

    Text

    The etymology of parts of a tree.

  • Translation
    with roots and are subsequently transplanted from the soil in which they were grown. The root, radix, is so called because it is fixed deep in the ground as if by stakes, radius. Indeed, scholars of natural philosophy say that the depth of the root is equal to the height of the tree. The trunk is the vertical part of the tree, based on the root. The ancients called cortex, bark, corux; the word cortex itself comes from the fact that bark covers the tree like a hide, corium. The inner part of the bark, liber, so called because the bark is freed, liberatus, from it, that is, stripped away. For it is a buffer between the wood and the bark. Branches are what spread forth from the trunk, as twigs from the branches. Twigs, surculi, are so called because they are pruned with a saw, serra. The word virgultum refers to the thin twigs which sprout from the root. The branch springs from the trunk. The twig, virga, from the branch. The word virgultum is used correctly, however, because it means the twigs which grow at the root and are cut off by farmers as if they were useless; they are so called because they are removed from the other twigs. The word virga comes from strength, virtus, because a branch is very strong, or from its green colour, viriditas, or because it is a sign of peace, because it turns green with leaves, a symbol of growth. Magicians use them to calm snakes fighting amongst themselves, supporting them coiled around the branch; philosophers, kings, magistrates, heralds and ambassadors use them for this purpose. The highest parts of the tree are called flagella, whiplashes, because they catch repeated gusts of wind. Foliage, cime, is so to say, come, hair. Leaves, folia, in Latin, are sylia in Greek; the Latin word has come down to us by derivation from the Greek. Blossom, flores, is so called because it is dispersed quickly from the trees, like currents in a stream, fluor, which quickly dissipate. Blossom has a twofold charm - its colour and its scent. For it is stripped off by the south wind and is brought to flower by the wind of the west. A shoot ready to flower, we call gramen; the word comes from generare, to beget, which also gives us generatio. Fruit, fructus, get its name from frumen, the larynx, that is, the projecting part of the throat, with which we eat; fruges comes from the same source. Properly speaking, 'fruit' means in particular the produce of fields and trees which we use. But it is also applied, improperly and by transference, to animals. Apple, pomum, comes from opimus, rich, referring to its abundance. Things are said to be ripe, maturus, because they are then suitable for eating. Wood in its various forms, ligna, is so called because when it is kindled
  • Transcription
    cum radicibus et a terra propria transferuntur. Radix appellatur quod\ quasi radiis quibusdam fixa terris in profunda mergitur. Nam\ phisici dicunt parem esse altitudinem radicum et arborum.\ Truncus est statura arboris insistens radici. Corticem veteres\ corucem vocabant, dictus autem cortex quod corio lignum\ tegat. Liber est corticis pars interior, dictus a liberato cortice, id est ab\lato. Est enim medium quiddam inter lignum et corticem.\ Rami sunt qui de trunco manant, sicut a ramis surculi. Sur\culi sunt a precisione serre nuncupati. Virgultum est quod de radice\ pullulat. Ramus de ipso robore arboris. Virga que de ramis,\ proprie autem virgultum appellatur, quod ad radicem arboris\ nascitur, et quasi inutile ab agricolis amputatur, et hinc dictum\ virgultum quod ex virga tollitur. Virga vel a virtute dicitur, quia\ vim in se habeat multam vel a viriditate vel quia pacis indicium\ est quod vireat. Unde hac utuntur magi ad placandos inter se\ serpentes, et iccirco in ea hos sustinent illigatos, hac etiam phi\losophi, hac reges et magistri, et nuntii et legati utuntur.\ Flagella dicuntur summe arborum partes, ab eo quod crebros\ ventorum sustinent flatus. Cimas vocatas quasi comas, fo\lia Grece sylia dicuntur. Unde est ad nos hoc nomen per dirivatio\nem translatum. Flores nominati, quod cito solvuntur de arbo\ribus quasi fluores, quod cito solvantur. In his duplex gratia, coloris\ et odoris. Austro enim flores solvuntur, zephiro fiunt. Gramen\ dicimus surculum pregnantem a generando unde et gene\ratio. Fructus accepit nomen a frumine, id est eminente gut\turis parte qua vescimur, unde et fruges, fructus autem\ proprie dicuntur agrorum et arborum quibus utique utimur.\ In animalibus vero abusive et translative vocari fructum. Po\ma dicta ab opimo, id est a copie ubertate. Matura dicuntur\ quia apta sunt ad manducandum. Ligna dicta quia accensa\
Folio 78r - Of trees, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen