The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 81v - the nature of man, 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.
their gaze upon the earth, he gave to man an uplifted face and bade him look at heaven and raise his countenance to the stars.' (Metamorphoses, 1, 84-6). Standing erect, he looks at the heavens in search of God; he does not turn towards the ground, like the beasts who have been fashioned by nature and obedience to their appetite to bend their heads. But man is twofold: inner and outer. The inner man is the soul; the outer, the body. The soul gets its name, anima, from the pagans, because they conceived of it as the wind; for this reason it is also called wind in Greek, animos, because we seem to live by taking air in through our mouths. This is clearly wrong, because the soul is created long before it can take air into its mouth and it is already alive in its mother's womb. The soul, therefore, is not the same as air, as some believe, who cannot conceive of its nature as being without substance. The spirit, spiritus, is the same as the soul, anima, of which the evangelist speaks, saying: 'I have the power to lay down my life, anima, and I have the power to take it again' (see John, 10:18). It is to this same thing that the evangelist, recalling the time of our Lord's passion, refers, in this way: 'He bowed his head and gave up the ghost, spiritus' (John, 19:30). What does 'to give up the ghost, spiritus,' mean if not that he laid down his life, anima? But the soul, anima, is so called because it lives. The spirit, spiritus, is so called either because of its spiritual nature, or because it gives breath, inspirare, to the body. Again, the mind, animus, is the same as the soul, anima; but the soul is to do with life, the mind with thought. For this reason, philosphers say that life can continue even without the mind, animus, and the soul can endure without the intellect; this is demonstrated by those who are 'mindless', amentes. They call the intellect, mens, the faculty of knowing; the soul, anima, the faculty of willing. The intellect, mens, is so called because it stands out, eminere, in the soul, or because it has the capacity to remember, meminisse. Thus, those who are forgetful are also called 'mindless', amentes. For this reason, it is not the soul itself, but the most eminent part of it, the equivalent of its head or eye, that we call the intellect, mens. Thus man himself, because of his intellect, is called 'the image of God' (see Genesis, 1:26, 27). For in this way

Text

Isidore on the soul, mind and spirit.

Transcription

cetera terram. Os homini sublime dedit celumque videre.\ Iussit et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus. Qui ideo erec\tus celum aspicit ut deum querat, non ut terram in\tendat, veluti pecora que natura prona et ventris obe\dientia finxit. Duplex est autem homo interior et exteri\or. Interior homo anima; exterio homo corpus. Anima\ autem a gentilibus nomen accepit, eo quod ventus sit.\ Unde et Grece ventus animos dicitur, quod ore trahen\tes aerem vivere videamus [PL, videamur]. Sed apertissime falsum est,\ quia multo prius gignitur anima quam concipi aer ore pos\sit, qui iam in genitricis utero vivit. Non est igitur aer\ anima quod putaverunt quidam qui non potuerunt\ incorpoream eius cogitare naturam. Spiritum idem esse quod\ animam evangelista pronuntiat dicens: Potestatem ha\beo ponendi animam meam, et potestatem habeo iterum\ sumendi eam. De hac quoque anima in ipso domini passio\nis tempore memoratus evangelista ita protulit dicens: Et\ inclinato capite emisit spiritum. Quid est emittere spiritum, nisi\ quod animam ponere? Sed anima dicta propter quod vivit.\ Spiritus autem vel spirituali natura vel pro eo quod inspiret in\ corpore. Item animum idem esse quod animam, sed anima\ vite est, animus consilii. Unde et dicunt philosophi, etiam\ sine animo vitam manere, et sine mente animam durare.\ Unde et amentes. Nam mentem vocari ut sciat, animam ut\ velit. Mens enim vocata quod emineat, vel quod meminit.\ Unde et immemores amentes. Quapropter non animas [PL, anima], sed quod ex\cellit in anima mens vocatur tanquam caput eius vel oculus.\ Unde et ipse homo secundum mentem ymago dei dicitur. Ita enim\

Translation

their gaze upon the earth, he gave to man an uplifted face and bade him look at heaven and raise his countenance to the stars.' (Metamorphoses, 1, 84-6). Standing erect, he looks at the heavens in search of God; he does not turn towards the ground, like the beasts who have been fashioned by nature and obedience to their appetite to bend their heads. But man is twofold: inner and outer. The inner man is the soul; the outer, the body. The soul gets its name, anima, from the pagans, because they conceived of it as the wind; for this reason it is also called wind in Greek, animos, because we seem to live by taking air in through our mouths. This is clearly wrong, because the soul is created long before it can take air into its mouth and it is already alive in its mother's womb. The soul, therefore, is not the same as air, as some believe, who cannot conceive of its nature as being without substance. The spirit, spiritus, is the same as the soul, anima, of which the evangelist speaks, saying: 'I have the power to lay down my life, anima, and I have the power to take it again' (see John, 10:18). It is to this same thing that the evangelist, recalling the time of our Lord's passion, refers, in this way: 'He bowed his head and gave up the ghost, spiritus' (John, 19:30). What does 'to give up the ghost, spiritus,' mean if not that he laid down his life, anima? But the soul, anima, is so called because it lives. The spirit, spiritus, is so called either because of its spiritual nature, or because it gives breath, inspirare, to the body. Again, the mind, animus, is the same as the soul, anima; but the soul is to do with life, the mind with thought. For this reason, philosphers say that life can continue even without the mind, animus, and the soul can endure without the intellect; this is demonstrated by those who are 'mindless', amentes. They call the intellect, mens, the faculty of knowing; the soul, anima, the faculty of willing. The intellect, mens, is so called because it stands out, eminere, in the soul, or because it has the capacity to remember, meminisse. Thus, those who are forgetful are also called 'mindless', amentes. For this reason, it is not the soul itself, but the most eminent part of it, the equivalent of its head or eye, that we call the intellect, mens. Thus man himself, because of his intellect, is called 'the image of God' (see Genesis, 1:26, 27). For in this way
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the soul, mind and spirit.

  • Translation
    their gaze upon the earth, he gave to man an uplifted face and bade him look at heaven and raise his countenance to the stars.' (Metamorphoses, 1, 84-6). Standing erect, he looks at the heavens in search of God; he does not turn towards the ground, like the beasts who have been fashioned by nature and obedience to their appetite to bend their heads. But man is twofold: inner and outer. The inner man is the soul; the outer, the body. The soul gets its name, anima, from the pagans, because they conceived of it as the wind; for this reason it is also called wind in Greek, animos, because we seem to live by taking air in through our mouths. This is clearly wrong, because the soul is created long before it can take air into its mouth and it is already alive in its mother's womb. The soul, therefore, is not the same as air, as some believe, who cannot conceive of its nature as being without substance. The spirit, spiritus, is the same as the soul, anima, of which the evangelist speaks, saying: 'I have the power to lay down my life, anima, and I have the power to take it again' (see John, 10:18). It is to this same thing that the evangelist, recalling the time of our Lord's passion, refers, in this way: 'He bowed his head and gave up the ghost, spiritus' (John, 19:30). What does 'to give up the ghost, spiritus,' mean if not that he laid down his life, anima? But the soul, anima, is so called because it lives. The spirit, spiritus, is so called either because of its spiritual nature, or because it gives breath, inspirare, to the body. Again, the mind, animus, is the same as the soul, anima; but the soul is to do with life, the mind with thought. For this reason, philosphers say that life can continue even without the mind, animus, and the soul can endure without the intellect; this is demonstrated by those who are 'mindless', amentes. They call the intellect, mens, the faculty of knowing; the soul, anima, the faculty of willing. The intellect, mens, is so called because it stands out, eminere, in the soul, or because it has the capacity to remember, meminisse. Thus, those who are forgetful are also called 'mindless', amentes. For this reason, it is not the soul itself, but the most eminent part of it, the equivalent of its head or eye, that we call the intellect, mens. Thus man himself, because of his intellect, is called 'the image of God' (see Genesis, 1:26, 27). For in this way
  • Transcription
    cetera terram. Os homini sublime dedit celumque videre.\ Iussit et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus. Qui ideo erec\tus celum aspicit ut deum querat, non ut terram in\tendat, veluti pecora que natura prona et ventris obe\dientia finxit. Duplex est autem homo interior et exteri\or. Interior homo anima; exterio homo corpus. Anima\ autem a gentilibus nomen accepit, eo quod ventus sit.\ Unde et Grece ventus animos dicitur, quod ore trahen\tes aerem vivere videamus [PL, videamur]. Sed apertissime falsum est,\ quia multo prius gignitur anima quam concipi aer ore pos\sit, qui iam in genitricis utero vivit. Non est igitur aer\ anima quod putaverunt quidam qui non potuerunt\ incorpoream eius cogitare naturam. Spiritum idem esse quod\ animam evangelista pronuntiat dicens: Potestatem ha\beo ponendi animam meam, et potestatem habeo iterum\ sumendi eam. De hac quoque anima in ipso domini passio\nis tempore memoratus evangelista ita protulit dicens: Et\ inclinato capite emisit spiritum. Quid est emittere spiritum, nisi\ quod animam ponere? Sed anima dicta propter quod vivit.\ Spiritus autem vel spirituali natura vel pro eo quod inspiret in\ corpore. Item animum idem esse quod animam, sed anima\ vite est, animus consilii. Unde et dicunt philosophi, etiam\ sine animo vitam manere, et sine mente animam durare.\ Unde et amentes. Nam mentem vocari ut sciat, animam ut\ velit. Mens enim vocata quod emineat, vel quod meminit.\ Unde et immemores amentes. Quapropter non animas [PL, anima], sed quod ex\cellit in anima mens vocatur tanquam caput eius vel oculus.\ Unde et ipse homo secundum mentem ymago dei dicitur. Ita enim\
Folio 81v - the nature of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen