The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 83v - 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.
the eyes are, of all the senses, the most closely allied to the soul. For they reflect every aspect of the intellect. As a result, confusion or joy within the soul is visible in the eyes. The eyes are the same as lights and are called 'lights', lumen, because light pours forth from them, or because from the beginning they hold light enclosed within them, or because they take in light from outside and reflect it to create vision. The pupil, pupilla, is the middle point of the eyes, in which the power of seeing resides. Because you see small images at this point, it is called pupilla, a word for 'little children'. For little boys are called pupilli. Many people call the pupil pupilla, 'the little girl', because it is pure and undefiled, as girls are. Physicians say that those who are dying lack for three days before death those pupils which we see in the eyes; if they are not visible, it is a clear sign that the patient's condition is hopeless. The circle by which the white of the eye is separated from the pupil, defined by its black colour, is called the corona, because its roundness enhances the circumference of the pupil like a garland, corona. Some call the upper lid, vertex, of the eye, volvus, from its similarity to the leaf of a door, valva. The eyelids, palpebre, fold over the eyes. The word comes from palpitatio, 'frequent, rapid movement', because the lids are always in motion. For they move quickly to meet each other, so that by their constant motion they refresh the vision. The eyelids are fortified by a rampart of hairs, so that if anything should fall into the eyes when they are open, it is repelled; also that, with the lids closing in sleep, the eyes should rest hidden as if wrapped up. At the extreme edges of the eyelids, in the places where they touch each other when closed, lashes stand in line, providing protection for the eyes, lest they should be easily hurt by things blundering into them and be damaged as a result. These lashes are also designed to prevent contact with dust or any heavier matter, or, in addition, soften the air itself by filtering it, making vision clear and bright. Some think that the word for tears, lacrime, comes from the phrase, laceratio mentis, 'rending of the mind'; others

Text

Isidore on the eyes and eyelids.

Transcription

inter omnes sensus viciniores anime existunt. In oculis\ enim omne mentis indicium est. Unde et anime perturbatio\ vel hilaritas in oculis apparet. Oculi enim idem et lumi\na, et dicta lumina quod ex eis lumen manat, vel quod\ inicio sui clausam teneant lucem, aut extrinsecus acceptam\ visui proponendo refundant. Pupilla est medius punc\tus oculi in quo vis videndi est. Ubi quia parve ymagines\ vobis videntur propterea pupille appellantur. Nam par\vuli pupilli dicuntur, hanc plerique pupullam vocant. Vo\catur enim pupilla, quod sit pura atque impolluta, ut sunt\ puelle. Phisici dicunt easdem pupillas quas videmus in\ oculis morituros ante triduum non habere, quibus non visis\ certa est desperatio. Circulus vero quo a pupilla albe partes oculi\ separantur discreta nigredine corona dicitur, quod rotunditate\ sua ornet ambitum pupille. Volvos enim quidam appel\lant vertices ipsos oculorum a similitudine valvarum.\ Palpebre sunt sinus oculorum a palpitatione dicte, quia\ semper moventur. Concurrunt enim invicem, ut assiduo\ motu reficiant obtutum. Munite sunt enim vallo capillorum\ ut et apertis oculis siquid inciderit repellatur, ut et sompno\ cohibentibus tanquam involuti quiescant latentes. In summi\tate enim palpebrarum locis quibus se ultraque clausa [PL, utreque clause] contin\gunt, extant annotati ordine servato capilli tutelam oculis\ ministrantes, ne irruentes facile iniurias excipiant et ex eo\ noceantur, ut pulveris vel cuiusquam crassioris materie\ arceant contactum, aut ipsum quoque aerem concidendo\ mitificent, quo tenuem atque serenum faciunt visum. La\crimas a laceratione mentis quidam putant dictas, alii\

Translation

the eyes are, of all the senses, the most closely allied to the soul. For they reflect every aspect of the intellect. As a result, confusion or joy within the soul is visible in the eyes. The eyes are the same as lights and are called 'lights', lumen, because light pours forth from them, or because from the beginning they hold light enclosed within them, or because they take in light from outside and reflect it to create vision. The pupil, pupilla, is the middle point of the eyes, in which the power of seeing resides. Because you see small images at this point, it is called pupilla, a word for 'little children'. For little boys are called pupilli. Many people call the pupil pupilla, 'the little girl', because it is pure and undefiled, as girls are. Physicians say that those who are dying lack for three days before death those pupils which we see in the eyes; if they are not visible, it is a clear sign that the patient's condition is hopeless. The circle by which the white of the eye is separated from the pupil, defined by its black colour, is called the corona, because its roundness enhances the circumference of the pupil like a garland, corona. Some call the upper lid, vertex, of the eye, volvus, from its similarity to the leaf of a door, valva. The eyelids, palpebre, fold over the eyes. The word comes from palpitatio, 'frequent, rapid movement', because the lids are always in motion. For they move quickly to meet each other, so that by their constant motion they refresh the vision. The eyelids are fortified by a rampart of hairs, so that if anything should fall into the eyes when they are open, it is repelled; also that, with the lids closing in sleep, the eyes should rest hidden as if wrapped up. At the extreme edges of the eyelids, in the places where they touch each other when closed, lashes stand in line, providing protection for the eyes, lest they should be easily hurt by things blundering into them and be damaged as a result. These lashes are also designed to prevent contact with dust or any heavier matter, or, in addition, soften the air itself by filtering it, making vision clear and bright. Some think that the word for tears, lacrime, comes from the phrase, laceratio mentis, 'rending of the mind'; others
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the eyes and eyelids.

  • Translation
    the eyes are, of all the senses, the most closely allied to the soul. For they reflect every aspect of the intellect. As a result, confusion or joy within the soul is visible in the eyes. The eyes are the same as lights and are called 'lights', lumen, because light pours forth from them, or because from the beginning they hold light enclosed within them, or because they take in light from outside and reflect it to create vision. The pupil, pupilla, is the middle point of the eyes, in which the power of seeing resides. Because you see small images at this point, it is called pupilla, a word for 'little children'. For little boys are called pupilli. Many people call the pupil pupilla, 'the little girl', because it is pure and undefiled, as girls are. Physicians say that those who are dying lack for three days before death those pupils which we see in the eyes; if they are not visible, it is a clear sign that the patient's condition is hopeless. The circle by which the white of the eye is separated from the pupil, defined by its black colour, is called the corona, because its roundness enhances the circumference of the pupil like a garland, corona. Some call the upper lid, vertex, of the eye, volvus, from its similarity to the leaf of a door, valva. The eyelids, palpebre, fold over the eyes. The word comes from palpitatio, 'frequent, rapid movement', because the lids are always in motion. For they move quickly to meet each other, so that by their constant motion they refresh the vision. The eyelids are fortified by a rampart of hairs, so that if anything should fall into the eyes when they are open, it is repelled; also that, with the lids closing in sleep, the eyes should rest hidden as if wrapped up. At the extreme edges of the eyelids, in the places where they touch each other when closed, lashes stand in line, providing protection for the eyes, lest they should be easily hurt by things blundering into them and be damaged as a result. These lashes are also designed to prevent contact with dust or any heavier matter, or, in addition, soften the air itself by filtering it, making vision clear and bright. Some think that the word for tears, lacrime, comes from the phrase, laceratio mentis, 'rending of the mind'; others
  • Transcription
    inter omnes sensus viciniores anime existunt. In oculis\ enim omne mentis indicium est. Unde et anime perturbatio\ vel hilaritas in oculis apparet. Oculi enim idem et lumi\na, et dicta lumina quod ex eis lumen manat, vel quod\ inicio sui clausam teneant lucem, aut extrinsecus acceptam\ visui proponendo refundant. Pupilla est medius punc\tus oculi in quo vis videndi est. Ubi quia parve ymagines\ vobis videntur propterea pupille appellantur. Nam par\vuli pupilli dicuntur, hanc plerique pupullam vocant. Vo\catur enim pupilla, quod sit pura atque impolluta, ut sunt\ puelle. Phisici dicunt easdem pupillas quas videmus in\ oculis morituros ante triduum non habere, quibus non visis\ certa est desperatio. Circulus vero quo a pupilla albe partes oculi\ separantur discreta nigredine corona dicitur, quod rotunditate\ sua ornet ambitum pupille. Volvos enim quidam appel\lant vertices ipsos oculorum a similitudine valvarum.\ Palpebre sunt sinus oculorum a palpitatione dicte, quia\ semper moventur. Concurrunt enim invicem, ut assiduo\ motu reficiant obtutum. Munite sunt enim vallo capillorum\ ut et apertis oculis siquid inciderit repellatur, ut et sompno\ cohibentibus tanquam involuti quiescant latentes. In summi\tate enim palpebrarum locis quibus se ultraque clausa [PL, utreque clause] contin\gunt, extant annotati ordine servato capilli tutelam oculis\ ministrantes, ne irruentes facile iniurias excipiant et ex eo\ noceantur, ut pulveris vel cuiusquam crassioris materie\ arceant contactum, aut ipsum quoque aerem concidendo\ mitificent, quo tenuem atque serenum faciunt visum. La\crimas a laceratione mentis quidam putant dictas, alii\
Folio 83v - the nature of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen