The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 85v - 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.
are like armi, forequarters. They are so called to distinguish men from dumb animals, so that we say men have shoulders, humeri; animals, forequarters, armi. For, strictly speaking, 'forequarters' applies to four-legged animals. The part at the rear of the highest point of the shoulder we call the shoulder-blade, ola. The word for arms, brachia, is associated with that for strength. For in Greek barus means 'strong' and 'heavy'. Muscles swell between the shoulder and elbow and in muscles there is remarkable strength. In the arms there are bulges, tori, which are muscles; they are so called because the inner parts seems to be twisted, tortus. The elbow, cubitus, is so called because we lean on it, cumbere, to eat. The ulna, according to some, is an extension of either hand; according to others, of the elbow; the latter seems more likely to be true because the elbow in Greek is ulenos [olene]. The pits under the arms, ale, are so called because the movement of the arms begins there, like that of wings, ale. Some call the armpits ascelle, because from that point the arms are set in motion, cillere. For this reason they are also called oscilla, because the arms are swung, oscillare, that is they are moved, movere, from the extremity of the body, ora; since movere and cillere mean the same, to move from the extremity becomes ora cillere. Some call the armpits subhirci, 'undergoats',because in many people they give off the rank smell of goats. The hand, manus, is so called because it performs a service, munus, for the whole body. For it serves food to the mouth, does everything and disposes of everything; with it, we take and we give. The word is used incorrectly for labour or workmen, 'hands'. For this reason, we talk about manupretium, 'workman's wage'. The right hand, dextra, gets its name from dare, to give, for it is given as a pledge of peace. It is used as a proof of faith and in greeting, and is used in this context in Tully: 'By order of the Senate, I have pledged the public faith', that is, the right hand (Cicero, Catiline, 3, 8). And the apostle says: 'They gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship' (Galatians, 2:9). The left hand, leva, is so called because it is more suited to raising, levare. It is also called sinistra, sine dextera, 'without the right hand', so to speak, or because it permits, sinere, something to be done. For sinistra comes from sinere. The palm, palma, is the hand with the fingers spread; when they are contracted

Text

Isidore on the arms and hands.

Transcription

quasi armi ad distinctionem hominis a pecudibus mu\tis, ut hi humeros ille armos habere dicantur. Nam proprie armi\ quadrupedum sunt. Olam summi humeri pars poste\ rior. Bracchia a fortitudine nominata. Bari enim Grece,\ forte et grave significatur. In bracchis enim thori lacer\torum sunt et insigne musculorum robur existit. In\ his sunt tori idem musculum, et dicti tori, quod illic vis\cera torta videantur. Cubitum dictum quod ad cibos su\mendos in ipso cumbamus. Ulna secundum quosdam utriusque\ manus extensio est, secundum alios cubitus, quod magis verum\ est quia Grece ulenos cubitus dicitur. Ale sub brachia sunt appel\late, eo quod ex eis in modum alarum motus bracchorum\ inchoat, quas quidam ascellas vocant, quod ex eis bra\chia cilluntur id est moventur. Unde et oscilla dicta ab eo quod oscillantur hoc est moveantur ora. Nam cillere est movere.\ Has quidam subhircos vocant propter quod in plerisque\ hominibus hircorum fetorem reddunt. Manus dicta quod\ sit tocius corporis munus. Ipsa enim cibum ori ministrat\ ipsa operatur omnia atque dispensat, per eam accipimus et da\mus. Abusive autem manus etiam ars vel artifex. Unde\ et manus precipium [PL, pretium] dicimus. Dextra vocatur a dando, ipsa\ enim pignus pacis datur. Ipsa testis fidei atque salutis\ adhibetur, et hoc est illud apud Tullium: Fidem publicam\ iussu senatus dedi id est dextram. Unde et apostolus dicit: Dext\ras mihi dederunt et Barnabe societatis. Leva quod aptior \ sit ad levandum. Sinistra autem vocata quasi sine dextera\ sive quod rem fieri sinat. A sinendo enim sinistra voca\ta est. Palma est manus expansis digitis sicut et tractus\

Translation

are like armi, forequarters. They are so called to distinguish men from dumb animals, so that we say men have shoulders, humeri; animals, forequarters, armi. For, strictly speaking, 'forequarters' applies to four-legged animals. The part at the rear of the highest point of the shoulder we call the shoulder-blade, ola. The word for arms, brachia, is associated with that for strength. For in Greek barus means 'strong' and 'heavy'. Muscles swell between the shoulder and elbow and in muscles there is remarkable strength. In the arms there are bulges, tori, which are muscles; they are so called because the inner parts seems to be twisted, tortus. The elbow, cubitus, is so called because we lean on it, cumbere, to eat. The ulna, according to some, is an extension of either hand; according to others, of the elbow; the latter seems more likely to be true because the elbow in Greek is ulenos [olene]. The pits under the arms, ale, are so called because the movement of the arms begins there, like that of wings, ale. Some call the armpits ascelle, because from that point the arms are set in motion, cillere. For this reason they are also called oscilla, because the arms are swung, oscillare, that is they are moved, movere, from the extremity of the body, ora; since movere and cillere mean the same, to move from the extremity becomes ora cillere. Some call the armpits subhirci, 'undergoats',because in many people they give off the rank smell of goats. The hand, manus, is so called because it performs a service, munus, for the whole body. For it serves food to the mouth, does everything and disposes of everything; with it, we take and we give. The word is used incorrectly for labour or workmen, 'hands'. For this reason, we talk about manupretium, 'workman's wage'. The right hand, dextra, gets its name from dare, to give, for it is given as a pledge of peace. It is used as a proof of faith and in greeting, and is used in this context in Tully: 'By order of the Senate, I have pledged the public faith', that is, the right hand (Cicero, Catiline, 3, 8). And the apostle says: 'They gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship' (Galatians, 2:9). The left hand, leva, is so called because it is more suited to raising, levare. It is also called sinistra, sine dextera, 'without the right hand', so to speak, or because it permits, sinere, something to be done. For sinistra comes from sinere. The palm, palma, is the hand with the fingers spread; when they are contracted
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the arms and hands.

  • Translation
    are like armi, forequarters. They are so called to distinguish men from dumb animals, so that we say men have shoulders, humeri; animals, forequarters, armi. For, strictly speaking, 'forequarters' applies to four-legged animals. The part at the rear of the highest point of the shoulder we call the shoulder-blade, ola. The word for arms, brachia, is associated with that for strength. For in Greek barus means 'strong' and 'heavy'. Muscles swell between the shoulder and elbow and in muscles there is remarkable strength. In the arms there are bulges, tori, which are muscles; they are so called because the inner parts seems to be twisted, tortus. The elbow, cubitus, is so called because we lean on it, cumbere, to eat. The ulna, according to some, is an extension of either hand; according to others, of the elbow; the latter seems more likely to be true because the elbow in Greek is ulenos [olene]. The pits under the arms, ale, are so called because the movement of the arms begins there, like that of wings, ale. Some call the armpits ascelle, because from that point the arms are set in motion, cillere. For this reason they are also called oscilla, because the arms are swung, oscillare, that is they are moved, movere, from the extremity of the body, ora; since movere and cillere mean the same, to move from the extremity becomes ora cillere. Some call the armpits subhirci, 'undergoats',because in many people they give off the rank smell of goats. The hand, manus, is so called because it performs a service, munus, for the whole body. For it serves food to the mouth, does everything and disposes of everything; with it, we take and we give. The word is used incorrectly for labour or workmen, 'hands'. For this reason, we talk about manupretium, 'workman's wage'. The right hand, dextra, gets its name from dare, to give, for it is given as a pledge of peace. It is used as a proof of faith and in greeting, and is used in this context in Tully: 'By order of the Senate, I have pledged the public faith', that is, the right hand (Cicero, Catiline, 3, 8). And the apostle says: 'They gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship' (Galatians, 2:9). The left hand, leva, is so called because it is more suited to raising, levare. It is also called sinistra, sine dextera, 'without the right hand', so to speak, or because it permits, sinere, something to be done. For sinistra comes from sinere. The palm, palma, is the hand with the fingers spread; when they are contracted
  • Transcription
    quasi armi ad distinctionem hominis a pecudibus mu\tis, ut hi humeros ille armos habere dicantur. Nam proprie armi\ quadrupedum sunt. Olam summi humeri pars poste\ rior. Bracchia a fortitudine nominata. Bari enim Grece,\ forte et grave significatur. In bracchis enim thori lacer\torum sunt et insigne musculorum robur existit. In\ his sunt tori idem musculum, et dicti tori, quod illic vis\cera torta videantur. Cubitum dictum quod ad cibos su\mendos in ipso cumbamus. Ulna secundum quosdam utriusque\ manus extensio est, secundum alios cubitus, quod magis verum\ est quia Grece ulenos cubitus dicitur. Ale sub brachia sunt appel\late, eo quod ex eis in modum alarum motus bracchorum\ inchoat, quas quidam ascellas vocant, quod ex eis bra\chia cilluntur id est moventur. Unde et oscilla dicta ab eo quod oscillantur hoc est moveantur ora. Nam cillere est movere.\ Has quidam subhircos vocant propter quod in plerisque\ hominibus hircorum fetorem reddunt. Manus dicta quod\ sit tocius corporis munus. Ipsa enim cibum ori ministrat\ ipsa operatur omnia atque dispensat, per eam accipimus et da\mus. Abusive autem manus etiam ars vel artifex. Unde\ et manus precipium [PL, pretium] dicimus. Dextra vocatur a dando, ipsa\ enim pignus pacis datur. Ipsa testis fidei atque salutis\ adhibetur, et hoc est illud apud Tullium: Fidem publicam\ iussu senatus dedi id est dextram. Unde et apostolus dicit: Dext\ras mihi dederunt et Barnabe societatis. Leva quod aptior \ sit ad levandum. Sinistra autem vocata quasi sine dextera\ sive quod rem fieri sinat. A sinendo enim sinistra voca\ta est. Palma est manus expansis digitis sicut et tractus\
Folio 85v - the nature of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen