The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 86v - 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.
because it is a white fluid. For the Greek word for white is leucos [leukos]. The nature of milk comes by a process of change from blood. For after birth, any blood not consumed as nourishment for the womb, flows by its natural passage into the breasts and, becoming white from their particular quality, acquires the properties of milk. Skin, cutis, is what you meet first on the body. It is so called because, placed over the body, it is the first part to suffer any cut. For the Greek word for 'cut' is cutis. Skin or hide, pellis, is the same thing. It is so called because it keeps off, pellere, external injuries by covering the body, and takes the force of rain, wind and the heat of the sun. When the skin has been removed, what is now revealed underneath is called 'hide', corium. The word is derived from caro, flesh, because flesh is covered by it, but this applies to brute animals. The pores, pori, of the body have a Greek name; in Latin they are properly called spiramenta, 'breathing-holes', because the vitalising spirit is supplied through them from outside. Arvina is the fat which adheres to the skin. Pulpa is flesh without fat, so called because it pulsates, palpitare, for it often recoils. Many also call it viscus, because it has a gluey quality. Limbs, membra, are the parts of the body. The joints, artus, by which the members are fastened together, get their name from artare, to compress. Sinews, nervi, get their name from the Greek; the Greeks call them neutra [neura]. Others think that they are called nervi, strings, in Latin, because the connections of the joints are in turn attached to them. It is definitely the case that the sinews are the greatest source of our strength. For the thicker they are, the more likely they are to increase our strength. Limbs or joints, artus, are so called because, bound together in turn by the sinews, they are compressed, coartare, that is, drawn together; the diminutive of artus is articulus, joints. For we call the larger limbs, like the arms, artus; the smaller limbs, like the fingers, are articuli. Compago is the word we use for the heads of the bones, because they are pressed to each other by the sinews, as if by glue. Bones, ossa, are the foundations of the body; in them

Text

Isidore on the skin and bones.

Transcription

trahit quod albus liquor. Leucos enim Greci album dicunt,\ cuius natura ex sanguine commutatur. Nam post partum siquid\ sanguinis non dum fuerit uteri nutrimento consumptum,\ naturali meatu fluit in mammas, et earum virtute albes\cens, lactis accipit qualitatem. Cutis est que in corpore pri\ma est appellata quod ipsa corpori superposita incisionem\ paciatur prima. Cutis enim Grece incisio dicitur. Idem et pellis, quod\ externas iniurias corporis tegendo pellat, pluviasque et ven\ tos solisque ardores perferat. Pellis autem mox detracta sub\ acta iam corium dicitur. Corium autem per dirivationem caro\ appellatum quod eo tegatur, sed hoc in brutis animalibus propri\um. Pori corporis Greco nomine appellantur, qui Latine proprie\ spiramenta dicuntur, eo quod per eos vivificus spiritus exterius mi\nistretur. Arvina est pinguedo cuti adherens. Pulpa est caro\ sine pinguedine, dicta quod palpitet, resilit enim sepe.\ Hanc plerique et viscum vocant, propter quod glutinosa sit. Mem\bra sunt partes corporis. Artus quibus colligantur membra,\ ab artando dicti. Nervi Greca dirivatione appellati, quos\ illi neutra vocant. Alii Latine vocatos nervos putant, eo quod\ artuum coniunctiones invicem his inhereant. Maximam\ autem virium substantiam nervos facere certissimum est.\ Nam quanto fuerint densiores tanto propensius augescere\ firmitatem. Artus dicti quod colligati invicem nervis\ coarcentur, id est stringantur, quorum diminutiva sunt articuli.\ Nam artus dicimus membra maiora ut brachia, articula [i]\ minora membra ut digiti. Compago capita sunt ossuum\ dicta, eo quod sibi compacta sunt nervis, velut glutino quo\ dam adhereant. Ossa sunt corporis solidamenta, in his\

Translation

because it is a white fluid. For the Greek word for white is leucos [leukos]. The nature of milk comes by a process of change from blood. For after birth, any blood not consumed as nourishment for the womb, flows by its natural passage into the breasts and, becoming white from their particular quality, acquires the properties of milk. Skin, cutis, is what you meet first on the body. It is so called because, placed over the body, it is the first part to suffer any cut. For the Greek word for 'cut' is cutis. Skin or hide, pellis, is the same thing. It is so called because it keeps off, pellere, external injuries by covering the body, and takes the force of rain, wind and the heat of the sun. When the skin has been removed, what is now revealed underneath is called 'hide', corium. The word is derived from caro, flesh, because flesh is covered by it, but this applies to brute animals. The pores, pori, of the body have a Greek name; in Latin they are properly called spiramenta, 'breathing-holes', because the vitalising spirit is supplied through them from outside. Arvina is the fat which adheres to the skin. Pulpa is flesh without fat, so called because it pulsates, palpitare, for it often recoils. Many also call it viscus, because it has a gluey quality. Limbs, membra, are the parts of the body. The joints, artus, by which the members are fastened together, get their name from artare, to compress. Sinews, nervi, get their name from the Greek; the Greeks call them neutra [neura]. Others think that they are called nervi, strings, in Latin, because the connections of the joints are in turn attached to them. It is definitely the case that the sinews are the greatest source of our strength. For the thicker they are, the more likely they are to increase our strength. Limbs or joints, artus, are so called because, bound together in turn by the sinews, they are compressed, coartare, that is, drawn together; the diminutive of artus is articulus, joints. For we call the larger limbs, like the arms, artus; the smaller limbs, like the fingers, are articuli. Compago is the word we use for the heads of the bones, because they are pressed to each other by the sinews, as if by glue. Bones, ossa, are the foundations of the body; in them
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the skin and bones.

  • Translation
    because it is a white fluid. For the Greek word for white is leucos [leukos]. The nature of milk comes by a process of change from blood. For after birth, any blood not consumed as nourishment for the womb, flows by its natural passage into the breasts and, becoming white from their particular quality, acquires the properties of milk. Skin, cutis, is what you meet first on the body. It is so called because, placed over the body, it is the first part to suffer any cut. For the Greek word for 'cut' is cutis. Skin or hide, pellis, is the same thing. It is so called because it keeps off, pellere, external injuries by covering the body, and takes the force of rain, wind and the heat of the sun. When the skin has been removed, what is now revealed underneath is called 'hide', corium. The word is derived from caro, flesh, because flesh is covered by it, but this applies to brute animals. The pores, pori, of the body have a Greek name; in Latin they are properly called spiramenta, 'breathing-holes', because the vitalising spirit is supplied through them from outside. Arvina is the fat which adheres to the skin. Pulpa is flesh without fat, so called because it pulsates, palpitare, for it often recoils. Many also call it viscus, because it has a gluey quality. Limbs, membra, are the parts of the body. The joints, artus, by which the members are fastened together, get their name from artare, to compress. Sinews, nervi, get their name from the Greek; the Greeks call them neutra [neura]. Others think that they are called nervi, strings, in Latin, because the connections of the joints are in turn attached to them. It is definitely the case that the sinews are the greatest source of our strength. For the thicker they are, the more likely they are to increase our strength. Limbs or joints, artus, are so called because, bound together in turn by the sinews, they are compressed, coartare, that is, drawn together; the diminutive of artus is articulus, joints. For we call the larger limbs, like the arms, artus; the smaller limbs, like the fingers, are articuli. Compago is the word we use for the heads of the bones, because they are pressed to each other by the sinews, as if by glue. Bones, ossa, are the foundations of the body; in them
  • Transcription
    trahit quod albus liquor. Leucos enim Greci album dicunt,\ cuius natura ex sanguine commutatur. Nam post partum siquid\ sanguinis non dum fuerit uteri nutrimento consumptum,\ naturali meatu fluit in mammas, et earum virtute albes\cens, lactis accipit qualitatem. Cutis est que in corpore pri\ma est appellata quod ipsa corpori superposita incisionem\ paciatur prima. Cutis enim Grece incisio dicitur. Idem et pellis, quod\ externas iniurias corporis tegendo pellat, pluviasque et ven\ tos solisque ardores perferat. Pellis autem mox detracta sub\ acta iam corium dicitur. Corium autem per dirivationem caro\ appellatum quod eo tegatur, sed hoc in brutis animalibus propri\um. Pori corporis Greco nomine appellantur, qui Latine proprie\ spiramenta dicuntur, eo quod per eos vivificus spiritus exterius mi\nistretur. Arvina est pinguedo cuti adherens. Pulpa est caro\ sine pinguedine, dicta quod palpitet, resilit enim sepe.\ Hanc plerique et viscum vocant, propter quod glutinosa sit. Mem\bra sunt partes corporis. Artus quibus colligantur membra,\ ab artando dicti. Nervi Greca dirivatione appellati, quos\ illi neutra vocant. Alii Latine vocatos nervos putant, eo quod\ artuum coniunctiones invicem his inhereant. Maximam\ autem virium substantiam nervos facere certissimum est.\ Nam quanto fuerint densiores tanto propensius augescere\ firmitatem. Artus dicti quod colligati invicem nervis\ coarcentur, id est stringantur, quorum diminutiva sunt articuli.\ Nam artus dicimus membra maiora ut brachia, articula [i]\ minora membra ut digiti. Compago capita sunt ossuum\ dicta, eo quod sibi compacta sunt nervis, velut glutino quo\ dam adhereant. Ossa sunt corporis solidamenta, in his\
Folio 86v - the nature of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen