The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 87r - 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.
is the basis of its posture and all its strength. The word comes from ustus, burnt, either because the ancients burned bones or, as others think, because bones are visible when flesh is burnt, for indeed everywhere else they are hidden under a covering of skin and organs. Marrow, medulla, is so called because it moistens the bones, refreshing and strengthening them. The vertebrae, vertibula, are the extremities of the bones, pressed together by thick knots; they are so called because they swivel, vertere, to allow the members to bend in different directions. Cartilages, cartilagines, are soft bones without marrow. The external part of the ear, the partition between the nostrils and the ends of the ribs are of this kind, or the coverings of those bones which are articulated. They are so called because, if they rub together lightly when they are bent, there is no pain, carere dolore. Ribs, costa, are so called, some think, because the interior of the body is guarded, custodire, by them; surrounded by them, as by a palisade, the entire soft part of the belly is kept safe. The side, latus, is so called because when we lie down it is hidden, latere, for it is the left part of the body. On the right side, movement is easier; the left is stronger and better fitted for carrying a load. For this reason, the left, leva, is so called because it is more suitable to lifting, levare, and carrying anything. It is the left side which carries the shield, sword, quiver and other burdens, leaving the right hand free for action. The back, dorsum, runs from the neck to the loins. It is so called because it is a very hard, durior, surface of the body, strong like stone, able to carry loads and to bear things steadfastly. The hinder parts,terga, get their name because we lie flat on them on the ground, terra, something that only man can do. For dumb animals can only lie either on their belly or side. For this reason it is incorrect to use the word in connexion with animals. The shoulder, scapula, comes from scandere, to mount. The interscapilium is the space between the shoulders, from which it gets its name. The protruding parts on the right and left of the back are called pale, because we press on them in wrestling, which the Greeks

Text

Isidore on the bones.

Transcription

enim posicio omnis roburque subsistit. Omnia autem a\ busto [ab usto] dicta propter quod cremarentur ab antiquis sive ut\ alii putant ab eo quod ibi pateant, namque ubique cute vis\ceribusque obtecta celantur. Medulle appellate quod madefa\ ciant ossa, irrigant enim et confortant. Vertibule[a] sunt\ summe ossuum [PL, ossium] partes crassioribus nodis conglobate, dicte\ ita eo quod ad inflexionem membrorum illa vertantur. Car\tilagines ossa mollia et sine medulla. Quod genus auri\cule et narium discrimen et costarum extremitates habent\ sive operacula ossuum [PL, ossium] que moventur. Et dicti cartilagines\ quod levi attritu carent dolore dum plectuntur. Costas ap\pellari quidam putant quod ab ipsis interiora custodiantur,\ et tota mollicies ventris vallata salvetur. Latus quia ia\centibus nobis, latet enim leva pars corporis. Dextro au\tem lateri habilior motus est, levo fortior et oneri ferendo\ accommodatior. Unde et leva nuncupata quod aptior\ sit ad levandum aliquid et portandum. Ipsa enim gestat\ clipeum, ensem, pharetram et reliqua onera, ut expedita\ sit dextera ad agendum. Dorsum est a cervice usque ad\ renes. Dictum autem dorsum quod superficies durior cor\poris, in modum saxi fortis, et ad portandum et ad perpe\tiendum. Terga quia in ea supini iacemus in terra quod\ solus homo potest. Nam muta animalia tantum aut\ in ventre aut in latere iacent. Unde in animalibus abusi\ve terga dicuntur. Scapula a scandendo dicitur. Intersca\ pilium est spacium quod inter scapulas est, unde et nomi\natum. Pale sunt dorsi dextra levaque eminentia mem\bra dicta quod in luctando eas primimus, quod Greci\

Translation

is the basis of its posture and all its strength. The word comes from ustus, burnt, either because the ancients burned bones or, as others think, because bones are visible when flesh is burnt, for indeed everywhere else they are hidden under a covering of skin and organs. Marrow, medulla, is so called because it moistens the bones, refreshing and strengthening them. The vertebrae, vertibula, are the extremities of the bones, pressed together by thick knots; they are so called because they swivel, vertere, to allow the members to bend in different directions. Cartilages, cartilagines, are soft bones without marrow. The external part of the ear, the partition between the nostrils and the ends of the ribs are of this kind, or the coverings of those bones which are articulated. They are so called because, if they rub together lightly when they are bent, there is no pain, carere dolore. Ribs, costa, are so called, some think, because the interior of the body is guarded, custodire, by them; surrounded by them, as by a palisade, the entire soft part of the belly is kept safe. The side, latus, is so called because when we lie down it is hidden, latere, for it is the left part of the body. On the right side, movement is easier; the left is stronger and better fitted for carrying a load. For this reason, the left, leva, is so called because it is more suitable to lifting, levare, and carrying anything. It is the left side which carries the shield, sword, quiver and other burdens, leaving the right hand free for action. The back, dorsum, runs from the neck to the loins. It is so called because it is a very hard, durior, surface of the body, strong like stone, able to carry loads and to bear things steadfastly. The hinder parts,terga, get their name because we lie flat on them on the ground, terra, something that only man can do. For dumb animals can only lie either on their belly or side. For this reason it is incorrect to use the word in connexion with animals. The shoulder, scapula, comes from scandere, to mount. The interscapilium is the space between the shoulders, from which it gets its name. The protruding parts on the right and left of the back are called pale, because we press on them in wrestling, which the Greeks
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the bones.

  • Translation
    is the basis of its posture and all its strength. The word comes from ustus, burnt, either because the ancients burned bones or, as others think, because bones are visible when flesh is burnt, for indeed everywhere else they are hidden under a covering of skin and organs. Marrow, medulla, is so called because it moistens the bones, refreshing and strengthening them. The vertebrae, vertibula, are the extremities of the bones, pressed together by thick knots; they are so called because they swivel, vertere, to allow the members to bend in different directions. Cartilages, cartilagines, are soft bones without marrow. The external part of the ear, the partition between the nostrils and the ends of the ribs are of this kind, or the coverings of those bones which are articulated. They are so called because, if they rub together lightly when they are bent, there is no pain, carere dolore. Ribs, costa, are so called, some think, because the interior of the body is guarded, custodire, by them; surrounded by them, as by a palisade, the entire soft part of the belly is kept safe. The side, latus, is so called because when we lie down it is hidden, latere, for it is the left part of the body. On the right side, movement is easier; the left is stronger and better fitted for carrying a load. For this reason, the left, leva, is so called because it is more suitable to lifting, levare, and carrying anything. It is the left side which carries the shield, sword, quiver and other burdens, leaving the right hand free for action. The back, dorsum, runs from the neck to the loins. It is so called because it is a very hard, durior, surface of the body, strong like stone, able to carry loads and to bear things steadfastly. The hinder parts,terga, get their name because we lie flat on them on the ground, terra, something that only man can do. For dumb animals can only lie either on their belly or side. For this reason it is incorrect to use the word in connexion with animals. The shoulder, scapula, comes from scandere, to mount. The interscapilium is the space between the shoulders, from which it gets its name. The protruding parts on the right and left of the back are called pale, because we press on them in wrestling, which the Greeks
  • Transcription
    enim posicio omnis roburque subsistit. Omnia autem a\ busto [ab usto] dicta propter quod cremarentur ab antiquis sive ut\ alii putant ab eo quod ibi pateant, namque ubique cute vis\ceribusque obtecta celantur. Medulle appellate quod madefa\ ciant ossa, irrigant enim et confortant. Vertibule[a] sunt\ summe ossuum [PL, ossium] partes crassioribus nodis conglobate, dicte\ ita eo quod ad inflexionem membrorum illa vertantur. Car\tilagines ossa mollia et sine medulla. Quod genus auri\cule et narium discrimen et costarum extremitates habent\ sive operacula ossuum [PL, ossium] que moventur. Et dicti cartilagines\ quod levi attritu carent dolore dum plectuntur. Costas ap\pellari quidam putant quod ab ipsis interiora custodiantur,\ et tota mollicies ventris vallata salvetur. Latus quia ia\centibus nobis, latet enim leva pars corporis. Dextro au\tem lateri habilior motus est, levo fortior et oneri ferendo\ accommodatior. Unde et leva nuncupata quod aptior\ sit ad levandum aliquid et portandum. Ipsa enim gestat\ clipeum, ensem, pharetram et reliqua onera, ut expedita\ sit dextera ad agendum. Dorsum est a cervice usque ad\ renes. Dictum autem dorsum quod superficies durior cor\poris, in modum saxi fortis, et ad portandum et ad perpe\tiendum. Terga quia in ea supini iacemus in terra quod\ solus homo potest. Nam muta animalia tantum aut\ in ventre aut in latere iacent. Unde in animalibus abusi\ve terga dicuntur. Scapula a scandendo dicitur. Intersca\ pilium est spacium quod inter scapulas est, unde et nomi\natum. Pale sunt dorsi dextra levaque eminentia mem\bra dicta quod in luctando eas primimus, quod Greci\
Folio 87r - the nature of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen