The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 88r - 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.
For virus strictly means the fluid which comes from a man's organs of generation. The word for testicles, testiculi, is a diminutive of testis, witness; there is a minumum of two. They supply to the penis, calamus, semen which the kidneys and loins take from the spinal cord, in order to create a fetus. The skin which contains the testicles is called viscus. The posterior parts of the body are so called because they are at the rear, turned away from the face, lest when we empty our bowels, we should defile our gaze. The anus or passage, meatus, is so called because excrement passes, meare, through it, that is, it is discharged from it. The thighs, femur, are so called because the male sex is distinguished from the female, a femina, by that part; they extend from the groin to the knee. The word femen comes from femur; the femina are the parts of the thighs with which we grip the horse's back when we ride. For this reason, it used formerly to be said that warriors lost their horses 'from under their thighs'. The word for hips, coxe, comes, so to speak, from coniuncte axes, 'axles joined together', for the thighs are moved on them. Their joints are called hollows, concava, because the heads of the thigh bones turn in them. The hollows of the knee, suffragines, are so called because they are broken underneath, subtus franguntur, that is, they bend downwards and not upwards like the arm. The knees are the junction between the thighs and the legs. They are called genua because in the womb they are opposite the upper part of the face, gena; knees and cheeks press closely together and, in the same way as the eyes signify grief, the knees signify the desire for mercy. For genua comes from gena. Finally, they say that a man is born in a folded shape, so that his knees are on top, as a result of which his eyes are formed so that they are hollow and hidden. Ennius: 'And the cheek presses against bent knees' (Incerta, 14). For this reason, when men fall on their knees, they start to cry. For nature wills them to remember their mother's womb, where they stayed, before they came into the light. The legs, crura, are so called because we run, currere, and take steps on them; they extend from under the knee to the lower calf. The word for shins, tibia, comes, so to speak, from tuba, trumpets, which they resemble. The ankle, talus, comes from from the word for a dome, tholus; for a dome is

Text

Isidore on the hips, knees and legs.

Comment

At the bottom centre is a quire mark 'N'.

Folio Attributes

  • Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

    Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

    Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks
    Folio Marks

    To make a normal gathering, a sheet of vellum (the skin of a calf, lamb or kid) would be folded over twice and cut around the edges. This would make a gathering or quire of eight folios with sixteen sides. In the Bestiary there are fifteen quires, thirteen of which are made with the usual eight folios. The last two quires, added in the late thirteenth century, have six and four folios respectively. The folios are not precisely cut but in the most regular quires (B and C) they measure 300mm high and 210mm wide. In order to assemble the quires in the correct sequence they were labelled in lead point with letters of the alphabet. Some are missing with the result that the sequence runs -,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,-(folio missing),M,N. The last two quires (O and P) are the later additions and are not marked. The quire system was examined by MR James when the book was being rebound and he was able to produce the following analysis of the gatherings: A8 (wants folio 2, 8); B8 (4,5); C8 (4,8); D8 (4,5); E8-L8 (1); M8; N8; O6; P4 (4). Individual sheets in the quire needed to be marked. Although there were eight folios only the first four needed marking because they were folded with the last four. Each sheet was distinctively marked to make sure the quires could not get muddled up. The asterisk sign is repeated in quires B and M but they remain distinct because the B sign is in the top right corner while the M signs are all in the bottom left corner.

Transcription

Nam virus proprie humor dicitur, fluens a natura viri. Testicula\ per diminutionem a testibus dicti, quorum numerus incipit\ a duobus. Hii semen calamo ministrant quod ab spine me\dulla et renes et lumbi suscipiunt, ad germen procreandi.\ Viscus est pellis in qua testiculi sunt. Posteriora vocata quod\ retro sunt, et a vultu aversa, ne dum alvum purgamus\ inquinaremus aspectum. Meatus inde appellatus quod\ per eum meant, id est egeruntur stercora. Femora dicta quod ea\ parte a femina sexus viri discrepet, sunt autem ab inguini\bus usque ad genua. Femina autem per dirivationem femorum\ partes sunt, quibus in equitando tergis equorum inheremus.\ Unde olim preliatores sub feminibus equos amisisse dicebantur.\ Coxe quasi coniuncte axes in ipsis enim femora moventur\ quorum concava vertebra vocantur, quod in eis capita femorum\ vertunt. Suffragines quia subtus fra[n]guntur, id est flectuntur, non\ supra sicut in brachiis. Genua sunt commixtiones femorum\ et crurium, et dicta genua eo quod in utero sint genis opposita,\ coherent enim sibi et cognita [PL, cognata] sunt oculis lacrimarum indicibus\ et misercordie. Nam a genis genua dicuntur. Denique complica\tum gigni formarique hominem, ita ut genua sursum sint\ quibus oculi formantur, ut cavi ac reconditi fiant. Hennius:\ Atque genua comprimit arta gena. Inde est quod homines dum\ ad genua se prosternunt, statim lacrimantur. Voluit enim eos\ natura uterum maternum rememorare ubi quasi in tenebris\ considebant, antequam venirent ad lucem. Crura dicta\ quia in his currimus et gressum facimus, sunt autem sub genibus\ usque ad suras. Tibie vocate quasi tube sunt autem et longi\tudine et specie similes. Talus dictus a tolo, nam tolus est\

Translation

For virus strictly means the fluid which comes from a man's organs of generation. The word for testicles, testiculi, is a diminutive of testis, witness; there is a minumum of two. They supply to the penis, calamus, semen which the kidneys and loins take from the spinal cord, in order to create a fetus. The skin which contains the testicles is called viscus. The posterior parts of the body are so called because they are at the rear, turned away from the face, lest when we empty our bowels, we should defile our gaze. The anus or passage, meatus, is so called because excrement passes, meare, through it, that is, it is discharged from it. The thighs, femur, are so called because the male sex is distinguished from the female, a femina, by that part; they extend from the groin to the knee. The word femen comes from femur; the femina are the parts of the thighs with which we grip the horse's back when we ride. For this reason, it used formerly to be said that warriors lost their horses 'from under their thighs'. The word for hips, coxe, comes, so to speak, from coniuncte axes, 'axles joined together', for the thighs are moved on them. Their joints are called hollows, concava, because the heads of the thigh bones turn in them. The hollows of the knee, suffragines, are so called because they are broken underneath, subtus franguntur, that is, they bend downwards and not upwards like the arm. The knees are the junction between the thighs and the legs. They are called genua because in the womb they are opposite the upper part of the face, gena; knees and cheeks press closely together and, in the same way as the eyes signify grief, the knees signify the desire for mercy. For genua comes from gena. Finally, they say that a man is born in a folded shape, so that his knees are on top, as a result of which his eyes are formed so that they are hollow and hidden. Ennius: 'And the cheek presses against bent knees' (Incerta, 14). For this reason, when men fall on their knees, they start to cry. For nature wills them to remember their mother's womb, where they stayed, before they came into the light. The legs, crura, are so called because we run, currere, and take steps on them; they extend from under the knee to the lower calf. The word for shins, tibia, comes, so to speak, from tuba, trumpets, which they resemble. The ankle, talus, comes from from the word for a dome, tholus; for a dome is
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the hips, knees and legs.

    Comment

    At the bottom centre is a quire mark 'N'.

    Folio Attributes

    • Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

      Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks

      Gatherings, quire marks, folio marks
      Folio Marks

      To make a normal gathering, a sheet of vellum (the skin of a calf, lamb or kid) would be folded over twice and cut around the edges. This would make a gathering or quire of eight folios with sixteen sides. In the Bestiary there are fifteen quires, thirteen of which are made with the usual eight folios. The last two quires, added in the late thirteenth century, have six and four folios respectively. The folios are not precisely cut but in the most regular quires (B and C) they measure 300mm high and 210mm wide. In order to assemble the quires in the correct sequence they were labelled in lead point with letters of the alphabet. Some are missing with the result that the sequence runs -,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,-(folio missing),M,N. The last two quires (O and P) are the later additions and are not marked. The quire system was examined by MR James when the book was being rebound and he was able to produce the following analysis of the gatherings: A8 (wants folio 2, 8); B8 (4,5); C8 (4,8); D8 (4,5); E8-L8 (1); M8; N8; O6; P4 (4). Individual sheets in the quire needed to be marked. Although there were eight folios only the first four needed marking because they were folded with the last four. Each sheet was distinctively marked to make sure the quires could not get muddled up. The asterisk sign is repeated in quires B and M but they remain distinct because the B sign is in the top right corner while the M signs are all in the bottom left corner.

  • Translation
    For virus strictly means the fluid which comes from a man's organs of generation. The word for testicles, testiculi, is a diminutive of testis, witness; there is a minumum of two. They supply to the penis, calamus, semen which the kidneys and loins take from the spinal cord, in order to create a fetus. The skin which contains the testicles is called viscus. The posterior parts of the body are so called because they are at the rear, turned away from the face, lest when we empty our bowels, we should defile our gaze. The anus or passage, meatus, is so called because excrement passes, meare, through it, that is, it is discharged from it. The thighs, femur, are so called because the male sex is distinguished from the female, a femina, by that part; they extend from the groin to the knee. The word femen comes from femur; the femina are the parts of the thighs with which we grip the horse's back when we ride. For this reason, it used formerly to be said that warriors lost their horses 'from under their thighs'. The word for hips, coxe, comes, so to speak, from coniuncte axes, 'axles joined together', for the thighs are moved on them. Their joints are called hollows, concava, because the heads of the thigh bones turn in them. The hollows of the knee, suffragines, are so called because they are broken underneath, subtus franguntur, that is, they bend downwards and not upwards like the arm. The knees are the junction between the thighs and the legs. They are called genua because in the womb they are opposite the upper part of the face, gena; knees and cheeks press closely together and, in the same way as the eyes signify grief, the knees signify the desire for mercy. For genua comes from gena. Finally, they say that a man is born in a folded shape, so that his knees are on top, as a result of which his eyes are formed so that they are hollow and hidden. Ennius: 'And the cheek presses against bent knees' (Incerta, 14). For this reason, when men fall on their knees, they start to cry. For nature wills them to remember their mother's womb, where they stayed, before they came into the light. The legs, crura, are so called because we run, currere, and take steps on them; they extend from under the knee to the lower calf. The word for shins, tibia, comes, so to speak, from tuba, trumpets, which they resemble. The ankle, talus, comes from from the word for a dome, tholus; for a dome is
  • Transcription
    Nam virus proprie humor dicitur, fluens a natura viri. Testicula\ per diminutionem a testibus dicti, quorum numerus incipit\ a duobus. Hii semen calamo ministrant quod ab spine me\dulla et renes et lumbi suscipiunt, ad germen procreandi.\ Viscus est pellis in qua testiculi sunt. Posteriora vocata quod\ retro sunt, et a vultu aversa, ne dum alvum purgamus\ inquinaremus aspectum. Meatus inde appellatus quod\ per eum meant, id est egeruntur stercora. Femora dicta quod ea\ parte a femina sexus viri discrepet, sunt autem ab inguini\bus usque ad genua. Femina autem per dirivationem femorum\ partes sunt, quibus in equitando tergis equorum inheremus.\ Unde olim preliatores sub feminibus equos amisisse dicebantur.\ Coxe quasi coniuncte axes in ipsis enim femora moventur\ quorum concava vertebra vocantur, quod in eis capita femorum\ vertunt. Suffragines quia subtus fra[n]guntur, id est flectuntur, non\ supra sicut in brachiis. Genua sunt commixtiones femorum\ et crurium, et dicta genua eo quod in utero sint genis opposita,\ coherent enim sibi et cognita [PL, cognata] sunt oculis lacrimarum indicibus\ et misercordie. Nam a genis genua dicuntur. Denique complica\tum gigni formarique hominem, ita ut genua sursum sint\ quibus oculi formantur, ut cavi ac reconditi fiant. Hennius:\ Atque genua comprimit arta gena. Inde est quod homines dum\ ad genua se prosternunt, statim lacrimantur. Voluit enim eos\ natura uterum maternum rememorare ubi quasi in tenebris\ considebant, antequam venirent ad lucem. Crura dicta\ quia in his currimus et gressum facimus, sunt autem sub genibus\ usque ad suras. Tibie vocate quasi tube sunt autem et longi\tudine et specie similes. Talus dictus a tolo, nam tolus est\
Folio 88r - the nature of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen