The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 90v - the parts of man's body, 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.
blood, it is shaped in the body. The menstrual flow is the superfluous blood of a woman. It is called menstrua from the cycle of the light of the moon which regularly brings about this flow. For the Greek word for 'moon' is mene; menstruation is also called muliebria, 'womanly business'. For the woman is the only creature which menstruates. When they come into contact with menstrual blood, crops do not put forth shoots, wine turns sour, grasses die, trees lose their fruit, iron is corrupted by rust, copper blackens, if dogs eat it they become rabid. Asphalt glue, which cannot be melted by fire or dissolved by water, when it is tainted by this blood, disintegrates by itself. After many days of menstruation, the semen cannot generate, because there is no further flow of menstrual blood by which it can be moistened. Semen of thin consistency does not stick to the womanly parts and is unstable, for it has not the strength to adhere; likewise thick semen has not the power to generate, because it cannot mix with the woman's blood, so dense is it. For this reason men and women become sterile, either through excessive density of the semen, or the blood, or excessive thinness. For they say that a man's heart is the first part to come into existence, because in it is all life and wisdom; then on the fortieth day, the whole body is complete, a fact gathered from abortions. Others say that the fetus takes its beginning from the head. For this reason we see in eggs that in the fetus of birds the eyes are the first things to grow. The fetus is so called because it is still being fostered, fovere, in the womb. The afterbirth, secunda, of the fetus is called folliculus, 'little sack'; it is produced simultaneously with the baby and contains it. It is called secunda because when the baby comes forth, it follows, sequi. They say that children are born resembling their fathers, if the father's semen is stronger. They resemble the mother

Text

Isidore on the taint of menstrual blood. Human fertility.

Transcription

sanguinis formatur in corpore. Menstrua super\ vacuus mulierum sanguis. Dicta autem men\strua a circuitu lunaris luminis, quo solet hoc\ evenire profluvium. Luna enim Grece mene dicitur,\ hec et muliebria nuncupantur. Nam mulier solum a\nimal menstruale est, cuius cruoris tactu fruges non\ germinant, acescunt musta, moriuntur herbe, amit\tunt arbores fetus, ferrum rubigo corrumpit, nigres\cunt aera, siqui canes inde ederint, in rabiem efferuntur.\ Glutinum asfalti quod nec ferro nec aquis dissolvitur,\ cruore ipso pollutum sponte dispergitur. Post plurimos\ autem dies menstruos ideo non esse semen generabile,\ quia non est iam menstrualis sanguis a quo perfusus irri\getur. Tenue semen muliebribus locis non adheret, labi\tur enim nec habet vim adherendi, similiter et crasum vim\ non habet gignendi, quia muliebri sanguini se miscere non\ potest, propter nimiam sui spissitudinem. Hinc et steriles\ mares vel feminas fieri, vel per nimiam seminis crassitu\dinis, vel sanguinis, vel propter nimiam raritatem. Pri\mum enim aiunt cor hominis fingi, quod in eo sit et vita\ omnis et sapientia deinde quadragesimo die totum corpus\ expleri, quod ex abortionibus collectum est. Alii fetus a ca\pite exordium sumere dicunt. Unde et in avium fetu pri\mum oculos in ovis fingi videmus. Fetus autem dictus\ quod adhuc in utero foveatur. Cuius secunde dicuntur folli\culus qui simul cum infante nascitur continetque eum\. Dictus quia et cum editur, sequitur. Nasci autem patribus\ similes aiunt, si paternum semen validius sit. Ma[t]ribus\

Translation

blood, it is shaped in the body. The menstrual flow is the superfluous blood of a woman. It is called menstrua from the cycle of the light of the moon which regularly brings about this flow. For the Greek word for 'moon' is mene; menstruation is also called muliebria, 'womanly business'. For the woman is the only creature which menstruates. When they come into contact with menstrual blood, crops do not put forth shoots, wine turns sour, grasses die, trees lose their fruit, iron is corrupted by rust, copper blackens, if dogs eat it they become rabid. Asphalt glue, which cannot be melted by fire or dissolved by water, when it is tainted by this blood, disintegrates by itself. After many days of menstruation, the semen cannot generate, because there is no further flow of menstrual blood by which it can be moistened. Semen of thin consistency does not stick to the womanly parts and is unstable, for it has not the strength to adhere; likewise thick semen has not the power to generate, because it cannot mix with the woman's blood, so dense is it. For this reason men and women become sterile, either through excessive density of the semen, or the blood, or excessive thinness. For they say that a man's heart is the first part to come into existence, because in it is all life and wisdom; then on the fortieth day, the whole body is complete, a fact gathered from abortions. Others say that the fetus takes its beginning from the head. For this reason we see in eggs that in the fetus of birds the eyes are the first things to grow. The fetus is so called because it is still being fostered, fovere, in the womb. The afterbirth, secunda, of the fetus is called folliculus, 'little sack'; it is produced simultaneously with the baby and contains it. It is called secunda because when the baby comes forth, it follows, sequi. They say that children are born resembling their fathers, if the father's semen is stronger. They resemble the mother
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the taint of menstrual blood. Human fertility.

  • Translation
    blood, it is shaped in the body. The menstrual flow is the superfluous blood of a woman. It is called menstrua from the cycle of the light of the moon which regularly brings about this flow. For the Greek word for 'moon' is mene; menstruation is also called muliebria, 'womanly business'. For the woman is the only creature which menstruates. When they come into contact with menstrual blood, crops do not put forth shoots, wine turns sour, grasses die, trees lose their fruit, iron is corrupted by rust, copper blackens, if dogs eat it they become rabid. Asphalt glue, which cannot be melted by fire or dissolved by water, when it is tainted by this blood, disintegrates by itself. After many days of menstruation, the semen cannot generate, because there is no further flow of menstrual blood by which it can be moistened. Semen of thin consistency does not stick to the womanly parts and is unstable, for it has not the strength to adhere; likewise thick semen has not the power to generate, because it cannot mix with the woman's blood, so dense is it. For this reason men and women become sterile, either through excessive density of the semen, or the blood, or excessive thinness. For they say that a man's heart is the first part to come into existence, because in it is all life and wisdom; then on the fortieth day, the whole body is complete, a fact gathered from abortions. Others say that the fetus takes its beginning from the head. For this reason we see in eggs that in the fetus of birds the eyes are the first things to grow. The fetus is so called because it is still being fostered, fovere, in the womb. The afterbirth, secunda, of the fetus is called folliculus, 'little sack'; it is produced simultaneously with the baby and contains it. It is called secunda because when the baby comes forth, it follows, sequi. They say that children are born resembling their fathers, if the father's semen is stronger. They resemble the mother
  • Transcription
    sanguinis formatur in corpore. Menstrua super\ vacuus mulierum sanguis. Dicta autem men\strua a circuitu lunaris luminis, quo solet hoc\ evenire profluvium. Luna enim Grece mene dicitur,\ hec et muliebria nuncupantur. Nam mulier solum a\nimal menstruale est, cuius cruoris tactu fruges non\ germinant, acescunt musta, moriuntur herbe, amit\tunt arbores fetus, ferrum rubigo corrumpit, nigres\cunt aera, siqui canes inde ederint, in rabiem efferuntur.\ Glutinum asfalti quod nec ferro nec aquis dissolvitur,\ cruore ipso pollutum sponte dispergitur. Post plurimos\ autem dies menstruos ideo non esse semen generabile,\ quia non est iam menstrualis sanguis a quo perfusus irri\getur. Tenue semen muliebribus locis non adheret, labi\tur enim nec habet vim adherendi, similiter et crasum vim\ non habet gignendi, quia muliebri sanguini se miscere non\ potest, propter nimiam sui spissitudinem. Hinc et steriles\ mares vel feminas fieri, vel per nimiam seminis crassitu\dinis, vel sanguinis, vel propter nimiam raritatem. Pri\mum enim aiunt cor hominis fingi, quod in eo sit et vita\ omnis et sapientia deinde quadragesimo die totum corpus\ expleri, quod ex abortionibus collectum est. Alii fetus a ca\pite exordium sumere dicunt. Unde et in avium fetu pri\mum oculos in ovis fingi videmus. Fetus autem dictus\ quod adhuc in utero foveatur. Cuius secunde dicuntur folli\culus qui simul cum infante nascitur continetque eum\. Dictus quia et cum editur, sequitur. Nasci autem patribus\ similes aiunt, si paternum semen validius sit. Ma[t]ribus\
Folio 90v - the parts of man's body, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen