The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 91v - the age 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.
old age; you are not yet ancient, but you are no longer young; the Greeks call someone at this age of maturity presbiteros, an elder; an old man they call geron. This age, beginning in the fiftieth year, ends in the seventieth. The sixth age is that of old age, which has no end-date; whatever of life is left after the five Previous ages is classed as 'old age'. The final part of old age is senility, senium, so called because it marks the end of the sixth age, sexta etas. Philosophers, therefore, have categorised human life in these six periods, during which it is changed and runs its race and comes to an end, which is death. So, let us proceed briefly through the above-mentioned categories of the ages, pointing out their etymology in the context of man. Man at the first stage is called infans; this is because he is incapable of speaking, fari. As his teeth are not yet arranged correctly, his capacity to produce words is restricted. Boy, puer, is so called from purity, puritas, because he is pure, with no down or bloom yet on his cheeks. These are ethebi [ephebi], named after Phoebus; not yet grown men but gentle little boys. The word 'boy' is used in three ways. In the context of birth, as in Isaiah: 'Unto us a child is born' (9:6). In the context of age, as 'a boy of eight' or 'a ten year-old boy'. In this context: 'Now he bore the yoke on his tender neck'. And in the context of compliance and purity of faith, as the Lord said to the prophet: 'You are my son, do not fear' (see Jeremiah, 1:7-8), although Jeremiah had long since outlived the years of his childhood. Girl, puella, comes from parvula, very small female, or 'chicken', pulla, so to speak. For this reason we refer to 'orphans', pupillus, not from their status but because of their childish age. They are called pupillus as if they were without eyes, that is, bereft, orbus, of their parents. They are properly called 'orphans' if their parents died before they were named; others call them 'parentless', orbi. 'Orphan', orphanus, means the same as pupillus. The one is the Greek word; the other, the Latin;

Text

Isidore on the etymology of each age.

Transcription

senectutem, non dum senectus set iam non iuventus, quia\ senioris etas est quam Greci presbiterum vocant, nam senex\ apud Grecos non presbiter sed geron dicitur. Que etas a quinquagesimo\ anno incipiens, septuagesimo terminatur. Sexta etas senec\tus que nullo annorum tempore finitur, sed post quinque illas\ etates quantumcumque vite est senectuti deputatur. Senium\ autem pars est ultima senectutis, dicta quod sit terminus\ sexte etatis. In his igitur sex spaciis philosophi descripserunt vi\tam humanam, in quibus mutatur et currit et ad mortis\ terminum pervenit. Pergamus ergo breviter predictos gradus eta\tum, ethimologias earum in homine demonstrantes. In\fans dicitur homo prime etatis. Dictus autem infans quod\ adhuc fari, id est loqui non potest. Non dum enim bene ordina\tis dentibus minus est sermonis expressio. Puer a puritate\ vocatus, quia purus est et nec dum lanuginem floremque\ genarum habens. Hi sunt ethebi a Phebo dicti, nec dum\ pro nativitate viri adolescentuli lenes. Puer autem tribus\ modis dicitur. Pro nativitate ut Ysaias: Puer natus est nobis.\ Pro etate ut octennis decennis. Unde est illud: Iam pueri\le iugum tenera cervice gerebat. Pro obsequio et fidei puri\tate ut dominus ad prophetam: Puer meus es tu, noli timere, dum\ iam Jeremias longe puericie excessisset annos. Puella par\vula quasi pulla, unde et pupillos non pro conditione sed\ pro etate puerili vocamus. Pupilli autem dicti quasi sine ocu\lis, hoc est a parentibus orbi. Hi autem vere pupilli dicuntur\ quorum patres vel parentes ante decesserunt, quam ab his no\men acciperent, ceteri orbi vocantur. Orphani idem qui et\ pupilli. Illud enim Grecum nomen est, hoc Latinum. Nam\

Translation

old age; you are not yet ancient, but you are no longer young; the Greeks call someone at this age of maturity presbiteros, an elder; an old man they call geron. This age, beginning in the fiftieth year, ends in the seventieth. The sixth age is that of old age, which has no end-date; whatever of life is left after the five Previous ages is classed as 'old age'. The final part of old age is senility, senium, so called because it marks the end of the sixth age, sexta etas. Philosophers, therefore, have categorised human life in these six periods, during which it is changed and runs its race and comes to an end, which is death. So, let us proceed briefly through the above-mentioned categories of the ages, pointing out their etymology in the context of man. Man at the first stage is called infans; this is because he is incapable of speaking, fari. As his teeth are not yet arranged correctly, his capacity to produce words is restricted. Boy, puer, is so called from purity, puritas, because he is pure, with no down or bloom yet on his cheeks. These are ethebi [ephebi], named after Phoebus; not yet grown men but gentle little boys. The word 'boy' is used in three ways. In the context of birth, as in Isaiah: 'Unto us a child is born' (9:6). In the context of age, as 'a boy of eight' or 'a ten year-old boy'. In this context: 'Now he bore the yoke on his tender neck'. And in the context of compliance and purity of faith, as the Lord said to the prophet: 'You are my son, do not fear' (see Jeremiah, 1:7-8), although Jeremiah had long since outlived the years of his childhood. Girl, puella, comes from parvula, very small female, or 'chicken', pulla, so to speak. For this reason we refer to 'orphans', pupillus, not from their status but because of their childish age. They are called pupillus as if they were without eyes, that is, bereft, orbus, of their parents. They are properly called 'orphans' if their parents died before they were named; others call them 'parentless', orbi. 'Orphan', orphanus, means the same as pupillus. The one is the Greek word; the other, the Latin;
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the etymology of each age.

  • Translation
    old age; you are not yet ancient, but you are no longer young; the Greeks call someone at this age of maturity presbiteros, an elder; an old man they call geron. This age, beginning in the fiftieth year, ends in the seventieth. The sixth age is that of old age, which has no end-date; whatever of life is left after the five Previous ages is classed as 'old age'. The final part of old age is senility, senium, so called because it marks the end of the sixth age, sexta etas. Philosophers, therefore, have categorised human life in these six periods, during which it is changed and runs its race and comes to an end, which is death. So, let us proceed briefly through the above-mentioned categories of the ages, pointing out their etymology in the context of man. Man at the first stage is called infans; this is because he is incapable of speaking, fari. As his teeth are not yet arranged correctly, his capacity to produce words is restricted. Boy, puer, is so called from purity, puritas, because he is pure, with no down or bloom yet on his cheeks. These are ethebi [ephebi], named after Phoebus; not yet grown men but gentle little boys. The word 'boy' is used in three ways. In the context of birth, as in Isaiah: 'Unto us a child is born' (9:6). In the context of age, as 'a boy of eight' or 'a ten year-old boy'. In this context: 'Now he bore the yoke on his tender neck'. And in the context of compliance and purity of faith, as the Lord said to the prophet: 'You are my son, do not fear' (see Jeremiah, 1:7-8), although Jeremiah had long since outlived the years of his childhood. Girl, puella, comes from parvula, very small female, or 'chicken', pulla, so to speak. For this reason we refer to 'orphans', pupillus, not from their status but because of their childish age. They are called pupillus as if they were without eyes, that is, bereft, orbus, of their parents. They are properly called 'orphans' if their parents died before they were named; others call them 'parentless', orbi. 'Orphan', orphanus, means the same as pupillus. The one is the Greek word; the other, the Latin;
  • Transcription
    senectutem, non dum senectus set iam non iuventus, quia\ senioris etas est quam Greci presbiterum vocant, nam senex\ apud Grecos non presbiter sed geron dicitur. Que etas a quinquagesimo\ anno incipiens, septuagesimo terminatur. Sexta etas senec\tus que nullo annorum tempore finitur, sed post quinque illas\ etates quantumcumque vite est senectuti deputatur. Senium\ autem pars est ultima senectutis, dicta quod sit terminus\ sexte etatis. In his igitur sex spaciis philosophi descripserunt vi\tam humanam, in quibus mutatur et currit et ad mortis\ terminum pervenit. Pergamus ergo breviter predictos gradus eta\tum, ethimologias earum in homine demonstrantes. In\fans dicitur homo prime etatis. Dictus autem infans quod\ adhuc fari, id est loqui non potest. Non dum enim bene ordina\tis dentibus minus est sermonis expressio. Puer a puritate\ vocatus, quia purus est et nec dum lanuginem floremque\ genarum habens. Hi sunt ethebi a Phebo dicti, nec dum\ pro nativitate viri adolescentuli lenes. Puer autem tribus\ modis dicitur. Pro nativitate ut Ysaias: Puer natus est nobis.\ Pro etate ut octennis decennis. Unde est illud: Iam pueri\le iugum tenera cervice gerebat. Pro obsequio et fidei puri\tate ut dominus ad prophetam: Puer meus es tu, noli timere, dum\ iam Jeremias longe puericie excessisset annos. Puella par\vula quasi pulla, unde et pupillos non pro conditione sed\ pro etate puerili vocamus. Pupilli autem dicti quasi sine ocu\lis, hoc est a parentibus orbi. Hi autem vere pupilli dicuntur\ quorum patres vel parentes ante decesserunt, quam ab his no\men acciperent, ceteri orbi vocantur. Orphani idem qui et\ pupilli. Illud enim Grecum nomen est, hoc Latinum. Nam\
Folio 91v - the age of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen