The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 93r - 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.
annosa, so to speak. For if the word were common to both genders, why does Terence not use the words senem mulierem? In the same way vetula, a little old woman, comes from vetustus, aged. Just as senility, senectus, comes from senex, so 'old womanhood', anilitas, comes from anus. Hoariness, canities, comes from candor, 'shining whiteness', as if it were candities. This gives the phrase 'blooming youth, milky age', as if to say 'white'. Senility brings with it the good and the bad in quantity. The good, because it frees us from our post powerful masters, imposes moderation on our pleasures, bridles the onset of our lust, increases our wisdom, gives more mature counsel. Bad, because the most wretched thing about being old is the frailty you feel and the resentment you meet. For diseases and miserable old age approach together. For there are two things by which the body's powers are lessened: senility and sickness. Death, mors, is so called because it is amarus, bitter, or from Mars, the deliverer of death, or from the bite, morsus, of the first man, because by biting into the apple of the forbidden tree, he incurred death. There are three kinds of death: premature, untimely and natural. Premature is the death of a child; untimely, the death of a young man; fitting, that is, natural, the death of the old. There is some doubt, however, according to which part of speech, mortuus, dead, is to be declined. For as Caesar said, on the basis that it is from morior, in the past participle, it should end in -tus, namely, with one u not two. For where the letter u is doubled, it is an adjective not a participle, as in fatuus, arduus. Thus, it is not inapt that in so far as what death means cannot be shown physically, so the word itself cannot be declined orally. Every dead man is a corpse, either funus or cadaver. His body is called funus if it is buried, the word coming from the burning ropes of reeds in wax, which they used to carry before the bier. It is called cadaver, if it lies unburied. The word comes from cadere, to fall, because it cannot stand up.

Text

Isidore on the etymology of each age.

Comment

This page is glued to f.93v, probably to strengthen the backing for the double illustration overleaf.

Transcription

annosa. Nam si commune esset nomen cur non diceret Teren\tius senem mulierem? Hinc et vetula quasi vetusta. Sicut\ autem a sene senectus, ita ab anu anilitas nominata est.\ Canicies autem vocata a candore quasi candicies. Unde\ est illud florida iuventus, lactea canicies, prout diceret candida.\ Senectus autem multa secum et bona et mala affert. Bona\ quia nos a potentissimis dominis liberat, voluptatibus imponit\ modum, libidinis frangit impetus, auget sapientiam, dat\ maturiora consilia. Mala autem quia senium miserrimum\ est debilitate et odio. Subeunt enim morbi tristisque senectus.\ Nam duo sunt quibus imminuuntur corporis vires, senectus\ et morbus. Mors dicta quod sit amara, vel a Marte qui est\ effector mortuorum, sive a morsu primi hominis quod vetite\ arboris primum [PL, pomum] mordens mortem incurrit. Tria sunt autem\ genera mortis, acerba, immatura, naturalis. Acerba infan\tum, immatura iuvenum, merita, id est naturalis senum. Mor\tuus autem ex qua parte orationis declinetur incertum est.\ Nam sicut ait Cesar. Ab eo quod est morior in participio pre\teriti temporis in tus exire debuit, per unum scilicet u non per duo. Nam ubi geminata est littera u nomen est non participium,\ ut fatuus arduus. Convenienter itaque factum ut quem\admodum id quod significat non potest agendo, ita\ ipsum nomen posset loquendo declinari. Omnis\ autem mortuus aut funus est aut cadaver. Funus est\ si sepeliatur, et dictum funus a funibus accensis, quos\ ante feretrum papiris circumdatis cera ferebatur [PL, ferebant].\ Cadaver autem est si insepultum iacet. Nam cadaver\ nominatum a cadendo, quia iam stare non potest.\

Translation

annosa, so to speak. For if the word were common to both genders, why does Terence not use the words senem mulierem? In the same way vetula, a little old woman, comes from vetustus, aged. Just as senility, senectus, comes from senex, so 'old womanhood', anilitas, comes from anus. Hoariness, canities, comes from candor, 'shining whiteness', as if it were candities. This gives the phrase 'blooming youth, milky age', as if to say 'white'. Senility brings with it the good and the bad in quantity. The good, because it frees us from our post powerful masters, imposes moderation on our pleasures, bridles the onset of our lust, increases our wisdom, gives more mature counsel. Bad, because the most wretched thing about being old is the frailty you feel and the resentment you meet. For diseases and miserable old age approach together. For there are two things by which the body's powers are lessened: senility and sickness. Death, mors, is so called because it is amarus, bitter, or from Mars, the deliverer of death, or from the bite, morsus, of the first man, because by biting into the apple of the forbidden tree, he incurred death. There are three kinds of death: premature, untimely and natural. Premature is the death of a child; untimely, the death of a young man; fitting, that is, natural, the death of the old. There is some doubt, however, according to which part of speech, mortuus, dead, is to be declined. For as Caesar said, on the basis that it is from morior, in the past participle, it should end in -tus, namely, with one u not two. For where the letter u is doubled, it is an adjective not a participle, as in fatuus, arduus. Thus, it is not inapt that in so far as what death means cannot be shown physically, so the word itself cannot be declined orally. Every dead man is a corpse, either funus or cadaver. His body is called funus if it is buried, the word coming from the burning ropes of reeds in wax, which they used to carry before the bier. It is called cadaver, if it lies unburied. The word comes from cadere, to fall, because it cannot stand up.
  • Commentary

    Text

    Isidore on the etymology of each age.

    Comment

    This page is glued to f.93v, probably to strengthen the backing for the double illustration overleaf.

  • Translation
    annosa, so to speak. For if the word were common to both genders, why does Terence not use the words senem mulierem? In the same way vetula, a little old woman, comes from vetustus, aged. Just as senility, senectus, comes from senex, so 'old womanhood', anilitas, comes from anus. Hoariness, canities, comes from candor, 'shining whiteness', as if it were candities. This gives the phrase 'blooming youth, milky age', as if to say 'white'. Senility brings with it the good and the bad in quantity. The good, because it frees us from our post powerful masters, imposes moderation on our pleasures, bridles the onset of our lust, increases our wisdom, gives more mature counsel. Bad, because the most wretched thing about being old is the frailty you feel and the resentment you meet. For diseases and miserable old age approach together. For there are two things by which the body's powers are lessened: senility and sickness. Death, mors, is so called because it is amarus, bitter, or from Mars, the deliverer of death, or from the bite, morsus, of the first man, because by biting into the apple of the forbidden tree, he incurred death. There are three kinds of death: premature, untimely and natural. Premature is the death of a child; untimely, the death of a young man; fitting, that is, natural, the death of the old. There is some doubt, however, according to which part of speech, mortuus, dead, is to be declined. For as Caesar said, on the basis that it is from morior, in the past participle, it should end in -tus, namely, with one u not two. For where the letter u is doubled, it is an adjective not a participle, as in fatuus, arduus. Thus, it is not inapt that in so far as what death means cannot be shown physically, so the word itself cannot be declined orally. Every dead man is a corpse, either funus or cadaver. His body is called funus if it is buried, the word coming from the burning ropes of reeds in wax, which they used to carry before the bier. It is called cadaver, if it lies unburied. The word comes from cadere, to fall, because it cannot stand up.
  • Transcription
    annosa. Nam si commune esset nomen cur non diceret Teren\tius senem mulierem? Hinc et vetula quasi vetusta. Sicut\ autem a sene senectus, ita ab anu anilitas nominata est.\ Canicies autem vocata a candore quasi candicies. Unde\ est illud florida iuventus, lactea canicies, prout diceret candida.\ Senectus autem multa secum et bona et mala affert. Bona\ quia nos a potentissimis dominis liberat, voluptatibus imponit\ modum, libidinis frangit impetus, auget sapientiam, dat\ maturiora consilia. Mala autem quia senium miserrimum\ est debilitate et odio. Subeunt enim morbi tristisque senectus.\ Nam duo sunt quibus imminuuntur corporis vires, senectus\ et morbus. Mors dicta quod sit amara, vel a Marte qui est\ effector mortuorum, sive a morsu primi hominis quod vetite\ arboris primum [PL, pomum] mordens mortem incurrit. Tria sunt autem\ genera mortis, acerba, immatura, naturalis. Acerba infan\tum, immatura iuvenum, merita, id est naturalis senum. Mor\tuus autem ex qua parte orationis declinetur incertum est.\ Nam sicut ait Cesar. Ab eo quod est morior in participio pre\teriti temporis in tus exire debuit, per unum scilicet u non per duo. Nam ubi geminata est littera u nomen est non participium,\ ut fatuus arduus. Convenienter itaque factum ut quem\admodum id quod significat non potest agendo, ita\ ipsum nomen posset loquendo declinari. Omnis\ autem mortuus aut funus est aut cadaver. Funus est\ si sepeliatur, et dictum funus a funibus accensis, quos\ ante feretrum papiris circumdatis cera ferebatur [PL, ferebant].\ Cadaver autem est si insepultum iacet. Nam cadaver\ nominatum a cadendo, quia iam stare non potest.\
Folio 93r - the age of man, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen