The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 97v - chalcedony, continued. Quartus Smaragdus; The fourth, smaragdus


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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.
The third, that is, the third decoration of the foundation is chalcedony; it is pale yellow, similar to lamp-light, and shines more under the open sky than indoors; warmed by the sun or by a rub of the fingers, it attracts particles to itself; it does not resist the subjects of the engraver, and it signifies the charity which is within us, hidden in the heart. It is pale yellow like lamplight, but when it is forced into the open for the benefit of others, then what its virtue was inside is demonstrated outside. Touched by the sun, that is Christ, or the spirit, namely the finger, it attracts sinners to itself; that it cannot in any way be cut signifies that it is not wanting in times of adversity but is rather of advantage. In this context, it is said in the Song of Solomon: 'Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love' (8:6-7). It cannot, therefore, be carved, because it is not shattered by adversity or even softened by fulsome praise. In this context, the psalms: 'My head shall not be annointed with the oil of wicked men' (NEB, Psalms 141: 5); 1 Corinthians, 13: 'Charity is patient; it is kind; charity it suffers everything; it endures everything; it is not puffed up; it is not ambitious etc.' (see 13:4-5). Verse Chalcedony is a stone which shines with a faint paleness. It comes between the hyacinth and the beryl. Anyone who carries it will, it is said, be successful in lawsuits. The fourth, smaragdus The fourth foundation, smaragdus, outdoes in its greenness every kind of grass and the boughs of trees; it makes those who wear it appear attractive; it makes the air around grow green; it yields an image just as a mirror does; it signifies virginity, which wholly preserves the freshness of the flesh; and it surpasses all other virtues in a way. Because it preserves virginity

Text

Chalcedony and smaragdus.

Comment

Initials type 4.

Folio Attributes

  • Initial Type 4

    Initial Type 4

    Initial Type 4
    Type 4 initial. Detail from f.96v

    Type 4 initials are red or blue. On any given page they alternate red and blue regularly. Blue initials are embellished with red tassels and vice versa. The colouring and form of the letters is not very even and appears rather hurried in places. In the Bestiary proper, they appear on f.79v and f.80r. Thereafter this is the basic initial used in the thirteenth-century Lapidary addition, found from f.94r onwards. This suggests that gaps left in the twelfth-century text on ff. 79v and 80r were filled in when the book was completed in the later thirteenth century. The poor quality of the later work is apparent from f.94r onwards, and is apparent on f.79v where the wrong capital ‘U’ was inserted and later corrected to ‘F’ for Fagus, the beech tree.

Transcription

Tercium, id est fundamenti ornamentum est cal\cedonius, qui lapis pallenti lucerne similis\ est, et fulget magis sub divo quam in domo, cale\factus a sole vel digitorum attritu, paleas ad se trahit scul\penti non argumentis resistit, et significat caritatem que\ intus in corde celata, pallet quasi lux in lucerna, sed cum ad\ aliorum utilitatem exire cogitur, tunc qualis intus erat,\ exterius ostenditur, et tacta a sole Christo vel spiritu, scilicet digito, pec\catores ad se trahit et omnino secari nequit quia nulla ad\versitate deficit, sed magis proficit. Unde Canticum Canticorum viii: Fortis\ est ut mors dilectio et dura sicut infernus emulacio, lam\pades eius lampades ignis atque flammarum. Aque mul\te non poterunt extinguere caritatem. Sculpi ergo\ non potest, quia adversitate non frangitur nec etiam adulatoria\ laude emollitur. Unde Psalmis: oleum peccatoris non inpinguet\ caput meum;\ i Corinthios, xiii: Caritas paciens est benigna est,\ omnia suffert, omnia sustinet, non inflatur, non est ambiciosa et cetera. \ Versus \ Calcedon lapis est hebeti pallo\re refulgens. Inter iacinctum medioctinus atque beril\lum. Hiis qui portat eum perhibetur vincere causis.\ Quartus Smaragdus \ Quartum, smaragadus\ qui omnes herbas et arborum frondes viriditate\ superat et gerentes eam, reddit intuentibus graciosos,\ aerem vicinum virescere facit ymaginem sicut\ speculum reddit, et significat virginitatem, que virorem\ carnis integre servat, et omnes alias virtutes quodam\ modo superat, quia virginitatem servare, magis est

Translation

The third, that is, the third decoration of the foundation is chalcedony; it is pale yellow, similar to lamp-light, and shines more under the open sky than indoors; warmed by the sun or by a rub of the fingers, it attracts particles to itself; it does not resist the subjects of the engraver, and it signifies the charity which is within us, hidden in the heart. It is pale yellow like lamplight, but when it is forced into the open for the benefit of others, then what its virtue was inside is demonstrated outside. Touched by the sun, that is Christ, or the spirit, namely the finger, it attracts sinners to itself; that it cannot in any way be cut signifies that it is not wanting in times of adversity but is rather of advantage. In this context, it is said in the Song of Solomon: 'Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love' (8:6-7). It cannot, therefore, be carved, because it is not shattered by adversity or even softened by fulsome praise. In this context, the psalms: 'My head shall not be annointed with the oil of wicked men' (NEB, Psalms 141: 5); 1 Corinthians, 13: 'Charity is patient; it is kind; charity it suffers everything; it endures everything; it is not puffed up; it is not ambitious etc.' (see 13:4-5). Verse Chalcedony is a stone which shines with a faint paleness. It comes between the hyacinth and the beryl. Anyone who carries it will, it is said, be successful in lawsuits. The fourth, smaragdus The fourth foundation, smaragdus, outdoes in its greenness every kind of grass and the boughs of trees; it makes those who wear it appear attractive; it makes the air around grow green; it yields an image just as a mirror does; it signifies virginity, which wholly preserves the freshness of the flesh; and it surpasses all other virtues in a way. Because it preserves virginity
  • Commentary

    Text

    Chalcedony and smaragdus.

    Comment

    Initials type 4.

    Folio Attributes

    • Initial Type 4

      Initial Type 4

      Initial Type 4
      Type 4 initial. Detail from f.96v

      Type 4 initials are red or blue. On any given page they alternate red and blue regularly. Blue initials are embellished with red tassels and vice versa. The colouring and form of the letters is not very even and appears rather hurried in places. In the Bestiary proper, they appear on f.79v and f.80r. Thereafter this is the basic initial used in the thirteenth-century Lapidary addition, found from f.94r onwards. This suggests that gaps left in the twelfth-century text on ff. 79v and 80r were filled in when the book was completed in the later thirteenth century. The poor quality of the later work is apparent from f.94r onwards, and is apparent on f.79v where the wrong capital ‘U’ was inserted and later corrected to ‘F’ for Fagus, the beech tree.

  • Translation
    The third, that is, the third decoration of the foundation is chalcedony; it is pale yellow, similar to lamp-light, and shines more under the open sky than indoors; warmed by the sun or by a rub of the fingers, it attracts particles to itself; it does not resist the subjects of the engraver, and it signifies the charity which is within us, hidden in the heart. It is pale yellow like lamplight, but when it is forced into the open for the benefit of others, then what its virtue was inside is demonstrated outside. Touched by the sun, that is Christ, or the spirit, namely the finger, it attracts sinners to itself; that it cannot in any way be cut signifies that it is not wanting in times of adversity but is rather of advantage. In this context, it is said in the Song of Solomon: 'Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love' (8:6-7). It cannot, therefore, be carved, because it is not shattered by adversity or even softened by fulsome praise. In this context, the psalms: 'My head shall not be annointed with the oil of wicked men' (NEB, Psalms 141: 5); 1 Corinthians, 13: 'Charity is patient; it is kind; charity it suffers everything; it endures everything; it is not puffed up; it is not ambitious etc.' (see 13:4-5). Verse Chalcedony is a stone which shines with a faint paleness. It comes between the hyacinth and the beryl. Anyone who carries it will, it is said, be successful in lawsuits. The fourth, smaragdus The fourth foundation, smaragdus, outdoes in its greenness every kind of grass and the boughs of trees; it makes those who wear it appear attractive; it makes the air around grow green; it yields an image just as a mirror does; it signifies virginity, which wholly preserves the freshness of the flesh; and it surpasses all other virtues in a way. Because it preserves virginity
  • Transcription
    Tercium, id est fundamenti ornamentum est cal\cedonius, qui lapis pallenti lucerne similis\ est, et fulget magis sub divo quam in domo, cale\factus a sole vel digitorum attritu, paleas ad se trahit scul\penti non argumentis resistit, et significat caritatem que\ intus in corde celata, pallet quasi lux in lucerna, sed cum ad\ aliorum utilitatem exire cogitur, tunc qualis intus erat,\ exterius ostenditur, et tacta a sole Christo vel spiritu, scilicet digito, pec\catores ad se trahit et omnino secari nequit quia nulla ad\versitate deficit, sed magis proficit. Unde Canticum Canticorum viii: Fortis\ est ut mors dilectio et dura sicut infernus emulacio, lam\pades eius lampades ignis atque flammarum. Aque mul\te non poterunt extinguere caritatem. Sculpi ergo\ non potest, quia adversitate non frangitur nec etiam adulatoria\ laude emollitur. Unde Psalmis: oleum peccatoris non inpinguet\ caput meum;\ i Corinthios, xiii: Caritas paciens est benigna est,\ omnia suffert, omnia sustinet, non inflatur, non est ambiciosa et cetera. \ Versus \ Calcedon lapis est hebeti pallo\re refulgens. Inter iacinctum medioctinus atque beril\lum. Hiis qui portat eum perhibetur vincere causis.\ Quartus Smaragdus \ Quartum, smaragadus\ qui omnes herbas et arborum frondes viriditate\ superat et gerentes eam, reddit intuentibus graciosos,\ aerem vicinum virescere facit ymaginem sicut\ speculum reddit, et significat virginitatem, que virorem\ carnis integre servat, et omnes alias virtutes quodam\ modo superat, quia virginitatem servare, magis est
Folio 97v - chalcedony, continued. Quartus Smaragdus; The fourth, smaragdus | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen