Bestiary The Aberdeen Bestiary

Introduction History Bestiary Codicology Bibliography

Folio 11v Translation and Transcription

Previous - Commentary - Next

Full colour image of Folio 11v
    Translation

who are accustomed to manage whatever problems they encounter, with the harmony of the two Testaments as if with a sound constitution; and, supported as by two horns, they sustain the good they do with the testimony of readings from the Old and New Testament. Of the hyena. There is an animal called the hyena, which inhabits the tombs of the dead and feeds on their bodies. Its nature is that it is sometimes male, sometimes female, and it is therefore an unclean animal. Since its spine is rigid, all in one piece, it cannot turn round except by turning its body right around. Solinus recounts many marvellous things about the hyena. First, it stalks the sheepfolds of shepherds and circles their houses by night, and by listening carefully learns their speech, so that it can imitate the human voice, in order to fall on any man whom it has lured out at night. The hyena also [imitates] human vomit and devours the dogs it has enticed with faked sounds of retching. If dogs hunting the hyena accidentally touch its shadow behind, they lose their voices and cannot bark. In its search for buried bodies, the hyena digs up graves. The sons of Israel resemble the hyena. At the beginning they served the living God. Later, addicted to wealth and luxury, they worshipped idols. For this reason the prophet compared the synagogue to an unclean animal: 'My heritage is to me as the den of a hyena.' (see Jeremiah, 12:8) Therefore those among us who are slaves to luxury and greed, are like this brute, since they are neither men nor

Transcription

torum consonantia quicquid eis adversi acciderit, quasi quodam\ salubri temptamento [A: teperamento] temperare solent, et velud duobus cornibus ful\ti, bona que perpetrant veteris testamenti ac evangelice lectionis attes\tatione sustentant.\ De Yena\ Est animal qui\ dicitur yena, in se\pulchris mortu\orum habitans, eorum\que corpora vescens.\ Cuius natura est ut ali\quando masculus\ sit, aliquando fem\ina, et ideo est immun\dum animal. Cui\ cum spina riget, con\tinua unitate\ flecti nequid nisi toto corporis circumactu. Solinus multa mira\ de ea refert, primum quod sequitur stabula pastorum, et circuit domos\ per noctem, et assiduo auditu addiscit vocamen, quod exprimere\ possit imitationem vocis humane, ut hominem astu accitum\ nocte seviat. Vomitus quoque humanos [intitur] falsisque singultibus\ sic sollicitatos canes devorat. Qui forte si venantes umbram\ eiusdem dum sequitur contigerint, latrare nequeunt voce perdita. Ea\dem yena inquisicione corporum sepultorum busta eruit. Huic as\similantur filii Israel, qui ab initio deo vivo servierunt. Postea divitiis\ et luxurie dediti ydola coluerunt. Ideo propheta comparavit sy\nagogam in mundo [A: inmundo] animali dicens: Facta est michi hereditas\ mea quasi spelunca yene. Quicumque igitur inter nos luxurie et\ avaricie inserviunt, huic belue comparantur cum nec viri nec\
   Translation

who are accustomed to manage whatever problems they encounter, with the harmony of the two Testaments as if with a sound constitution; and, supported as by two horns, they sustain the good they do with the testimony of readings from the Old and New Testament. Of the hyena. There is an animal called the hyena, which inhabits the tombs of the dead and feeds on their bodies. Its nature is that it is sometimes male, sometimes female, and it is therefore an unclean animal. Since its spine is rigid, all in one piece, it cannot turn round except by turning its body right around. Solinus recounts many marvellous things about the hyena. First, it stalks the sheepfolds of shepherds and circles their houses by night, and by listening carefully learns their speech, so that it can imitate the human voice, in order to fall on any man whom it has lured out at night. The hyena also [imitates] human vomit and devours the dogs it has enticed with faked sounds of retching. If dogs hunting the hyena accidentally touch its shadow behind, they lose their voices and cannot bark. In its search for buried bodies, the hyena digs up graves. The sons of Israel resemble the hyena. At the beginning they served the living God. Later, addicted to wealth and luxury, they worshipped idols. For this reason the prophet compared the synagogue to an unclean animal: 'My heritage is to me as the den of a hyena.' (see Jeremiah, 12:8) Therefore those among us who are slaves to luxury and greed, are like this brute, since they are neither men nor

 

All images Copyright 1995
© Aberdeen University Library

 

 

Translation & Transcription Copyright 1995
© Colin McLaren & Aberdeen University Library

Main - Introduction - History - Bestiary - Search - Copyright - Codicology - Bibliography
Historic Collections - University of Aberdeen - King's College - Aberdeen - AB24 3SW
Michael Arnott
m.arnott@aberdeen.ac.uk

University of Aberdeen